How to Choose An MBA

Making the decision to study for an MBA is not usually taken lightly. You will invest considerable time to enrol, study, and graduate from an MBA course. Yet, you should reap significant rewards which make the time and effort worthwhile. Once you have decided you want to move forward and take a course, the next big question to answer is, which MBA to choose? There are a considerable number of different MBA courses in Australia, and many people will find the choice confusing.

How to know which MBA to choose? Let’s discuss some of the different factors which will influence your decision, and how to use these options to narrow down your list.

Next stop, finding the perfect MBA course for you…

The study mode of the MBA

The way you study varies from MBA to MBA, and this will have a big impact on the decision you make. Generally, you can choose from a 100% on-campus course, a 100% online course or a mix of online and on-campus studying.

Most MBA’s will take 2-years of full-time on-campus study, but part-time and ever-increasing attractive online options are available too.

The defining factor here is whether you can afford to take 2 years away from work. If you cannot, a part-time or online course can enable you to study while you work (at least on a part-time basis). If this makes the difference for you between being able to take the MBA and not being able to take the MBA, prioritise a part-time and/or an online course. Griffith University and Charles Sturt University both have a 100% online MBA course on offer.

You should also bear in mind your preferred study style. Some people will find independent studying at home via an online course better. Maybe you focus better studying independently or prefer to save time (and money) travelling/ moving to access a campus course.

Other people may not focus well without direct guidance. Or you may want to enjoy the chance to network and the support of peers. In this case, you should look for a 100% on-campus or a course which combines campus and online studying. AIM Business School and Chifley Business School, offer a blend of online/ on-campus MBA courses which is a great way to get the best of both worlds.

Career outcomes – What direction do you want to take? 

While all MBA courses are going to have some general core topics in common, there are differences in the modules, and the focus the course will take. For example, the AIM Business School MBA course consists of 9 core modules, and then you choose another 3 specialist modules based on what you want to focus on. This means you can tailor the course to suit your career plan and interests. While the Du Cerre/University of Canberra MBA has already been tailored for Innovation and Leadership. If you are sports mad, then Real Madrid Graduate School even have an MBA course with a focus on Sports Management.

When looking over your options, bear in mind your own personal story and your goals. This will help you select the best MBA course for your needs.

MBA pricing 

The cost of an MBA course can vary wildly, and of course, this does play a factor in your choice. The average MBA in Australia can cost $29,000 to over $120,000 so it’s important you do your research before making such a hefty financial investment.  

If you start with the price as your first consideration, you are going to spend hours and hours wading through every MBA course in Australia. The best thing is to first make a shortlist based on other criteria like study mode, and the career outcomes you are aiming for. Then, once you have a shortlist of 5 or so MBA courses, check out the prices and see if you now have a clear leader.

Which MBA to choose?

Follow this method to help you make your decision:

  • Can you take 2 years off work? Or you will work at the same time? Do you prefer on campus, 100% online or a combination MBA course? Once you have answered these questions you can make a list of courses fitting the category you have chosen
  • Next, look at the course content of each MBA course on your list. Refine the list to around 5 options, based on your goals. The MBA courses on this shortlist should help you take a step towards those dreams. 
  • Lastly, look at the prices (and location if relevant) of the remaining five. Don’t forget to take into consideration other costs such as travel costs, moving costs, how much time off work you will need. A leader may stand out at this point, if not whittle them down to 2 or 3, and contact the faculty with questions. Doing this will help you make the final choice.

 Now go forth, and choose the best MBA course to catapult you towards your dreams.

Jane Utting