After a few years on the job, it is common for working professionals to hit a plateau. It can feel like one's career and skills are stagnating, but simply walking away is not an option for most. Enrolling in a Master of Business Administration program is a way to jumpstart one's career. The process of earning an MBA helps many professionals redefine their goals or reinvent their careers altogether.
In the online MBA program from the University of Northern Colorado, students take three electives in addition to nine core courses. Topics such as management, analytics and marketing are covered in the core courses. By choosing from electives focused on HR and healthcare, you can build on your current strengths or point your career in a new direction.
How Are Electives Beneficial?
Electives open up the possibility of adding to and diversifying one's skill set.
"Focusing on just one niche area can be detrimental to big-picture thinking," says Molly St. Louis, writing for Inc. "These people are at a significant disadvantage for innovation's sake because oftentimes they can't think outside their bubble or empathize with their target customers. They can't predict trends, pain points, or needs and don't have the necessary tools to motivate their workforce."
In the same article, the St. Louis tells the story of Joe McCann, who worked odd jobs and followed his curiosity, working as a DJ, stock trader, party planner and web developer. After earning a degree in philosophy, he founded NodeSource, a tech startup offering products and services used by major companies today.
Though McCann's route may have been circuitous, he picked up skills along the way that eventually led to his success in launching a tech company. Unlike McCann, however, you don't need to work odd jobs to find your passion and hone your skills; you can enroll in an MBA program to lift your career out of a slump and take electives to broaden your horizons. With UNC's online program, you can even earn the MBA in as little as one year.
What Will Electives Teach Me?
In the UNC online MBA program, students choose three electives from a list of eight courses that cover topics like business law, healthcare, talent management and others. The nine core courses and three electives add up to 36 credit hours for completion of the program.
Students sometimes take electives based on short-term thinking and immediate needs, but later in their careers, they end up wishing they had prioritized topics like leadership and organizational change, says a U.S. News & World Report article. If your focus is accounting, it can be great to take a niche course to advance your knowledge, but be sure to also consider electives that fall outside of your comfort zone. As you step into a leadership role, you will be expected to plan and execute strategies that go beyond your niche. Through your choice of electives, you can open up new opportunities or get ready for career challenges down the road.
With UNC's online MBA program, you will learn the fundamental principles of business, and you'll have a chance to take three electives that expand your skill set.
Learn more about the UNC online MBA program.
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