Master in Business Administration

The MBA, or Master in Business Administration, is a highly sought-after qualification, which significantly improves career prospects, invariably leads to fast-track promotion and can even allow you to change directions in your professional sector.

Master in Business administration-Which is the right MBA for me?

There are three types of Masters in Business Administration: the full-time MBA, the Executive MBA and the online MBA.

Each has its pros and cons, so you will need to carefully consider which option best fits in with your work, your lifestyle and your capacity to study. Many people find that the full-time MBA cannot be integrated with their working commitments. Some decide to negotiate a sabbatical or, if the company is paying for the course, agree to a balance between academic and work responsibilities, since you will spend around three hours a day in school.

Be warned, though, that the majority of people find it difficult and exhausting to combine a demanding course with work duties. Full-time MBAs take from 1-2 years on average, whereas part-time courses normally take three years, or a little longer.

Executive Master in Business Administration takes approximately two years and covers exactly the same material as the full-time course, and allows students to continue drawing a salary, because classes are usually scheduled for Fridays and weekends.

Executive MBAs can only be taken locally, since students continue to carry out their job roles, whereas a full-time Master in Business Administration can be undertaken wherever you might wish to study. 

Employers usually cover the fees for executive MBAs, and the average age of students is around 38, since these courses normally expect applicants to have at least five years’ work experience.

One of the drawbacks of taking the Executive Master in Business Administration route is the fact that you might not build up the same close network as those individuals who decide to do their MBA full-time, simply because you will meet less frequently.

Finally, online education is increasingly becoming a viable option. 

A number of universities are running well-respected online Master in Business Administration courses, including:

  • University of Birmingham
  • Barcelona Executive Business School
  • Arden University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Durham University
  • Warwick Business School
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Massachusetts
  • Politecnico di Milano School of Management
  • IE Business School
  • UCL
  • University of Indiana

    Online courses last from two to three years and are particularly popular with students who cannot take a sabbatical and want to work while earning a degree. Forbes Magazine has noted a huge rise in the number of online Master in Business Administration courses over the last two years, as well as high satisfaction ratings and, taking Carnegie Mellon as an example, an average salary rise of 29 per cent on graduating. Online Masters in Business Administration are very flexible and therefore you can complete the course at your own pace, accommodate unexpected family events – which might force you to abandon a full-time course – and choose the type of course you want. Some offer live weekly classes and consulting projects with corporate clients which demand live presentations, while other courses are purely online and do not include face to face interactions. 

    You need to research what each online course is offering, to ensure that it suits your learning style – or contact Elab, so we can walk you through your options.

    Master in Business administration-What subjects will it cover?

    Business Administration is a wide subject and you will be able to specialise, according to the industry you are in, or wish to enter. Among the topics covered you will find:

    • Organisational behaviour
    • Operational research
    • Corporate finance
    • Consultancy
    • International Business
    • IT management
    • Marketing
    • Business law
    • Entrepreneurship
    • General management
    • Strategic management
    • Risk analysis and financial forecasting
    • Data analytics
    • Marketing science
    • Business economics
    • Operations management
    • Corporate Reporting
    • Negotiations and leadership
    • Global teamwork
    • Human Resource Management
    • E-commerce
    • Micro-finance

      Bear in mind that, while most Master in Business Administration courses do not demand a thesis, some may do so, or may offer a dissertation module, which will give you a chance to use your knowledge from a specialist area  in a supervised research project. You will be asked to write a proposal, provide a literature review, choose a methodology  and structure, outline and reference your argument. Finally, you will write your own reflective critical appraisal of your work.If this appeals to you, check whether a dissertation module is included in the courses you are considering.

      Master in Business administration-How does it differ from a Master’s degree?

      Essentially, a Master’s will provide you with highly specialised knowledge about a specific area, while a Master in Business Administration focuses on management tools and methods, administration and an analysis of the many elements and processes which make a business successful.

      Master in Business administration-What are the entry requirements?

      These differ slightly, depending on where you intend to study.

      If you want to do your Master in Business Administration in the USA, you will be asked for:

      • Two professional recommendations
      • Two-three years of work experience, as a minimum
      • A four-year US degree or its European equivalent
      • A CV
      • A personal statement
      • GMAT score of 600 and above*
      • TOEFL certificate to prove your English language competence: 220-250 computerised test; 550-600 paper test

      *NOTE that leading business schools, for example:
      – Harvard
      – The Wharton School
      – Sloan School of Management
      – Stanford
      – Yale Business School
      – Columbia Business School
      expect you to achieve a GMAT of 720-740 if you are to stand a chance of being admitted.

      Master in Business administration-Where can I find courses in Europe?

