What does an MBA mean in today’s business world?

Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 10:55

The MBA or Master of Business Administration has held a special place in business education over the past hundred years, as it’s commonly viewed as one of the most robust and comprehensive management qualifications available. While once seen as the calling card of high-flying senior executives, the MBA’s popularity has now spread beyond the business world. Professionals from a range of fields, including engineering and medicine, are now also seeking to complement their existing résumés with the broad management knowledge and highly-regarded credentials of an MBA program.

The science of management

A lot has changed since the first MBA program was first founded at Harvard in 1908. Back then, the driving force behind businesses and the economy, particularly in the US, was still industrialisation. That meant companies were looking for scientific approaches to management so the program was geared almost entirely towards scientific management theory. It wasn’t until Harvard began using the case study method for teaching in 1924 that real-world application began to creep into MBA programs. This was an approach later adopted by the Australian Institute of Management when it became the first Australian education provider to use the case study method in teaching its own management qualifications.

During the 1950s, MBA programs began to more closely resemble the MBAs we see today, and its rising popularity saw programs begin to appear outside of the US, with the first European MBA being offered in 1959. It was also around this time that academics and industry began to re-examine the nature of MBA programs as student cohorts were much younger than they are today, with the majority of students having little experience of the business world from which they could draw upon during their studies.

Mastering the real world

That concern has continued to influence the current construction of today’s MBA programs. After all, organisations are made up of people, so your ability to learn from your daily experiences in leading and managing others should be considered just as valuable as the theory. Business schools around the world paid close attention to this feedback from business leaders and among many measures designed to inject real-world application into MBA programs, a common prerequisite became the need for management experience prior to enrolment.

Where once upon a time, early MBA programs were designed to quickly transition students directly from their undergraduate business program into a senior executive position, an MBA in 2017 is now viewed as a comprehensive management qualification designed for experienced professionals from a wide range of management backgrounds. 

Designing senior leaders

For those professionals who’ve been working in a particular specialist field, anywhere from accountancy to IT or Human Resources, an MBA allows them to leverage their experience in leading and managing their specialist teams into more senior and general leadership roles.

The movement from specialist to a generalist is the reason MBA programs are now experiencing such popularity. Experienced professionals from every industry and sector are now seeking out MBA programs to develop a broader knowledge of organisational leadership and management. In today’s business world, an MBA offers the chance to leverage your organisational experience into a well-recognised qualification that will allow you to take the next step up in your career.

The AIM Business School MBA is designed to create standout leaders from ambitious managers. It will equip you with the theory, framework and skills to tackle challenges you may face in the complex business environment – be transformed and gain a qualification that provides you with the broad business knowledge you require to excel in your career.

Our flagship program is innovative and practical, covering all significant aspects of business operations, from traditional areas of finance, HR and marketing to prevailing concepts of innovation, sustainability, and ethics. You will study with like-minded professionals, managers and leaders across a range of sectors in a practical and applied education environment.

With 9 core units and 3 electives, the AIM Business School MBA is ideal for the working professional. It will challenge you, enrich you and inspire you to reach past your current potential.