Many MBA graduates come from a non-business background. Professionals with science, technology, engineering degrees and beyond choose an MBA to advance their careers. But while a bachelor’s degree is the main entry requirement, there are a few other key admissions criteria to bear in mind.
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An MBA is designed to give you practical skills in management and leadership across a range of business subjects. It’s perfect if you want to accelerate your career, become more specialized or fast-track an increase in your salary. But what if you don’t have a background in business in any shape or form?
Changing Needs of Corporate World
You don’t have to worry if you don’t have a business degree or business background. It’s not an entry requirement and won’t hold you back from getting your MBA. The world is not divided into specific skills anymore. You’re going to be expected to have expertise in various areas.
Earning a Master’s of Business Administration will mean you can merge your background with business know-how. Having an understanding of finance, marketing and other core business functions will also help you become well equipped to lead others in your field.
Because of this, many schools are offering dual degrees or MBAs that simultaneously incorporate specific backgrounds in the programme. These degrees will let you blend industries like medicine, law or engineering – combining specific technical skills with general MBA knowledge. Whatever type of MBA programme you choose to pursue, you'll train your critical thinking which is in demand no matter what sector you'll work in.
Benefits of coming from a non-business background
Pursuing an MBA degree without a bachelor’s degree in business also gives you a number of benefits. For one, business schools like enrolling non-business degree students because it makes a class more diverse. Diversity is always important in an MBA cohort. And it benefits both you and your other classmates. You’ll get to give ideas and insight from your expertise and you get to hear theirs too.
There are also a lot of industries in need of leadership talent from non-business backgrounds. A lot of companies in specialised fields such as Engineering, Technology, and Medical Research even prefer to hire non-business majors because of the larger worldview they can bring to the table.
To get ahead in the game, you can always try to build a foundation in business before you start your MBA. Without these basic skills, you might struggle to catch up with your peers. It’s not that hard to do, either. Some schools that offer MBAs also have preparatory courses available.
Entry requirements for an MBA
MBA requirements will differ depending on the programme. But you can expect to come across a similar set of entry requirements and criteria during your research. These include:
- Bachelor’s degree from a recognised university
- Around 3 years of relevant working experience
- Proof of English proficiency
Other documents like a copy of your CV, employer letters of recommendation and a letter of motivation will need to be sent as well.
You might also be asked to provide a GMAT score. However, not all MBAs require GMAT. You can find out more about the business exam here. Still, in short, not every business school uses the GMAT for admissions decisions. It's about your overall profile and experience as a candidate. Plus, what you can bring to the mix in the classroom, that is just as important.
Succeed without a business degree
Now that you know you have every chance of success at an MBA degree without a business background, give more thought to the area in which you’d like to specialise. Most MBA’s will give you the option to do research, an internship or a real-world consultancy project for a company.
Where do you see yourself, or what problems are you passionate about solving? List them down and start looking for the schools that will give you the opportunities you seek. With so many combinations of MBA programmes available today, you’re sure to find the right place for you.
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