      In Europe, you will be expected to have at least three years’ work experience, and many universities, for example, UCL, demand five years – although they do take a holistic view of your application and experience. In addition, you will need to submit:

      • Proof that you hold a bachelor’s degree at 2:1 level or above
      • Documentation which shows international study or work experience
      • English language proficiency – a second language is desirable TOEFL score of 577-587 or IELTS 6-6.5/Cambridge Advanced 142-210
      • GMAT admissions test score , averaging between 610 (University of Bath) and 680 (University of Cambridge)
      • Your CV
      • Two references
      • Personal statement

      Requirements vary from university to university, and if you have any questions contact us here at Elab and we will give you the information and advice you need.

      Master in Business administration-Which are the most popular European destinations?

      • The UK
      • Spain
      • Italy
      • France
      • Switzerland

      Master in Business administration-What skills will I gain?

      You will significantly benefit from the course and gain a thorough understanding of :

      • advanced managerial methods
      • how to manage financial crises
      • risk management and assessment
      • overseeing company finances
      • gathering and analysing data
      • raising retention rates
      • decision-making and strategising
      • collaboration skills
      • applying managerial tools and techniques to your business

      Master in Business administration-How will an MBA improve my career prospects?

      You will have more vocational options on finishing your Master in Business Administration as well as a higher salary. Employers are keen on hiring individuals who have gained an MBA, and a number of the world’s largest and most successful companies have stated that they positively seek out graduates with a Master in Business Administration including: Amazon, Apple, Citigroup, Facebook, Goldman-Sachs, J P Morgan, McKinsey and Company, Microsoft and Walt Disney.

      Master in Business administration-Do I need to sit the GMAT to get accepted?


      Almost every business school requires candidates to sit the GMAT (or the GRE) as part of their application process. The GMAT is the preferred test for business courses, such as the MBA, while the GRE opens the door to a large number of postgraduate paths.

      Master in Business administration-What is the GMAT test?

      The Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT, is sat by over 2000,000 people every year, and sets out to assess each candidate’s verbal, reading, quantitative, writing and analytical skills. You can take the test five times within a twelve month period. The fee for sitting the test is around $250, and  it lasts for three hours and seven minutes. The papers are divided into four sections:

      • Analytical writing
      • Integrated reasoning
      • Verbal section
      • Quantitative reasoning

      The qualitative and verbal sections are multiple-choice questions which follow a computer-adaptive format. This means that the questions  become more or less difficult in response to the number you get right or fail to answer correctly.

      Analytical writing: This is a 30 minute paper, which assesses your reasoning skills and your ability to  think critically. In this paper you will be   provided with an argument and asked to write an essay, evaluating and critiquing the reasoning behind the argument. In the process, it also examines whether you can communicate your ideas clearly.

      Integrated reasoning is also a 30 minute paper, which provides you with data in a range of formats, including graphs, tables, multi-source and two-part analysis. You may be asked to fill in the blanks in graphics, choose Yes or No, or True or False in the multi-source format, with drop-down tabs supplying you with options. Finally, the two-part analysis comprises of two components and possible answers you have to choose between, so you will need both quantitative and verbal skills to determine the correct answer – hence why this section is called integrated reasoning. There are 12 questions in this paper.

      The verbal section comprises of 36 multiple-choice questions which test your reading comprehension of written materials, your ability to use critical reasoning to evaluate arguments, and your knowledge of grammar – by  giving you a series of sentences to  correct .You normally have to choose between five possible options in this paper, which  is allocated 65 minutes.

      The quantitative reasoning section takes 62 minutes to complete and is made up of 31 questions. You are not allowed to bring a calculator into the test centre and will be assessed on your knowledge of algebra, geometry and arithmetic and reasoning abilities. The questions are divided into two types: problem-solving questions, where you must use logic; and data sufficiency questions, where you have to analyse a problem, choose relevant data and determine if there is enough data to solve the problem,  using your knowledge of maths. Both types of questions are intended to evaluate your mathematical reasoning abilities, and to see if you can solve quantitative problems and interpret graphs correctly.

      Master in Business administration-How can I get a high score in the GMAT?

      Practise, practise and, once again, practise some more – is the short answer.

      Tests are based on patterns, and the more you familiarise yourself with past papers, the better you will do when it comes to sitting the GMAT. If you are not an independent learner, and prefer guidance, Elab can provide you with 1-1 tuition with one of our mentors, so that you can work together, and you become familiar with the style and type of questions you will be asked and useful techniques for finding the correct answer. It has been concluded that most candidates need two or three months’ preparation time, and 120 hours or more, to be test-ready. Once you have passed the GMAT, your score is valid for five years.

      Master in Business administration-What are the fees?

      As a rule of thumb, Executive MBAs are more expensive than full and part-time MBAs, but the range of fees is still extremely broad, and is further complicated by taking into account both potential employer contributions and scholarships .

      Elab will be able to help you calculate the cost of studying for an MBA .

      And finally:

      Three reasons why you should apply to study for an MBA:

      • It will transform your professional career path and open doors to international business opportunities
      • You will earn a significantly higher salary
      • If you are a budding entrepreneur, it will show you how to set up and grow a successful business.

      If you have any questions, want further information on courses, fees or different types of MBA and where to take them, contact Elab and we will work with you to choose the right options for you.

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