Which MBA specialization requires more communication skills

MBA checklist: 50 criteria for choosing a degree

The Master of Business Administration - MBA for short - has long been established as a recognized degree in Germany. Especially for MBA graduates who later want to take on management and leadership tasks. However, there is not an MBA everywhere that has the "MBA" label on it. Course content, costs and reputation of the business schools vary enormously in some cases. As a prospective MBA student, you should therefore take a close look, obtain information on accreditation, application, costs and precisely define the selection criteria for the right MBA program. The following MBA checklist will help you ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Checklist study content: MBA or Master?

The acronym MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. Therefore, the degree is often concluded with another classic Masters degrees mistaken.

But they concentrate primarily on that Deepening of the existing specialist knowledge, build on existing principles and expand the corresponding knowledge base - for example from Bachelor graduates.

Masters degrees are both consecutive - i.e. directly after a bachelor's degree - as well as part-time. The master’s degree is therefore particularly suitable for employees who are developing further in their specialist field and their thematic Sharpen the focus further want.

However, the professional specialization does not necessarily require professional experience. Therefore, the master can also work for scientific careers be important.

The MBA against it lays the Clear focus on management and leadership tasks. The imparting of specialist knowledge tends to take a back seat, skills and knowledge that are essential for managerial and managerial tasks are much more important.

This also explains why MBA programs all take a few years Requires professional experience and are only open to specialists with the appropriate experience and competence. You already have the necessary specialist knowledge and expand it with management components. They are therefore particularly interesting for engineers, natural scientists or humanities scholars who lack the economic know-how from their studies.

Accordingly, many MBA courses are structured in a similar way:

  • You start with basic knowledge in so-called Core courses, the compulsory courses.
  • After that, the students can complete their studies in so-called Electives, give the electives different emphases.

Before deciding on an MBA degree, you should therefore take a look at the curriculum and the course content. This should include:

  • Business basics (Micro and macro economics, accounting, finance, production, marketing, logistics and human resources)
  • Central management techniques (Decision theory, information systems, analytics)
  • Strategic management (Organizational theory, social behavior, change management, total quality management)
  • intercultural competences (Foreign languages, etiquette, negotiation strategies)
  • Personal skills (Communication, project management, leadership qualifications)

What speaks against the MBA?

Because the line between an MBA and a master’s degree is blurred, there may well be situations in which an MBA is not the best of all options. The two most important factors for this are:

  1. costs

    An MBA degree is a significant investment. On average, the manager training costs 30,000 euros per year. The reputation of the MBA degree is highly dependent on the reputation of the business school at which it was acquired. If you want to complete your MBA at one of the top business schools, you have to dig deeper into your pocket. And you have to earn the money again afterwards through appropriate salary increases.

  2. Lack of specialization

    The MBA is known for offering general management training. In the labor market, however, the demand for specialized skilled workers has been increasing for years. With a master’s degree with a focus on management, you can also do justice to this trend - and at a significantly lower price.

MBA Checklist: How to Identify a Good MBA Program

Before we get to the personal checklist, here are a few important ones Differentiators of Business Schools summarized. You should therefore also obtain and know the information about this in advance in order to be able to better select the individual MBA programs.

These include questions such as ...

  1. What does the course cost?

    The prices for an MBA degree vary enormously internationally. Most European programs cost between 20,000 and 50,000 euros. Around 24 percent of German programs cost less than 10,000 euros.

    The majority of the costs for the MBA course are made up by tuition fee for the respective university. In addition, there are travel and accommodation costs (or living expenses), teaching materials and some hidden fees.

  2. How do I recognize a legitimate program?

    At least one seal of approval of the following organizations the school should own, ideally all four. The exam takes place after three years on the market, so new schools usually cannot MBA certificate show:

    • AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business)
    • EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System)
    • AMBA (Association of MBAs)
    • FIBAA (Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation)
  3. How long do the studies take?

    Whether you are a Annual program or a two-year MBA program ultimately depends on your academic background and work experience. American college graduates average 23 years old and will want to extend their maturity through the two-year program.

    Most German graduates are much older and want to go through a short MBA course above all, improve their chances on the job market and on the career ladder.

    For Graduates with little previous economic education In turn, the long program is worthwhile in order to benefit from the more general training. In a year-long program, you'd likely be specializing too soon or in the wrong direction. It is no coincidence that engineers and natural scientists are recommended to consider the MBA course as an alternative to a postgraduate course in business administration.

