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5 key skills you develop in an Online MBA to help “future-proof” your career

Categories: Education

When considering an online MBA, you compare the advantages and disadvantages of studying online versus on-campus. One of the primary concerns mentioned by prospective students is employers’ perception of an online degree. While some employers may have, historically, questioned the value of an online MBA qualification, they are increasingly realizing that an online MBA not only provides students with the same value as an on-campus program but it also better prepares them for the digital workforce.

As a result, many well-respected business schools and universities now offer accredited online MBA programs next to their on-campus programs.

Successfully completing your MBA is in itself an asset to employers. However, completing an online MBA helps you to more strongly develop skills which are highly valued in the workplace. For example, time management, self-motivation and self-discipline; and also the ability to work with virtual teams spread across the world.

According to the Financial Times article, the skills developed during an online MBA align with What top employers want most from MBA Graduates (i.e. the ability to work in a team, the ability to work with a wide variety of people, and the ability to build, sustain and expand a network of people) and are specifically developed through Maastricht School of Management’s (MSM) multicultural Online MBA experience.

Here is a more detailed look at the five key skills developed during an online MBA that has been highlighted by employers as particularly important for today’s ever-evolving workplace.

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1. Time management

If you google ‘online MBA and time management’, you will find a vast array of articles on tips for managing your time. In order to be successful, you will need to learn how to prioritize your tasks and time in an efficient manner.

Although you have the flexibility of doing the learning according to your own schedule, you do not have the luxury of falling behind. Time is valuable, and you soon realize how precious time actually is when you start combining work, family and social life with your online MBA studies.

One of the greatest skills you will learn during your online MBA is how to manage your time carefully and productively to be able to juggle the daily challenges of life with studies – a great asset not only for finalizing your online MBA studies but also to manage the daily workload in your job. This skill is not only valuable to potential employers but is also a good investment in yourself.

2. Self-discipline

Time management and self-discipline come hand-in-hand. The fact that you can stay focused and motivated in your studies, even while working, is highly valued by an employer. The fact of the matter is that when you are studying online, procrastination is not an option and you won’t have the physical triggers around you as you would on campus.

For an employer, self-discipline is an extremely valued skill since it is paired with responsibility, hard work, and drive – all skills which are extremely important in the digitized workforce.

3. Finding your internal motivators

People are externally and internally motivated. Extrinsic motivators include competition, society, money, fame, and recognition. Whereas intrinsic motivators, which have been shown to be longer-lasting and self-sustaining, focus on self-satisfaction, personal achievement, and passion.

To complete an online MBA successfully, self-discipline and time management are essential and feel less like punishment when the student is internally motivated. In order to complete an online MBA, you will need to figure out what drives you from within (e.g. personal achievements). This is different from the on-campus MBA, when you are physically surrounded by others, you may instead find motivation through external means (e.g. competition, another classmate motivating you, or because of some group dynamic.). None of these external factors will last and so you’ll need to learn how to rely on your own internal motivation to be successful. Hence making the online MBA the ideal choice when it comes to learning how to keep yourself motivated from within because that’s the only motivation that will keep you going when the going gets tough.

Also don’t forget finding out what motivates you intrinsically also results in being happier and more motivated at work, and in life. Studies have shown that people working from internal motivators are more successful because they have more energy, concentration and have a lower chance of burn-out.

4. Virtual teamwork

Harvard Business Review, The World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs” and Deloitte’s Digital Workplace report confirm that while virtual teamwork has already begun it will become an even greater reality in the very near future. The World Economic Forum recently reported that working remotely (also called telecommuting, telework or working from home) is “one of the biggest drivers of transformation in the workplace.”

The development of technology has allowed online MBA programs to incorporate teamwork and group assignments in the program through a virtual environment. For example, at MSM, the Online MBA helps students develop their ability to work in virtual teams through a constant sharing of opinions and interactions on the online platform.

Having an online MBA will be extremely valuable for employers, as they will have the assurance that you know how to work in a virtual environment with people from all around the world.

5. Multicultural diversity

The online MBA breaks down barriers of time, distance and financial constraints, allowing highly skilled people from all backgrounds and nationalities to enter the online classroom.

In the past, online studies were associated with solitary confinement, without ever knowing your fellow classmates. Today, with the rise of technology, studying online can be a highly multicultural and connected experience where you virtually network and exchange opinions with people from all over the world.

The MSM Online MBA is a highly multicultural and connected experience where you network online and discuss opinions with people coming from all over the world. This combination of virtual and multicultural teamwork is extremely important.

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Last but not least

So there you have it, an Online MBA, will help you grow your network, better manage your time, increase self-discipline, help you find your internal motivators, give you the skills to work remotely in an international diverse team and grow your knowledge of business. You’ll definitely want to check out MSM’s Online MBA program as it has been ranked the 4th best Online MBA in the world and the best Online MBA in the Netherlands by CEO Magazine.