The future of MBAs

Pursuing higher education in business and finance can have a significant impact in the future of many professionals seeking to gain skills and accelerate their careers. Here is some information consider while looking for an alternative that best suits your needs.

Over the past decades, MBA programs across the globe have been allowing future leaders to expand their skillset so that they will be well prepared for the challenges they’ll face in their new roles. However, in the post pandemic era, the former MBA structure doesn’t fully acknowledge the needs of these professionals and the demands of their ever-changing workplace. Currently, the previous “one-size-fits-all” model has had to change to become less homogeneous and more aware of the complexities of environments in constant movement. So, what makes a good MBA today?

One of the most relevant aspects of a modern MBA should be its global nature. Its curriculum must be designed to help develop a better understanding of diverse international sectors and teach a broad range of skills that could be relevant in these settings. The future of management belongs to those who embrace an outlook that transcends limits and crosses borders, leaders who are equipped to manage global challenges. Hence, a program that combines knowledge and exposure to experiential learning will help develop practical skills in doing business all over the world. At the same time, a global MBA allows its participants to learn from cultures, systems and organizations in different continents, grow their network of contacts internationally and transform the way they think and react to everyday challenges.

Leadership development should also be at the core of today´s MBAs. A highly personalized approach will allow learners to tailor the components to their specific needs. Modern day leaders need to understand how to manage diverse teams, creating environments that foster creativity and encourage innovation. A good leader can think critically and strategically, is able to mentor partners and employees, and influence others in a positive way. Long gone are the programs that are based solely on finances and economics. The future leaders of the world are looking for results beyond numbers, and a good MBA should cater to a growing necessity to be part of a bigger change in the world and help participants understand motivations, express themselves effectively and achieve organizational goals in complex environments.

In the present context, online education continues to be on high demand because it allows participants to get the best instruction without compromising work responsibilities or family time. However, the flexibility of virtual programs can be enhanced with residencies: in-person meetings that allow participants to socialize and network with each other, while experiencing different contexts that allow multicultural awareness. Also, these face-to-face meetings help practice soft skills, much required in today’s workplaces. A good MBA should be able to successfully combine the accessibility of online learning with personal contact.

Depending on the individual’s needs, duration can also be a determining factor in today’s programs. Some longer programs may allow participants to continue their full-time job while attending school, while shorter programs could result more attractive for professionals looking to update and improve their skills in a brief period. The length and intensity depend on the learner. There is an appropriate program for all.

 Are MBA’s still a good idea?

MBAs continue to be an option for professionals looking to expand their knowledge and, why not, their income. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2020 Corporate Recruiters Survey, MBA graduates will earn more than their colleagues with a bachelor´s degree alone. It is estimated that a median salary for MBA grads is at US$ 115,000, approximately 75% more than its non-MBA counterpart. Also, executives with a degree are very sought after. According to the same report, in 2018 approximately 96% of global Fortune 100 companies were looking to have MBA graduates in their teams. The most innovative and growing companies in the world are always looking to hire employees who have invested in their graduate-level business education.

One of the biggest appeals of MBAs is its broad-based curriculum that allows people from any academic or professional background to know the latest business trends, apply new management tools and techniques, and improve businesses, teams, and collaboration. An MBA provides more career flexibility and the skills developed over the course of study can be used in an array of industries, despite the changes in economy and environments. Professionals will benefit from many relevant topics, which will provide a solid base for their career´s future. 

How to choose the best MBA?

There are thousands of resources online to help professionals decide which program better suits their needs. One should assess the value of an MBA as a highly personal decision that will make sense as an investment for the future.

The Rotman-SDA Bocconi Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) was designed to equip leaders to successfully manage global challenges. We offer different types of programs designed for professionals at different stages of their careers. Participants who are looking to develop essential management skills can benefit from our MBAs, while participants with more managerial experience can enhance and develop their leadership skills with our executive MBAs. 

The partnership between University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and Bocconi University’s SDA Bocconi School of Management, in Milan, Italy, has resulted in a unique program that combines the best of two worlds: North American and Europe. Both schools are among the top research-intensive universities in the world, with top ranked faculty capable of giving participants access to the latest information before it filters into consulting firms and major corporations. Bocconi is the leading School of Management in Italy and also stands among the top-ranked European institutions, while The University of Toronto consistently ranks in the top ten public universities in the world and as the top university in the country.

The GEMBA is an 18-month program, delivered in a blend of online, self-paced learning and 10 residential study modules in key global cities of approximately one week each. It has been designed for working professionals, who can bring real life challenges to the classroom, and take back positive results to their workplace, making an immediate impact.

Participants enroll at one school, but progress through the program as a unified cohort. At the end, they earn two credentials: an MBA from the Rotman School and a Global Executive MBA from SDA Bocconi. SDA Bocconi is Italy’s leading management school, a world-renowned Centre for innovative knowledge and skills. The University of Toronto is recognized worldwide as Canada’s pre-eminent research university, while the Rotman School is known for its strong connections to Canadian industry and finance. The GEMBA transforms the way participants think, network, and do business. It allows participants to examine how to do business around the world and apply what´s viable ‘at home’.

“It’s never been more important to build bridges, rather than barriers, across nations and businesses. I’ve worked with my colleagues in Italy and Canada to design a program for this emerging world and its leaders. This is a program about innovation, inquiry and global impact: a new approach to global business”, explains Brian Golden, Academic Director at Rotman-SDA Bocconi Global Executive MBA.

A great part of the program is its global study modules, where participants come together in cities of the world’s key markets, like San Francisco, Mumbai, Copenhagen, Shanghai or São Paulo. While in these “learning safaris”, they get to network, share insights with other senior-level executives, experience how companies do business around the world, and develop a well-rounded overview of different countries and cultures in the global economy.

“The international modules provide strong exposure to local cultural norms, as well as a chance to explore doing business on a global scale”, says Timur Bulat, MBA ‘22, General Manager and Board Member, Rominserv, Romania. Elena Afanassieva, MBA ’22, Sr. Manager, Enterprise Risk and Portfolio Management, BMO Financial Group, Canada, adds, “The GEMBA class is made up of those from a number of different industries, regions and backgrounds. The wealth of knowledge and perspectives is amazing. Looking at the world through multiple lenses will make for a richer learning experience”.

The GEMBA is not just an MBA. It’s a life experience that will open many doors for you and your future. The gateway to a world full of opportunities starts here.

If you wish to learn more about the GEMBA, you access the following links:

 https://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/Degrees/MastersPrograms/MBAPrograms/GEMBA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5WQmWH3EGQ

 https://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/Degrees/MastersPrograms/MBAPrograms/GEMBA/GettingIn/GEMBA-BrochureDownload?utm_source=simalco&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=gemba_2022

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