Yay or nay: What’s a mini MBA and should you pursue it?
MBA programmes cost thousands of dollars in tuition, which means the decision to pursue it is one that should not be taken lightly.
Despite the steep costs, the benefits of getting the coveted postgraduate degree are well documented. This includes increasing your earning power, enhancing your career prospects and developing a skillset that can help you develop senior management competencies, to name a few. All these suggest graduates do enjoy good returns from their investment.
MBAs offer students in business schools a broad education, with common subjects including accounting, economics, marketing, finance, entrepreneurship and management, to name a few. They typically take two years to complete.
In keeping up with the times, an increasing number of business schools have been offering programmes beyond the general MBA, and this includes mini MBAs.
As the name suggests, mini MBAs are a more concentrated version of MBAs that cover traditional MBA courses. They take less time to complete and do not culminate with a postgraduate degree, but a certificate to acknowledge your professional credentials. It also costs significantly less than a traditional MBA.
Is a mini MBA right for you?
Mini MBAs might be ideal for professionals who are still uncertain if they should pursue an MBA and have financial and time constraints. For instance, the prices of mini MBAs at Rutgers Business School in the US can vary from just under US$3,000 to US$5,000. Conversely, a full-fledged MBA programme in the US can cost anything from $60,000 and above, depending on the institution.
The programme allows professionals to get a feel of an MBA, and decide later if they want to pursue it.
The duration of a mini MBA also varies. There are those that offer month-long courses, and some as short as one week. University at Buffalo offers online mini MBAs, a self-paced programme that allows professionals to learn at their own schedule.
While these are some of the benefits of the programme, it’s also worth noting that unlike an MBA, the immediate benefits of pursuing a mini MBA may not immediately translate to higher earnings or promotion as it is not as comprehensive as an MBA programme and may not equip students with a full-fledge of skills that an MBA does.
Nevertheless, the mini MBA still provides professionals with a good foundation of business studies, which they can still apply to their current roles, or help them if they choose to enrol in an MBA programme later.
London Training for Excellence advises students to speak to their mentors, managers or professional role models that work in areas you would like to progress to and find out what they studied, how they got there as well as their recommendations. This can help you decide if a mini MBA would be beneficial to you.
With these pros and cons in mind, it’s worth noting that a mini MBA is clearly not the same as an MBA, but it still offers some benefit to professionals who want to complement their current certifications.