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5 Cheaper And Smarter Alternatives To An MBA

5 Cheaper And Smarter Alternatives To An MBA

There are multiple professions that students want to pursue after completing their studies. The demand of every field is different. Some require extensive studies in one particular subject, while others involve more general skills and education.

An MBA is one of the most highly sought-after degrees. Although the cost of an MBA degree varies, a two year degree can leave one with a debt of $100,000-$200,000. Of course, when we talk about the expenditures, it is not only the tuition fee but also the accommodation cost and other peripheral expenses. You also have to take note of the opportunity cost – how much should you be earning right now, versus how much you’re not working because you’re busy pursuing your masters.

Thus, if your profession does not exclusively and specifically demand an MBA degree, we would suggest that there are much smarter alternatives available in the market that can provide you quicker and much better returns.

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If you are currently considering your various options, read on.

1. Go for a certification

In today’s world, a much better and practical approach would be to go for a certification rather than pursuing an MBA degree. There are multiple reasons for this.

First of all, the cost of completing a certification is way less than a two-year MBA degree. Also, it provides you more focused studies as compared to a general MBA program. Depending upon your field, you can choose a certification and, last but not the least, it can be completed in much lesser time than two years. This way, you can start working and increasing your cash flow.

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2. Build up your sales skills

No matter what you decide to do in your career and life and how far it apparently seems from sales, you will need amazing sales skills. From landing a job to getting promotions to dealing with clients, these are the most useful skills that you can acquire.

Instead of investing in an MBA degree which will hardly offer you few sales courses at the most, build up your sales skills through many sales training programs available in the market. You can also sharpen your skills by reading, watching videos, attending workshops or best of all practicing by getting involved in a sales related job. After all, without any sales in a company, there will be no profit.

3. Become an entrepreneur

Rather than working for someone after spending a lot of money, it would be great if you can invest it in a business instead. The earlier you start, the better it would be. Make sure that the field is something that you are sincerely passionate about, though!

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4. Work for a successful person who can become your mentor

A degree cannot teach you what an experienced person can. The real-life experiences they share can go a long way in your own success. To find a great mentor, try to look around for successful people in the industry of your interest. This can be easily done thanks to technology today. Use LinkedIn. Join professional organizations in your community and search for leadership opportunities. You can also volunteer to work for such a person, or sacrifice greater pay upfront so you can earn priceless wisdom over time.

5. Learn another language

Sound impractical? It is not. A person should have no problem achieving fluency in two years if he or she is willing to spend a few hours per day. China has become a significant force in world economy, so Mandarin can be one of the obvious choices. It can give you a huge business advantage.

So, give these alternatives a closer, deeper dive and you may end up deciding that one of these actions can take you up the success ladder more quickly than an MBA.

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Featured photo credit: Salford Business School launches unique open access online course/University of Salford Press Office via flickr.com

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Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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