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The Role of Online MBA Education in Career Switching: Exploring New Horizons

Online MBA for Career Switching

Embarking on a new career path is a journey that knows no age limits. Whether you’re in your late 30s, 40s, or even 60s, the opportunity to explore fresh fields and follow your passions is ever-present. Just ask Chandler, who, much like in his legendary sitcom life, had to start anew as an intern. Fortunately, today with the advent of online MBA programs, the landscape of career switching has become more accessible and less intimidating, offering a smoother transition than starting from the bottom.

Now career change can be different. With countless things going around us from technological breakthroughs to digital transformation and changing perspectives, career change has become the new normal of the 21st century. A 2022 GMAC report showed that 51% of MBA students intend to change careers.

Some people try new roles in the same industry whereas some go on a roller coaster ride and switch to a completely new industry. Such individuals rely on transferable skills like emotional intelligence, leadership skills, time management, resilience, and analytical thinking. Just like when we move to a new country our adaptive nature and interpersonal skills take centre stage, these transferable skills play a crucial role in career transition.

When switching careers you have to focus on both transferable and niche skills, that is why professionals choose the path of an MBA degree. The MBA coursework offers flexibility and adaptability that will make you competitive across industries. Earlier, the only reason people chose to do an MBA was to advance in their career but now most of the candidates take this opportunity to change their career direction. Ever since online education gained popularity and credibility in the market, online MBA has become the widely chosen path to switch careers in different industries. As per a survey by Forbes, nearly a third of the graduates switched jobs right after the online MBA programme.

How can an online MBA can help in career switching?

Generally, change is considered good and positive. However, entering a new professional path can be daunting because a poorly planned transition will not get you the desired results. Therefore, every step taken for your career should not be taken for granted.

Lorna Patches, Executive Director of the Professional Resource Center at the Gatton College of Business and Economics shares that MBA aspirants are either eager to jump to managerial positions or are looking forward to changing their careers. As an MBA graduate, you get trained to rise to the challenges with strong analytical skills.

You must be wondering how will online MBA benefit career changers:

  • Network Expansion

Building industry links and networking with professionals across the globe will help you understand the minute aspects of the new field. As it is in an online format, there are no geographical boundaries so institutions regularly invite global professionals which expands your perspective and is a great opportunity to seek mentorship.

  • Credibility and Competence

When looking for a job all that matters are your skills and knowledge. An online MBA gives you the liberty to diversify your skills with additional certifications. Moreover, it reflects positively on your efforts to expand your knowledge base and dedication to mastering the new skills. Choosing an online MBA implies that you are a multitasker and competent enough to take on challenges.

  • Increases your Earning Potential

If you are choosing online education, then probably you are continuing with your job as well. Though you have experience in a different industry or a different role, your years of professional experience add value to your profile while negotiating for a salary. Also, the common purpose of doing an MBA is to get a salary hike so there is no question whether you will get this benefit or not. It shows that you have practical exposure to the corporate world and are aware of the know-how of the business world.

  • Achievable

Walking into an unexplored area is not easy, especially when you have personal and professional commitments that you cannot avoid. With an online MBA, you can continue to focus on other things while studying. This helps in developing strong time management skills and displays the candidate’s determination to accomplish his goals. Furthermore, online learning has a lower fee structure and you don’t have to waste your time travelling to the campus.

Efficient steps to change your career path

Given the current scenario, flexibility, work-life balance, and fulfilment are given priority. That means an online MBA is considered the easiest and most convenient way to switch careers. If you go by a structured plan, switching careers will not be as overwhelming or difficult as you might think. Here are a few steps that will help you frame an efficient plan for career switching:

  • Leave money aside: “I can’t afford this huge step, I have tons of responsibilities. It is too risky”. This is one of the most common excuses people give for not changing careers. Of course, it is a risky step and it might take time to achieve your final goal. Think of it as a long-term goal that requires the investment of time and money.
  • Brainstorm and research your new path: Make a list of your interest areas, things you are good at doing, and the industry you wish to work in. Try to find people in your chosen field and ask them about the roles, opportunities, and scope of this field. You should learn about the additional skills you require to stay ahead of the competition in your respective field.
  • Acquire new skills: Before you enter the online MBA programme, try to acquire a basic knowledge of that field and the primary skill set required. This will help you understand the concepts clearly and the coursework will not be alien to you.
  • Emphasise transferable skills: Most of you might be thinking that career change means starting from the bottom. But that’s not true! You already have transferable skills and professional experience which are an important asset from a recruiter’s point of view.
  • Develop an action plan: Once you have chosen your career path and done some research on the industry, start creating an action plan. The plan should include short and long-term goals with realistic milestones. Remember to set a time frame in which you plan to complete these milestones.

Conclusion

To achieve this goal, time surely matters. You might find it easier to do certain things at one point and things can get expensive with time as well. But those who are outspoken, competitive, and leadership-oriented will find it easy to tackle any challenge at any point in time. Change is scary but not more than regret. So just create a plan and stick to it.

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