Managing a Successful Career; MBA Qualifications Are Gaining in Popularity as Graduates See Them as a Useful Tool to Beat the Shaky Jobs Market and Economic Uncertainty

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Byline: Sarah Richardson

MORE and more new graduates and young professionals are seeing an MBA as a useful qualification to get ahead in a time of economic uncertainty, a survey of 68,000 prospective students has found.

The average age of an MBA applicant around the world has dropped from 27.5 to 26, more women are applying, and students favour 10- to 18-month courses over the traditional two-year format, according to Ross Geraghty, managing editor of TopMBA.com "Uncertainty in job markets around the world has seen more graduates looking towards MBA programmes, as well as young professionals who lost their jobs," he says.

"Although improving career prospects remain the most important motivator for taking an MBA, followed by learning new skills and attaining a leadership position, for the first time, in 2010, 'starting own business' was considered equally important as 'boosting salary'."

The Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree is internationally recognised and is seen as a passport to a successful management career.

The MBA is essentially a generalist qualification designed to widen the horizons of business professionals. It takes into account all the major functions and practices of a business. As well as being a postgraduate degree, the MBA is also strongly postexperience.

Students on an accredited MBA course will usually bring five to 10 years' postgraduate experience with them.

The MBA course at London Metropolitan University is one of the shorter programmes increasingly favoured by students facing the economic realities of self-funding and investing in their future in tough economic times. It offers a comprehensive introduction to functional aspects of business, a sound integration of theory, and practice development of personal managerial skills instruction in techniques of strategic analysis.

The MBA (full-time) is divided into two taught stages. Stage One lasts one semester and consists of seven modules, which give a solid grounding in all the key business functions. Stage Two has a strategic emphasis and consists of five modules and a dissertation.

Key features of the course are the UK residential conference, held over a weekend at the start, and small teaching groups, as it is felt that personal attention is necessary for success on an MBA. There is also an emphasis on teamwork and personal development Applicants for the London Met MBA course require a UK Honours degree, or equivalent qualification, plus at least three years of postgraduation management experience and, where appropriate, an English language test, and a minimum score on the IELTS of 6. …