Are you interested in pursuing an MBA but unsure if you meet the right criteria? Is professional experience and a business background required to access the programme? We explore some of the general requirements and eligibility candidates need to study an MBA including what kind of degree and work experience you require.
Do you need a business degree to get an MBA?
First of all, an undergraduate degree is normally a requirement to pursue an MBA, however, it does not have to be business-related. You may be surprised by how many students with an MBA actually do not have a bachelor in a business field. In fact, many industries are actually keen on hiring graduates with an MBA in a specialized area. The programme enables students to master management skills and business decision making and apply those in their chosen field. You can read more about studying an MBA without a business degree here.
How many years of work experience do I need?
Generally speaking, professional experience is among the standard MBA requirements. The reason is that students refer to their past experience and to their fellow classmates’ experience in order to apply what they are learning. The average work experience that universities and business schools ask of candidates is three years or above. However, some MBA programmes might accept students with less or no professional experience.
What kind of experience is best?
MBA programmes are distinctive because of the varied work experience of their candidates. In fact, MBA classes are very diverse. They could be composed of consultants and accountants but also engineers, for example. That said, admission departments are interested in whether you have been challenged in your previous experience or not, how you overcame those challenges and what skills you mastered whilst working. They are also interested overall in how you performed for and contributed to the company.
It is important to mention that experience does not have to come only from the workplace. Out of work activities are also great to showcase some of your skills, from hobbies to volunteer programmes. All of these can show that you can create an impact and demonstrate initiative.
If you already have business knowledge, great! An MBA might be the right programme for you if you are looking to advance your career. However, if you do not come from a business background, do not get discouraged, there is space for diversity!
Alternatively, if you don’t have much work experience, here’s an article on the best MBAs in Europe without much work experience.
Interested to know more? You may find the following resources useful, or you can contact us for a free personalised consultation about what programme is a good fit for you.