MBA Resource Article

Training for real success: Practical, powerful skills every MBA needs

By Adam Gropman

The traditional Master of Business Administration degree used to guarantee the right preparation for a successful career. These programs offered a solid grounding in general management.

But times have changed, and so have some MBA programs as they seek to ready young executives for a world that differs markedly, even from the one of just a decade ago. New developments in technology and wider social and economic trends require fresh skills and, consequently, new curriculum.

Executives must understand how to collect, use and secure huge volumes of data. Their ability to work skillfully with data can help their organizations maintain a competitive edge by enabling them to diagnose trends. This can lead to improvements in areas such as operations, human resources and, perhaps most important, sales. The ability to protect data is, of course, becoming more important as hackers, who may include other companies and even governments, look to steal trade secrets.

Utica College’s MBA program prepares the world’s next generations of managers to address the rapidly changing business environment. Students may attain their MBA degree with a specialization in cybersecurity or health care management, for example. But the school also offers modern MBA courses in leadership, financial fluency, strategy, and logistics, all strategically designed to provide an integrated the crafting of career mission statements. The university has set up this program online to make it easier for students to pursue their studies.

The end effect is students develop the ability to keep pace with trends and forge strong leadership skills. Utica College graduates are able to assimilate large amounts of information quickly, map out winning strategies and communicate what needs to be executed. Below you’ll find a few other skills that are essential for professional success, and that the Utica program addresses:

Soft skills

Top executives have the interactive skills, networking skills, or so-called soft skills, that are essential for articulating what their organizations need to do and how to achieve these goals. They understand that how you say something can be almost as important as what you say. Their communication skills enable them to consistently rally employees and other managers to an initiative and work constructively with clients.

Understanding of organizational behavior

Executives must have a wider sense of what can make their organizations successful. Utica’s Organization Development and Change course covers the increasingly important area of behavioral management. The course outlines resources managers can use to implement change and improve their firms by considering the nature of their workforces and larger themes.

Strategic thinking

The ability to think strategically can help ensure a company makes the right decisions. These decisions can relate to research and development initiatives, operational change and which markets to enter. They also can play a major role in hiring and other human resources actions that can determine a company’s direction for decades. These decisions increasingly depend on mathematical formulas, but they still require a personal touch.

Data-driven decision making

Collecting data is only the first step in making use of the wealth of information that technology makes available. Executives must understand how to analyze data. What facts will truly help them make better decisions and which ones are merely interesting. Learning how to use the data could be the key to becoming more efficient and profitable.

Financial fluency

Companies and investors measure business success on the bottom line. That requires executives to have a solid understanding of finance and accounting principles. Utica’s financial fluency courses offer students solid background in how to interpret and use financial data in their decisions. The courses consider such areas as cost structure, forecasting and budgeting.

Computer fluency

Recent advances in technology have provided multiple benefits. They have enabled companies to find better employees faster and at lower cost, improve manufacturing processes and engage consumers with remarkable precision. But the latest systems have also created challenges. MBA grads must be comfortable using technology and understanding its pros and cons.

The Utica College online MBA is generally completed in two years of part-time study and tuition costs less than $20,000, or $650 per credit, so students receive a high quality MBA at a very affordable price. Graduates leave the Utica program armed with the training and skills to advance their careers and make an immediate impact in their organization. Equally important, companies will find talented executives to help guide them in the years ahead.

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