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What Skills Does an MBA Give You?

November 17, 2021
Business Man And Woman Meeting At Work In Office To Look at MBA Skills

Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) does more than give you distinguished degree credentials to add to your resume and LinkedIn profile page. An MBA also boosts hiring opportunities and careers by providing students with the highly sought-after skills today’s recruiters are looking for.1 Degree holders with a diploma from reputable MBA programs are in high demand precisely because they come with the latest top-level expertise taught in MBA programs.

Read on to learn what skills an MBA degree provides and which MBAs are respected for their ability to teach students the skills that lead to career success.

Today’s MBAs: New Skills for an Evolving Business Industry

First launched over 100 years ago, the MBA degree has been an advanced educational path for those who want to grow their skills in a number of important business areas including leadership, management, entrepreneurship, and innovation.2

Historically, MBA degrees teach the following practical, applicable skills:

  • Leadership and management skills
  • Entrepreneurship skills
  • Market evaluation skills
  • Effective communication skills
  • Teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Managerial skills1

In recent times, with global technological capabilities continuing to rise and a maturing technology sector, the well-designed, modern MBA has an added focus on teaching mastery in emerging technology areas (including big data, data analytics, business analytics, and information systems), in addition to foundational skills.

The Most Sought-After MBA Skills

In 2021, job recruiters want to see more than just a reputable name next to your MBA degree; these talent hunters also want to know you have taken courses that teach hard and soft skills in the areas that matter most to today’s multi-layered, tech-driven business economies.

Soft Skills

As global business needs continue to evolve, today’s employers are not just seeking traditional MBA hard skills in marketing and finance. According to a recent Financial Times study, soft skills, or how you work with and relate to team members, are the most sought-after skills for employers from around the world.3,4

These soft skills include:

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Building, managing, and growing networks
  3. Understand how digital technologies impact businesses
  4. Time management
  5. Coaching and training ability
  6. Teamworking ability3

Soft skills are generally developed over a longer period of time and therefore are considered harder to teach as they can depend on a person’s lifelong experiences, as well as their innate personal qualities and emotional intelligence (EQ), not just pure IQ. As a result, companies don’t mind offering new hires on-the-job training for specific hard skills a role needs. However, employers often give special consideration to job candidates that come equipped with the important soft skills a role requires, especially soft skills candidates have expanded upon while in an MBA program.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are the skills you gain from experience, education, and training.5 The top five hard skills today’s employers look for in MBA degree holders are:

  1. Financial forecasting
  2. Data analysis
  3. Brand storytelling
  4. Social media ability3

As an MBA student, and graduate, you will be expected to have developed both types of skills to gain entry to leading, lucrative job opportunities. Job seekers should concentrate on developing both hard and soft skills that are valued by recruiters and employers while pursuing their MBA degrees. Prospective MBA program applicants should make sure the program they plan to attend can provide both types of skills for students.

Reputable Online MBA Programs That Teach Top Skills

Gaining a mix of top hard and soft skills employers are looking for from today’s MBA graduates can be accomplished by attending a reputable online MBA program. Online MBA programs are an ideal pathway to professional growth because they provide a perfect mix of theoretical and applicable skills. They also have a flexible learning format that helps students:

  • Build the right hard and soft career skills in courses led by expert faculty
  • Directly apply newly acquired skills in a current role
  • Continue to build real-world career skills while working towards a degree

Online MBA programs are on the rise, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and a shift to flexible online learning formats which proved reputable online MBA programs are on par with reputable brick-and-mortar options.6

What matters most to today’s recruiters is not the format in which you earned your degree. Rather, how you will apply the skills you have learned in your MBA program, how you will fit into existing company culture, and the details of the skillset you’ve gained from your time as a student are what makes the difference to employers.6

Accredited, reputable online programs, like California State University Monterey Bay’s Online MBA, teach foundational MBA skills and additional topics. Great online programs are designed to holistically provide immersive online learning experiences that are essential for developing the hard and soft skills today’s employers want.

CSUMB's Online MBA curriculum offers students valuable opportunities for in-depth study, group projects, global perspectives, and sophisticated technologies as students view all facets of business administration through CSUMB’s 5-point Responsible Business lens of Profit, People, Ethics, Equity, and Planet.

With an online MBA program like CSUMB’s Responsible Business Online MBA, you have the unique opportunity to achieve your short-term goals while you gain the sought-after skills, knowledge, experience, and career-boosting connections you’ll need to bring your long-term goals to reality.

Start Building Your Best MBA Skills Today

CSUMB’s accredited online MBA program provides a rigorous, yet flexible online learning experience that delivers the skills you will need to accomplish career success. Earning a Responsible Business Online MBA from California State University, Monterey Bay will help you advance as you earn your MBA with our 100% online curriculum. Join today to start gaining the skills that make a difference.