Based on data by the Higher Education Ministry, there is an increase of 14.8% in students earning Master’s degrees in various fields between 2019 and 2020. The number was 16,748 and 19,229 respectively.
Some graduates decide to pursue a Masters right after completing their Bachelor, which might not be a great decision as they might be turned down for employment due to being overqualified. Others, however, prefer to explore the working world and get a stable job first, before deciding to further their studies, to acquire new knowledge and skills to progress in their respective careers. Pursuing a Master while having a 9 to 5 job is a tough challenge. However, it is not impossible to do. The answer to the title question is, yes, you can, if you have the following:
A supportive employer
According to a recent survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council, nine out of 10 employers will consider hiring a candidate with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The demand is highest in the United States and Asia Pacific. However, in Malaysia, employers tend to look at an employee’s experience and skills.
A good employer would want you to better yourself, including getting a professional qualification to add to your CV. Some companies even provide with financial aid to encourage their employees to pursue a post-graduate education. If your company does not, you might want to convey your intention to your boss and get his/her support. You never know, he/she might have your back.
Passion for what you do If you do what you love, you will love what you do. If you have an intense love affair with your career, you are always on the look-out for better opportunities, to improve yourself. The improvement can lead to advancement in your career, be it a raise or a promotion.
The approach to studying Masters is different from that of your Bachelor’s degree. While studying for a Bachelor’s degree, you were new to concepts involving the industry. You were unable to put theories to practice easily and you needed guidance. However, when studying for your Masters, you will be presented with case studies of real business situations and researches about the industry. With your working experience, you will have a better understanding of theories and are able to visualise their practicalities.
Your exposure to the industry beforehand will ease your own research throughout the programme as you already have a knowledge of the problems and challenges of the industry. The lessons you learn in class can directly be applied to your working environment. You will feel as though you are working on an extra credit assignment, instead of diving into the world of the university again.
The ability to manage time The key to this challenge is time management. You need to be able to plan your time accordingly. You need to organise you workflow. You are required to prioritise without compromising your work ethics and integrity. You need to bear in mind that you are at two places at the same time.
If you find it difficult to manage in the beginning, you will learn over time how to do it and improve as you go.
A supportive significant other (if any) The mean age for a Malaysian man at first marriage is 28, while it is 25 for a Malaysian woman, with 27 being the mean age for a first-time mother in Malaysia. Ideally, these are the ages, adults are in the working world and would want to improve themselves for the greater good, be it the good of the company or the good of the family.
If you are in a relationship, especially if you are married with children, it helps if you were to have an understanding and supportive partner, who not only encourages you to pursue your Masters, but also helps you to manage the household, including the children that you both share. By having such a partner, you would have a worry-free, stress-free journey towards completing your Masters, while juggling work and family at the same time.
On the other hand, if you are single, even better for you. You only need to worry about impressing your employer at work and completing your Masters.
Strong willpower Ultimately, even when you have all of the above, you need to believe in yourself. Even when you have your family, employer, co-workers and friends rooting for you, you are the one that needs to muster the courage to go for a Masters. You need to think of the motivation behind you taking up the challenge. The motivation is the one that will drive you towards success.
Mantissa College’s MBA program boasts a dynamic global network of more than 80,000 alumni. One recent alumnus, Harrison Jub, says, “I took the 15-month Master of Business Administration course and in the first week, I was discussing the Real Case Study with groups of working professionals from different fields. And so I was learning from real people with real problems. Thanks to the case study based learning approach I am now capable of taking up more projects because I had been exposed to a wider perspective on handling matters from my learning experience.”
Certainly, evidence attests to the tremendous value of case studies in business education. Between its focus on this learning style and many other desirable attributes, Mantissa College’s Master of Business Administration offers an invaluable inside edge for aspiring business leaders.