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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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Last Updated on November 19, 2018

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

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1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

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3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

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5. Failure is often the best way to learn

I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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