Latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) confirm that a degree is still the most viable option to find employment in Australia. The 2016 Census revealed that graduates with higher qualifications are the most employable group in the Australian job market, with 83% in employment. This compares to 80% who have a certificate, diploma or advanced diploma and 63% who have no qualification. Graduates also enjoy higher salaries than their counterparts, with degree holders earning on average $600 more each week than those without qualifications.
With the job market as competitive as ever, Australians are aware of the importance of lifelong learning, with 70% of respondents to a recent survey by Price Waterhouse saying they are prepared to learn new skills or to reskill. It’s clear that many have turned to postgraduate qualifications to assist, with the Census revealing a 46% increase in postgraduate qualification completions in the last five years. Across undergraduate and postgraduate level qualifications, management and commerce remained the most popular disciplines, with 2.1 million people studying in these fields (an increase of 23% from 2011).
Why the MBA is as popular as ever
Increasingly, the MBA has become a vehicle to enhance professional credentials and further develop soft skills. Leadership knowledge, emotional intelligence and a deep understanding of business principles are all facets identified by employers as key characteristics for senior positions.
The benefits of an MBA to a mid-career professional’s employability are undeniable. The debate today is focused not so much on whether professionals should upgrade to a postgraduate qualification but which provider will be the best fit for them and their career goals.
In the recent Alumni Insights Survey AIB conducted with its graduates, 81.1% believed their MBAs have helped them achieve their goals. 40% have successfully changed job functions since completing their MBAs, while 22% have completely changed industries. The MBA is also directly linked to increasing earnings, with 1 in 4 graduates receiving a salary increase while studying their MBAs - a strong indication of the value of MBAs to employers.
In addition to outcomes; delivery mode, course structure, networking opportunities and investment are all important factors. As many choose to pursue a postgraduate degree long after their undergraduate, while working full time and caring for families, the flexibility to study anywhere and anytime is a must. This is certainly the case at AIB, where 90% of students are working full-time and have at least 10 years’ work experience.
The AIB approach
AIB’s innovative Agile MBA is taking the guesswork away by providing specialised tools to help students make better choices about their MBA studies. The MBA Time-to-Study Calculator helps prospective students determine if and how they could fit MBA study into their schedules, while the Agile MBA ROI Calculator uses graduate data to calculate the potential earning capacity of the individual after graduation.
Aimed at producing graduates with highly successful careers, AIB offers a dynamic model that can respond to demands and changes in the market. AIB’s proactive approach includes interactive online classroom environments, relevant practical linkages and a 200-strong on-the-ground team to support students.
This article was written by Christine Lim on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. In addition to the above, the following sources were used to compile this article: MBA News Australia and news.com.au.