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Skills Obtained From MBA Programs

An MBA provides its holder with an edge over the competition in business-related fields. Explore how this graduate program can help students develop or sharpen their business, marketing, accounting and leadership skills.

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Skills Gained in an MBA Program

The graduate courses offered through MBA degree programs teach the basic facets of domestic and international corporate practices. During the first year of study, students take courses that allow them to develop skills in:

  • Economics, stock market patterns and consumer behavior
  • Business strategy and decision-making
  • Accounting, financial risk assessment and cost control
  • Marketing, advertising and business-to-business sales
  • Information technology
  • Employee relations, workplace psychology and communication
  • International business operations, including opening and expanding overseas businesses
  • Leadership abilities and management techniques

A full-time master's degree program in business takes two years to complete, though most students working toward an MBA are professionals enrolled in studies part time. The business industry contains a wide variety of specialties, from finance to marketing and technology to global economy and beyond. Students may obtain more specialized skills in any of these business-related areas.

Areas of Focus

MBA programs provide a solid foundation of business training during the first year, followed by about one year of concentrated classes. The focus of an MBA depends on the school and the particular program. Most universities offer standard concentrations, as well as a few unique areas of study. Students can hone their skills in niche areas such as the following:

  • Accounting and finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership and general management
  • Operations management
  • International business
  • Information systems management
  • Marketing

Beyond the MBA Skills Improvement

MBA-holders often treat the achievement as a terminal degree, using education to enhance a current job or progress along a career path. Entrepreneurs and motivated employees looking to start or expand a business find that improving business skills through an MBA program reaps personal and financial rewards.

Students with a desire to expand their knowledge in a specific area of business may look to doctoral-level programs. Many graduate schools offer Ph.D. curricula that enhance the skills obtained from an MBA program. Doctoral studies typically emphasize research and academic careers with specialized explorations into accounting, management, economics and marketing.

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