  4. Who is the MBA aimed at?

    Accordingly, you should research who the target group of the respective MBA program is. While most MBA programs are somehow aimed at anyone who is in the General management want to educate. The spectrum of applicants ranges from university graduates with a few years of professional experience to long-term managers. It can also be interesting whether this MBA primarily attracts students who

    • a international career or
    • one Promotion to the partner level to strive for (a consultation).
  5. When is the right time for an MBA?

    It makes perfect sense to only saddle up the MBA after a few years of professional experience. The participants could then try out the theory they had learned up to then in practice and gain experience. Especially concentrated on this one Work experience and knowledge sharing then all MBA graduates benefit.

    The prerequisite for this is of course that this Exchange among students is also actively encouraged and is not only maintained outside the university. The best time for an MBA is - according to alumni - after three to five years of professional experience. Because then ...

    • the Loss of salary justifiable during full-time studies.
    • the Amortization of study costs still possible while working.
  6. How does the application work?

    The application to a business school usually consists of a multi-stage process. In the first step, the applicants are enough written documents a: Essays, special tests and letters of recommendation are just as much a part of the application as the résumé and cover letter. If the written documents are convincing, the personal suitability of the applicant will be checked by the university in the subsequent selection interview.

    Important: Both the stress test called GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) as well as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) are standard admission requirements. Schools that do not do this should be avoided because it can be concluded that the MBA training will also be below international standards.

Checklist: 50 criteria for MBA programs

Now to the actual MBA checklist: Of course, this cannot make the final decision for you. The Assessment and prioritization Please adapt the individual criteria to your personal goals.

The criteria listed here will help you all the more, not to forget any relevant point. And the more thoroughly you analyze your choice in advance and the more extensive the information base, the better your decision.

    Questions of principle

  • Why do I even want to get an MBA degree?
  • Why now?
  • What career goal am I currently pursuing: professional reorientation, international career, specialized career path?
  • Do you have any idea of ​​the position you are aiming for with the MBA?
  • Will the MBA program bring me closer to my professional goal?
  • How long can / should the MBA program last?
  • In which country do I want to do the MBA?
  • Can I finance this MBA program?
  • Can I get my job and studies under one roof?
  • Am I willing to accept any impairments in my private life?
  • Do my partner, family and friends also accept this?
  • Do I have the personal perseverance and self-discipline for such a degree?
  • Which business school suits my learner type best?
  • Questions about the business school

  • Which accreditations (MBA certificate) does the business school have?
  • How is the MBA evaluated and assessed nationally and internationally from there?
  • What position does the degree have in the various MBA rankings?
  • What reputation does the university have - especially with potential employers?
  • Which lecturers teach there, what is their background?
  • Do the lecturers have their own management experience?
  • How many executives have their say in the course and do they come from my industry?
  • Is the educational institution independent or connected to an educational institution?
  • How many students graduated there, what is the dropout rate?
  • Are there any public reports from alumni about the course?
  • Are these credible and convincing?
  • Does the school advertise (unrealistic) success and money-back guarantees?
  • Do the provider's promises feel serious?
  • Questions about the MBA program

  • Do I meet all the formal requirements of the MBA program?
  • Is a one-year or two-year program best for me?
  • What information does the school itself put on its homepage? Are there any FAQs?
  • Are the contents of the MBA program clear and technically correct?
  • Does the course differ significantly from a thematically related master’s degree?
  • Are there sufficient management elements in the modules?
  • How high is the practical relevance in the curriculum and module plan?
  • Is the content up-to-date and relevant to my goals?
  • Are the teaching and learning materials structured convincingly?
  • How do the teaching and learning materials compare to other offers?
  • What role does e-learning play in the course and is it used sensibly?
  • Is the time structure of the MBA compatible with my working hours?
  • Communication questions

  • How (quickly) does the business school react to inquiries?
  • Are the statements specific and competent or vague?
  • Do the answers remain polite even if you have critical questions?
  • Can the lecturers be reached and approached during the course?
  • What channels do you use to contact the lecturers?
  • Questions about compatibility

  • How does my employer feel about the planned MBA course?
  • Does the employer even cooperate with the MBA provider?
  • Will he support me (financially)?
  • Does it have requirements for a degree?
  • Or can a promotion even be negotiated afterwards?
  • How important is the MBA title to my current employer?
  • Is a doctorate (doctoral title) possibly rated higher?

The whole MBA checklist you can - as usual - here too Download as PDF for free. We wish you much success!

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17th October 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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