While one often hears discussions of whether an MBA is necessary, it is a fact that the number of people seeking an MBA has risen nearly ten-fold in the past 20 years. Why are so many people striving to get an MBA? Having spoken over the past decade to 300-plus MBA aspirants, I sense that internal motivation factors for obtaining the MBA can be classified into three types:
- a desire to branch into new activities at one’s company;
- preparation for future independence; and
- self-investment for expansive growth of one’s own company.
When organizational restructuring occurs due to the development of new business, overseas expansion, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), business or project collaborations, and so on, it becomes difficult to provide superior training for each employee type, and a change must be made to conventional management and managerial position training. Given that an MBA provides training on decision making based on a systematic perspective that includes the entire firm, the MBA is an easy-to-distinguish qualifier for prospective candidate managers. Because of the need on the company’s side for a ready understanding of qualified personnel, in actual fact, it is only business schools that are in a position to provide such systematic training required for comprehensive decision-making abilities.
In Japan, the largest number of people seeking an MBA are in their 30s and 40s. Given this fact, one can imagine that in 10 years, MBA holders will be assigned to management posts. Major changes in human resources systems will mean that those who wait to get an MBA may be too late. When you have had three years of business experience, or when you have served your company for 10 years, I strongly urge you to seriously consider an MBA.