MBAs are one of the most effective and rewarding degrees you can pursue. Those with MBAs have the tools to effectively work in executive positions and are better equipped to start a business of their own.
Though the benefits of an MBA are great, the financial payoff does not immediately happen. This means those looking to start an MBA need to be savvy with their finances so that they can juggle work and study, while still being able to pay for your everyday responsibilities and tuition.
To help you manage this delicate balance, follow this guide:
Know the Traits and Skills You Need for Success
There are a lot of different variations of the MBA, and knowing what skills you personally need to improve upon for your future can help you choose the right MBA to get you where you need to be.
The average professional, between face-to-face conversations with company-wide emails, will have 1,978 points of contact every single day. Executives will spend 75% of their day communicating with others in one way or another. With this information in mind, you can start to see why communication would be such an important skill.
Lack of communication skills at executive levels is costly as well. The Society for Human Resource Management determined that a lack of effective communication between managers and teams leads to an average loss of $420,000. Large companies were determined to lose $62.4 million on average because of this same issue.
Studies have shown that companies with the most successful leadership use a mixture of the four main leadership styles:
- Analytical Communicators
- Intuitive Communicators
- Functional Communicators
- Personal Communicator
You can learn more about the importance of communication in business management by clicking here so that you can take advantage of the opportunities ahead of you, and even choose the right MBA for you to secure your future.
Strategic Thinking and Execution
Strategic foresight and the ability to strategically direct an organization into the future is one of the most essential traits for an executive. You need to have a vision of the future and know how to see it through. You can learn this skill by focusing on global supply chains, innovations, and enterprise-level management.
Technical and Technological Skills
Most executives today need technical skills to thrive. You need to understand the technology, how it works, and how you can use it within your organization. Having this understanding of technology, its applications, its possibilities, and its limitations are vital in driving forward change. You cannot go in without understanding what is possible, because in doing so, you cannot be an effective leader or be able to communicate effectively with IT staff and developers.
Transformational Change Driver
Businesses that cannot and do not innovate die. That is why all top-level executives and those looking to start their own business venture need to gain skills in transformational change. You need to be able to lead a transformational change and help your business evolve.
This means being aware of your current business, recognizing opportunities, and, most importantly, being able to lead a successful transition into new processes, technologies, or industries.
These skills, along with leadership qualities you have developed through managerial roles, are what companies are looking for in their top-level executives.
Find the Right MBA for You
By knowing what skills, you need, you can choose the right MBA, yes, but you will also want to choose an MBA that targets your specific career trajectory. You can specialize in a variety of subjects when you undergo a Master’s in business. You also have a variety of options when it comes to how you complete your education.
Completing an MBA full time will enable you to enjoy a structured education and fast completion. If you are worried about taking the time out from your career, or how you will be able to pay for the MBA and living costs (often through a loan) however, then you will be much better off with an alternative.
There are a variety of universities that offer evening classes so that you can get the structure you need and still be able to attend university after work.
The best of both worlds is to complete your degree online. You will have the ability to be more flexible with your education, can complete in the comfort of your own home, and of course, can spread out the costs.
Boost Your Savings Now
The ultimate goal is to not use your emergency savings. These savings instead will act as a financial buffer to allow you to commit to your career and education or whichever path you choose without the worry of debt. This way, if an unexpected bill comes your way, you can cover it. To succeed in both work and education, you need strong support systems. The first one you can put in place is a financial support system that will keep you safe and secure.
All universities offer financing options for their degrees. Online, part-time degrees especially have ways for you to spread out the costs so that you can afford your tuition easily, even without a massive loan.
By opting for a part-time approach, you will not have to take out a massive loan in one go, and you may be able to spread the cost of the year’s tuition fees, though it is always a good idea to check what your preferred institution offers in the way of help with this finance.
Still, considering you only need to pay for the courses you take on at a time, you can finance your MBA through savings, or through small personal loans.
Live on a Budget and Study Better for It
It is always a good idea to tackle two birds with one stone. In this case, it means using frugal living tips that can help you live and study better.
Prep Lunch Meals
The first on the list is to buy ingredients in bulk and then prepare a series of healthy lunches for the week. This way, you can save big in comparison to eating out even at take away places near your work, and you can boost your cognitive function through healthy eating.
For the best results, you should try to also have either a post-work meal or most of your dinner also prepared so that you can enjoy the same mental boost with minimal effort during your study time.
Work in a Library
Libraries are available to the public, though, for some reason, the public rarely seems to see it this way. You do need to be careful, however, because students do flock to the best libraries early on. It is not unheard of, for example, for there to be a queue outside of the British Library before it opens, so that researchers or students can get a desk in a place they like.
Even local libraries are often more popular than you think, but the benefit of going here over, say, a café or working from home is that you:
- Have resources (reading materials, desks, printers)
- Are in a studying environment
If you find the library is usually full by the time you get off work, a café or co-working space can be a good alternative, though you won’t be able to use the facilities for free (though a cup of coffee doesn’t cost too much).
If you are working from home, then try to set up a desk where you work at, so that you do not mix relaxing spaces with study spaces.
Cut Down on Vices
You need your brain to be in its best health, which means cutting down on vices like alcohol or partying. Though you should absolutely take a break and have fun, dealing with hangovers can cut into your productivity and make it challenging to keep a schedule. Try to limit partying or other similar activities to once a week, so that you can reset your schedule and work productively through the challenging task of managing a career while undergoing a degree.
Take Healthy Breaks
Breaks are good for your productivity, but you do not want to just watch videos during them. By getting outside and going for a walk, doing a little physical activity, or even just meditating, you can reset your mind and come back refreshed. Getting outside to have your break especially can be useful for the mind, as it allows you to enjoy some fresh air, be amongst nature, and even see more of your neighborhood.
Bonus? It is entirely free and can help you adopt more budget-friendly hobbies.
Completing a degree while still working is challenging enough without adding financial strain on top of the pile. You want to be comfortable. Do not simply rely on the government loan. Instead, make changes that will ensure you are comfortable, secure, and better equipped to handle the pressure of a degree and a career.