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For years, earning a traditional MBA from a brick-and-mortar business school has been the most common way business professionals obtained greater knowledge and understanding about various functions within an organisation, opened up career opportunities and boosted earning potential. Until recently, MBA alternatives were rarely considered as a substantial replacement for an MBA, even though the traditional method has always been extremely expensive and time consuming. Graduate programs cost anywhere between $30,000 – $150,000 or more and many programs require students to attend classes full-time.
Because MBA alternatives are now much more widely accepted, there are many different options for those seeking the knowledge and skills acquired from a traditional MBA, but don’t have the time or money to go the traditional route. But before selecting an MBA-alternative program, you’ll need to do some research to determine which alternative is best for you. Make sure you map out your career goals and the critical knowledge and skill-set you’re seeking in order to achieve those goals. Also, you’ll need to know your budget and the amount of time each week or month that you’re able to dedicate to gaining the skills to reach your goals. Once you’ve outlined your plan, some excellent MBA alternative options include:
- Mini MBA
A faster, more economical way to gain MBA-level skills is through a mini MBA program. MBA alternatives such as non-degree, non-credit executive courses cost far less than traditional MBA programs, and also represent a much smaller time commitment, which provides more flexibility for you. Mini MBAs help you understand your own job, and how your role affects the organization overall. Some excellent mini MBA programs are available online and provide the convenience of 24/7 availability.
- Leadership-Development Programs
Many large companies offer leadership-development or management programs geared toward grooming those who show great enthusiasm and potential. Because these programs are either in specific or general functions within the organization, professionals are exposed to various responsibilities and areas within the company and rotated every six months.
- Work Experience in a Different Field
Another way to gain experience in a certain field is to look for opportunities within your own company and transition into that field. Obtaining two years of hands-on work experience is often comparable to skills learned in MBA classes (plus, a classroom setting does not typically provide the day-to-day insight or the networking needed to succeed in the field). Employers also consider work history, track record and a positive attitude when seeking to fill positions, so focus on the total package and not just on gaining business skills and experience.
Finding the right MBA-alternative program takes an abundance of research and patience, but once you find the best program for you, you’ll be on your way to gaining vital business skills that will help you further your career and earn more money. With plenty of available options that suit your lifestyle, schedule and personality, there’s never been a better time to start!
This guest post was provided by University Alliance and submitted on behalf of University of Notre Dame. Notre Dame offers online courses in business administration, negotiations and leadership and management. To learn more about Notre Dame’s certificate programs visit http://www.notredameonline.com