If you want to take the next step in your business career, an MBA might be exactly the kind of thing you’re looking for. There are many advantages to having this further qualification and it can give you many opportunities you would not have had before.
Although of course you can apply for and fund your MBA yourself, it could be that your employer will fund the course for you or at least offer to pay some percentage towards your tuition fees. Before you go to them to broach the subject, it’s wise to have some information to hand to help persuade them that an MBA is something that will help both you and them. Here are some of the ways that an MBA can benefit your employer and why they might want to pay for you to take part in one.
Your Study Won’t Impact Your Work
Unlike a standard degree, when you take an online MBA, you can still work full-time if this is something you – and your employer – want to do. If you took a degree at a physical, brick and mortar college, you would have to take at least some time away from work even if you were studying part-time. You would need to attend lectures, discussions, workshops and so on at a specific time each week, meaning you would miss out on work and your employer would essentially be paying for you to study.
This may not be seen as a benefit when the employer is looking at their employees and the costs associated with them.
An online MBA means that you can study in your own time and you won’t have to take any time away from work – you can work in the evenings, early mornings, or weekends, and still obtain the degree. Perhaps it will take a little longer doing things this way, but if it means your career is untouched and your employer is happy with your plan (and will pay for your MBA) then it is worth it.
This is actually a benefit to you too. If you are studying in your spare time, you won’t have to sacrifice any part of your life to take your new degree. You can still impress at work, show your boss you are the right person for the job and study to make yourself even better at the same time. There will be no long commute to a college after a long day at work and the flexible way that an online MBA works means you can choose the best times to work on it, allowing you to be much more productive.
You’ll Be Delivering Increased Value To The Business
Every business owner wants their business to grow and succeed. If you can show your employer that, by taking an online MBA, you can add value to the business and make it better on a long-term basis, they may well be interested in helping you achieve your goal.
This is all about demonstrating your loyalty to the business you’re working in right now. No one is going to be happy about spending money for an employer to take a degree that will help the competition, but if you can show that you want to take this course to help the company you’re working for now, you will certainly be showing a great benefit to your employer.
The best thing to do is to list out the ways that an online MBA is going to improve your knowledge and how you intend to use that knowledge to improve the business. Whether you want to study for a general MBA or something more specific and linked to marketing or finance or many other areas that you can choose from, you need to be able to show what you are going to do with that qualification.
There is no point in simply studying for an online MBA and then going back to the same work you were doing before. Although you may have enjoyed the challenge, it won’t have given you any benefits and it certainly won’t have helped your employer.
This discussion is useful not just in terms of showing your employer why an MBA would benefit them as well as you, but in terms of seeing where your career is heading. If your boss won’t see the benefits as you present them or they don’t feel that your new skills would help the business at all, this is your chance to re-think your career. You can take the online MBA anyway (as we’ve said, it won’t impact your job if you plan it carefully) and then search for an employer who will appreciate what you have done and the knowledge you now have.
You Can Improve Your Current Role
If you are happy in your current role and don’t have any ambitions to rise higher in the ranks, get a different job elsewhere, or start your own business, you may not think of taking an online MBA at all. However, even though you wouldn’t be changing anything directly if you did take this extra degree, you could still benefit yourself and your employer, so it might be worth considering anyway.
When you qualify with an MBA, you will have gained a huge amount of knowledge. If you can apply that knowledge to your current role and improve it, giving you more insight and helping you to do your job in a more productive way, wouldn’t it be worth applying for an online MBA? The answer is yes and your employer should be aware of that. The better you can do your job, the more productive the business is going to be. Its reputation will improve too, as customers, clients, and suppliers will all see that the systems in place are excellent and work well – systems that were learned via an MBA.
From the very start of your MBA course right up until the final project you will need to undertake, every element of what you are learning can be applied to your current position in your working life. Since you will also be getting feedback from your tutors – all of whom are experts in business – you will know you are doing the right thing and when you apply your new knowledge to your current role, the change will be immediate and impressive.
You’ll Have A Different Perspective
It’s always good to have a fresh, different perspective when it comes to your work and your employer should appreciate that. They themselves will find it hard to look at the bigger picture, especially if the team is a small one and they have to manage as well as run the company.
If you are able to take an online MBA that gives you the ability to look at the business as a whole and come up with new, interesting ideas to boost it and push it forward, any employer would be happy to allow for this to happen.
An MBA is a course that will cover a vast range of different disciplines and will teach you how business works in a global context as well as a more local one. You’ll learn about financial analysis, marketing, human resources, and much more. You’ll know how to deal with challenges that come your way and you won’t be afraid to speak up when need be. All of these traits, new and improved, will be of benefit to an employer and will help them to decide whether or not to pay for your MBA, or at least put some money towards it.
Develop Strategic Leadership Skills
Knowledge alone is not what makes an effective leader, so your online MBA won’t automatically give you the leadership skills that you might have been lacking up until now. However, what the MBA will do is enhance the skills you already have, bringing them to the fore and allowing you to explore them a little more than you would normally be able to do.
For those who have the potential to become great leaders, and for employers who have leadership roles that need filling, the MBA qualification could be ideal. It costs a lot of money to hire someone brand new – you have to factor in costs such as advertising for the role, as well as the time it takes to interview someone. Plus, if they are new to the company, there will be training to carry out which means that, on top of the additional salary that will be needed, there are some large finance considerations to think about. Add to this the fact that the new employee wouldn’t be able to (necessarily) start right away since the training would take some time to get them up to speed, the idea of hiring someone new to lead a team looks less positive all the time.
If you have an MBA, you can cut those costs for your employer. They won’t have to pay for training and they won’t have to spend any money on searching for the perfect new candidate. They will be able to promote from within, which is much easier, quicker and more effective when it comes to finding someone who is right for the job. This is definitely a benefit that should be discussed when you are speaking to your employer about them contributing to the cost of your online MBA.
Broaden Your Professional Network
When you study for an MBA, you will meet and connect with a number of different people. This is even possible with an online MBA, thanks to technology that means you can find forums and groups, as well as possibly (depending on where you are studying), meeting up with other online students in person.
By broadening your network in this way, you may come across those who can not only help you advance your career, but whom your employer might be interested in meeting too. It may even be that you can facilitate this meeting which could go on to become an important partnership for the business as a whole.
Although this kind of networking shouldn’t be the only reason to take up an online MBA, and is probably not going to be the only reason why your employer agrees to pay for it (or at least contribute towards the costs), but it is an added extra element that could be very useful and should certainly be mentioned when you are talking about the benefits such a qualification could bring to the business.
Create A Strategic Mindset
Something that every unit of an MBA degree will teach you is how to think more strategically. Whether this is thinking strategically about your current business environment, the future of the business, or the expansion and growth of the business, as well as any changes that might be made, it doesn’t matter – each element can benefit from better strategic thinking.
By learning all you can about business strategies, theories and practices, you can enhance any business you are working for. Your employer will know just where to turn for help in this regard, making you an integral part of the business and giving you much more responsibility. Your employer will be able to delegate these vital business theories and ideas to you, knowing that you have the ability and knowledge to put them into practice.
If this can happen, your employer will have more time to run the business, or even have more time away from the business if this is something they need, knowing you are fully competent to take over. This will surely be tempting to any busy business owner.
There are many benefits to taking an online MBA that your employer should be able to see will help not only you, but the company as a whole. There are also a number of different ways these useful degrees can be paid for, so having a discussion about funding with your employer and explaining all the advantages it will give them in the future, is certainly something you should do.