What is MBA? Seems strange but Google data for this website seems to show this:
Working in the business of higher education, you can assume everyone knows what an MBA is. Seems not to be true based on this small sample. So I will describe the MBA degree.
First a proper definition from Collins: “An M. B.A. is a master’s degree in business administration. You can also refer to a person who has this degree as an M.B.A. M.B.A. is an abbreviation for ‘Master of Business Administration.”
What is Master of Business Administration?
The MBA is a generalist business degree offered around the world. Started in 1908 by Harvard University, the Master of Business Administration degree was designed to help train business managers in the core areas of Accounting, Strategy, Finance, Economics, Manufacturing & Production as industrialization was ramping up. Today, over 100,000 people earn their MBA every year.
Modern MBA programs
Most programs have kept to the original core areas and added information Technology, Marketing, Leadership, and Globalization. Many MBA programs allow students to take electives that can become a concentration of their MBA degree. Usually, these are 3-4 courses in a single subject area that a student chooses. Some programs are offering new topics such as ESG & Social Impact and Data Analytics for their concentration or focus.
Most MBA degree programs take 12 to 24 months to complete and their content delivery is the traditional in-person classroom, online, or hybrid. Students may go full-time, part-time, weekends, online, or a combination of these formats.
Master of Business Administration programs will have lectures, case method discussions, experiential learning, and projects. At VCU’s Executive MBA program, students will visit a manufacturing plant and assess it based on the criteria of the assigned Harvard case. Then they will present their findings to the faculty. Most programs will do projects. Usually, these are client-focused and the students will act as consultants. Typically there is a formal presentation to the client which is graded by the faculty.
Why get one?
Here is my earlier post. There are many great reasons for getting an MBA including gaining business knowledge if your undergrad degree is not in business, pivoting to a new industry, transitioning out of the military, competing for executive roles, and many others.
TLDR: The Master of Business Administration is the world’s most popular graduate degree. Highly valued by students and companies, it is a generalist business degree.
I am proud to recommend this book by of one VCU’s Leadership faculty, Dr. Thomas Epperson.