At some point in their careers, nearly all marketers find themselves facing the inevitable, age-old question: Should I pursue an MBA?
On the one hand, there's the difficulty factor to consider. Completing a Master's degree in business administration is by no means quick and easy, and anyone considering an MBA should be aware of the challenges—the time commitment and the financial investment—and should have realistic expectations overall.
On the other hand, the rewards for putting in all that hard work and time are significant. You're undoubtedly familiar with the benefits of having an MBA: career progression and broader opportunities; salary increases; boosted skills; and, in turn, confidence, empowerment, and networking prospects. And that's to name just a few.
Even after weighing the pros and cons and determining that an MBA is indeed hugely beneficial, many marketers find themselves questioning how valuable it will be specifically for marketing: Sure, there are the general benefits, but those can apply to various fields; the real question is how an MBA can be helpful expressly for a marketing career.
Gain a holistic understanding of business
Although you can take various units and modules when completing an MBA degree, its intrinsic focus is, obviously, business. Students delve into a comprehensive and intensive look into all facets of business, including internal operations and external interactions.
Considering that the relationship between IT, Operations, and Marketing has strengthened considerably over the last few years, it is becoming essential for marketers to develop a deeper understanding of relevant business strategies.
The use of Big Data has also helped to strengthen that relationship, whereby an exchange of consumer insights drawn from that data is enabling greater integration between Marketing and other areas of the business.
Undoubtedly, in-depth business knowledge can be incredibly beneficial for marketers, allowing them to better understand business and, in turn, create marketing campaigns that are more closely in line with the needs and wants of a company.
Learn to think differently—as both a manager and a marketer
You may think that the managerial and leadership skills learned through an MBA aren't specifically relevant to the world of marketing, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Equipping graduates with managerial skills goes beyond benefitting just those who wish to hold roles in management, although it's fantastic for that, too.
The business world requires out-of-the-box, creative thinking. Without big thinking, challenges like meeting growth goals and customer needs would not be met.
An MBA invites students to adopt critical thinking and new ways of getting work done, encouraging them to go beyond typical problem-solving to find imaginative means to achieving required ends, whether that end is to function as part of a team or to improve a marketing campaign.
An MBA helps to develop problem-solving and decision-making techniques, effective communication skills, strategic thinking, and competencies in analysis and interpretation.
Those skills, of course, can be particularly beneficial for marketers, especially because the many goals related to sales, lead generation, brand awareness, and more that fall under Marketing's purview can be elusive, to say the least. Without having the ability to come up with creative solutions, those goals are incredibly difficult to meet.
Be equipped for the changing landscape of marketing
It's no secret that marketing is a dynamic field; it is constantly changing and evolving. Those who can't or won't keep up with newly emerging trends and technologies usually get left behind—quickly.
MBA graduates are well versed in dealing with rapidly and radically changing environments. Flexibility and creative problem-solving skills go a long way toward success in the business world—including marketing.
After all, marketing is an integral part of the backbone of an organization's functionality, so the underlying connection between an MBA and marketing capability almost goes without saying, especially because this internationally recognized degree will have imparted in-depth knowledge to marketers about business operations.
An MBA can be incredibly useful to any career, but it can have a fantastically positive impact on a marketing career. Moreover, the convenience these days of being able to complete an online MBA makes the many benefits—career progression, knowledge growth, salary increases, and more—all the more attractive. And practical.