After the MBA: Three Skills to Learn (Including Project Management)

In business and educational circles, an MBA is the pinnacle of college degrees and the first crucial step to financial, professional and societal success. Students invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend top-level universities while earning an MBA and after the 2-4 year program has been completed, many students begin to feel inadequately prepared for the real world job market. While the content of MBA courses teaches future leaders of American business numerous core and essential skills there are three skills (project management, networking, and leadership,) that an MBA must learn and utilize following graduation if they truly wish to succeed.

1. Project Management Skills published an article that discussed “Ten Things They Don’t Tell You In Business School.” One subject discussed was project management and the article eloquently stated that “If no one ‘owns’ a Project, it won’t get done.” The business world requires MBAs and professional leaders to have extensive project management training, (a set of skills that must be honed after graduation) and knowledge of the importance of completed professional projects.

For MBAs who wish to master the skills of project management, there are several online project management training courses including those here at Advisicon, that teach skills for specific industries and there are also options to earn a project management degree online. Regardless of which of these options are selected, knowing and having complete project management training is a necessity for those who want to be prepared for the business market while also armed with a Masters of Business Administration degree.


2. Networking Skills

Professionals who have earned an MBA learn many effective abilities including business accounting, problem-solving, and more. However, one key trait that does not accompany an MBA degree is the skill set of networking. While successful communication with others is vital in landing a client or closing a deal, the soft skill of networking is crucial to the professional growth and success of an MBA graduate.

Networking through meetings, conferences, and professional associations can broaden a professional’s network and range as well as build business relationships that may be helpful to the success of the individual or company at a later date. To gain business networking skills, many MBAs join networking groups, attend national industry conferences, or attend local meetings of industry associations.

We’re currently living through a period when in-person networking isn’t possible. Until we’re able to return to that, here are “5 ways to Keep Networking During Covid-19.”]

3. Leadership Skills

The Graduate Management Admission Council surveyed top industries and businesses that hire MBAs, asking what qualities MBAs lacked when entering the job force. One commonality between each surveyed industry (Consulting, Energy/Utilities, Finance/Accounting, Healthcare, Technology, Manufacturing, Non-profit/Government) was that they felt MBAs could improve upon their leadership skills.

Leadership traits can be difficult to acquire but through personal and professional coaching, leadership classes and working in collaborative team environments, MBA graduates can develop their leadership skills. This of course will make them more employable in real-world business.


After the MBA

In business and educational circles, an MBA is the first crucial step to financial, professional and societal success. However, hundreds of businesses across the nation suggest that MBAs should learn the skills of project management, leadership, and networking to truly be successful in the professional sphere. Because these traits are merely touched on or even ignored in MBA coursework, it is prudent for MBA professionals to learn how to network, lead a team, and successfully manage projects.