Rising in your career is a natural aspiration after reaching a certain threshold in your growth trajectory. You might want to jump to a higher pay scale, catapult to a new role, or want to be considered for the leadership track. The obvious route for many professionals is to pursue an MBA or Master’s in Business Administration because they believe this is the ticket to quick success. However, pursuing an MBA is not always the right fit for your career path. Before plunging into this commitment scale, consider what skills you need to build.
Today, the Best alternative MBA programs offer skill-building opportunities, workplace training, mentorship, and community-learning opportunities that can help you achieve your career goals at a fraction of the cost.
Falling equity of the MBA program
Up until 2008, the equity of the MBA program reached an all-time high due to the exorbitant pay packages on offer. As the world went into recession due to the sub-prime crisis, MBA pay packages were course-corrected, and their allure began to plummet. Yet, the cost of an MBA remains exorbitant, even today. At the same time, there is no guarantee that your pay scales will keep pace, and that your career trajectory will alter significantly. This scathing piece in Forbes further questions the relevance of pursuing an expensive MBA program in a post-pandemic world.
Hiring for skills and not roles
In an increasingly tech-enabled world, job roles are continuously in flux. Even five years back, positions in demand were being automated, and new functions were taking shape. The world’s top businesses are investing in workplace training to help their employees stay relevant and drive business outcomes. However, not every company can invest in such programs.
This is why professionals must be ready to embrace the new workplace reality by reshaping their mindsets. Even if your company does not have upskilling programs in place, investing in upskilling on your own dime pays rich dividends almost instantly. The best alternative MBA programs enable you to pursue your skill-building journey with a superior learning platform. Another aspect is to commit to upskilling as a continual journey.
Upskilling never stops
In a digital world, continued professional development via upskilling will become part and parcel of a professional’s career development strategy. Professionals are encouraged to develop a “learnability mindset, ” enabling them to build new skills continually. Courses’ durations will shorten, and the content will become more engaging. Professionals will be able to curate a mix of courses that serve their specific workplace training needs at any given time. These needs may evolve within a matter of months.
Skills in demand
Besides domain skills, the best alternative MBA programsequip professionals with universal skills that empower them to grow laterally, in their careers, and into the leadership ranks.
- Skills such as communication, critical thinking, self-concept, problem-solving, personal branding, conflict resolution, leading with empathy, etc., help with the personal growth of professionals. Abilities including project management, giving actionable feedback, client management, and taking ownership are growing in their equity for ambitious professionals.
- Cultivating certain functional skills such as powerful email writing, effective decision-making, productive delegation, negotiation dealing, and client-centricity help professionals be more strategic, raising their productivity level.
- The last category is more abstract in nature; professionals who develop abstract skills will be better equipped to navigate an increasingly agile world of work. These include fostering trust, learning agility, making meaningful connections, impactful presence, big-picture thinking, audience connection, and decoding ambiguity.
Today, you can access a host of high-quality courses to learn all these skills.
Learn with the right digital platform
Several differentiators can help you identify an authentic learning platform amongst the many players flooding the market today.
- Choose one that offers a learning opportunity around the year, so that continual learning can be a reality. Consistent learning makes your mind agile. It gears you to be open to fresh challenges that create scope for growth and learning.
- Credibility is an important aspect. Look up the credentials of the founding team, faculty, and mentors. They must have a pedigree, stellar work experience, and solid track record.
- The platform must offer a wide range of courses that enables you to curate programs, based on interests and needs, and pursue learning 365 days of the year. This approach helps you build a practice of consistent learning.
Learn from your smartphone
Technology has transformed the way we learn. The best alternative MBA programsare moving away from the one-way, classroom-lecture style learning to immersive, intimate learning experiences.
- This shift has enabled crunching seemingly complex topics into byte-sized, engaging, interactive learning models.
- Professionals can easily understand concepts in a short period, even 60 minutes!
- By choosing a learning platform with a superior learning interface, you should be able to learn during your daily commute, and even for a few minutes during a break from the comfort of your smartphone.
Mentorship & community-based learning
These two key elements complete the circle of learning in the best alternative MBA programs. Access to stellar mentors empowers you to get support and answers to abstract and real-time problems. You can learn from their experience and wisdom, yet, have space to make your own judgments.
On the other hand, community-based digital learning enables you to learn from and with peers across industries, functions, levels, and geographies. You can also tap into this potential network for future job opportunities, collaborations, and synergies.
The way we learn has undergone a massive shift in a span of one or two years. From pursuing a two-year, expensive MBA, one can invest in a continual learning program that allows you to curate courses based on the specific skills you aim to learn. You can learn on-the-go, access quality mentors, and attend guest lectures from anywhere. The best alternative MBA programsenable you to learn alongside your peers across the globe, and have access to high-quality, on-demand programming on your smartphone, at a fraction of the cost. This is what the future of learning looks like for ambitious professionals.