Are You Ready For An MBA?

Prof Dr Osman Mohamad, Dean of the Graduate School of Management, Multimedia University explains the differences between a conventional and executive MBA and how to choose the right one for your future.
Prof Dr Osman Mohamad
Dean of the Graduate School of Management

Are you a fast-track career-minded executive who wants to climb the corporate ladder as quickly as possible? Or rather just a more laid-back individual who’s willing to wait awhile for job advancement?

Whichever the answer might be, the fact is job advancement is a crucial point for anyone who holds a job for increased rewards and, the higher the coveted position, the bigger the payoff for advancement.

When it comes to promotion criteria, few things beat work performance and experience. Yet, if all else is equal, employers nowadays are increasingly paying attention to employees holding a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Dean of the Graduate School of Management at Multimedia University (MMU), Prof Dr Osman Mohamad explains why MBA holders are gaining attention. ‘When you are able to complete a course at the Master’s degree level, especially while maintaining your job, it really speaks volumes about your abilities. Certainly your academic skills would be considered respectable, but your management abilities even more so.’

‘Academic skills, especially at the postgraduate level, are a good indicator of your thinking and processing capabilities,’ he explained. ‘Then, there is the syllabus itself. It is quite exhaustive, not only in terms of breadth of scope that is covered, but also the depth of study expected for each subject. Unlike your first degree, where general understanding of the subject matter would be acceptable, in an MBA course you would be expected to explain how concepts are specifically applied to your organisation.’

Choosing the right MBA

In the quest to offer executives more options for remaining competitive in today’s market, universities such as MMU have deployed two ways for working graduates to climb up the corporate ladder more rapidly, more effectively, and at less expense. They can now choose different offerings of MBA programmes: the normal MBA programme or an Executive MBA (EMBA) programme. 

Both methods were developed to equip current and future employees on core management knowledge through the creation and delivery of information, communication, and training from its comprehensive syllabus. 

Content wise, the programmes are quite similar but, the difference lies in its focus. The content of both the MBA and Executive MBA syllabi make them relevant for employees in most industries, ranging from knowledge-based industries, to more traditional ones such as manufacturing, agriculture and others. 

MBA programmes are designed to be convenient for working adults where the classes will not interrupt their regular work routine. Depending on the course, they only need to attend either full-day classes on weekends or after work hours on weekdays. For both programmes, students have the option of doing the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at a later stage.


The standard MBA programme is most suitable for fresh graduates who want to give their careers a head start. On the other hand, intermediate or senior executives seeking to either advance their careers, or gain a better understanding of the market would be better suited for the Executive MBA programme. This programme requires working experience as one of its entry requirement as it is a fast-track one-year programme specially designed for the working executives.