Why do an MBA now?

Strathclyde Business School aims to meet the growing demands of the economy through knowledge, paving the future of graduates in up and coming sectors

By Professor David Mackay

Published: Wed 21 Apr 2021, 7:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 21 Apr 2021, 9:15 AM

Now, more than ever, is a good time to do an MBA. During disrupted times, leadership capabilities are required to set a vision, deal with complexities and help colleagues navigate through the fog. We need people who are confident in dealing with difficult situations. At Strathclyde Business School Dubai, the MBA builds your capabilities and confidence in decision-making in these conditions.  

We have seen many people over the past year turn businesses around and create new opportunities to face the challenges Covid-19 has brought - and what the MBA does is it allows you to see the whole picture and react accordingly. The MBA gives you the confidence to drive effective adaption when others are freezing in the face of new challenges. I would say there's never been a better time to extract immediate value from an MBA.  

At our new MBA centre in Dubai Knowledge Park, we have enabled our students to gain a new network of associates - both MBA peers and Strathclyde alumni who are all addressing the Covid-19 circumstances in different industries - peer learning is an important part of our MBA. Growing your professional network of high calibre peers powers up your options and potential to respond effectively and swiftly in a crisis.  

It is very easy to find leaders and managers in organisations who agree that learning is crucial for employees; what's more interesting is when you ask them, how are you investing in your own learning? Leaders should really ask themselves: what do I need, what would help me to improve my personal effectiveness? For many, the answer to that lies with the MBA - and right now is when the value of an MBA comes to the fore.  

In the UAE in particular, major progress in digital transformation has allowed the country to adapt to the circumstances of the pandemic. Based on the World Economic Forum's Index on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the UAE has made major progress in recent years and now ranks among the top 15 countries in the world. The UAE National Innovation Strategy resonates strongly at Strathclyde Business School, as we aim to meet the growing demands of the economy through our knowledge and paving the future of graduates in these sectors. 

In my opinion, there's not much more you could do than to upskill to face this crisis head-on. It's incumbent on us MBA providers to keep developing it, to innovate what we offer so our students are business literate in the right ways and to ensure the MBA is of value - in the current climate, areas such as innovation, digital transformation and sustainability are more important than ever and these are themes which run through our MBA along with our specific functional areas such as marketing, finance, and 'strategic consulting in practice', where our students would solve strategic issues presented by a client organisation.  

This year, we have introduced new electives at our Dubai centre. Dubai is expanding its footprint locally through the introduction of international branch campuses. This is to meet the growing demand of rapid advancements in the region, which requires a high calibre education hub. Our electives aim to deal with the current Covid-19 crisis, for instance 'scenario planning for global challenges'; and ensure all routes of our MBA are still receiving the MBA experience they would expect from Strathclyde Business School Dubai.  

David Mackay is a Professor of Strategy and Academic Director of the MBA at the University of Strathclyde Business School. Previously, he has been an owner/director in a successful consultancy start-up and held production engineering and department management roles in Procter and Gamble's Product Supply division.  

"The Strathclyde MBA learning journey is a mental game-changer, applicable to personal and professional life. Coming from the tourism and ports industries, the comprehensive MBA programme equipped me with the fundamental knowledge and tools needed to navigate management with an intensive focus on strategy. I am definitely more of a critical thinker, and confident with enhanced leadership skills. I would definitely recommend the MBA programme, a life-changing experience offering exceptional education at a reasonable price, that still ranks competitively against the best in the world." 

Mays Khaled Abed Al Hadi Strathclyde Business School Alumni  

"Dubai has developed into a thriving knowledge hub, meeting the ever-growing demands for advanced learning and development. Delivering excellence is at the heart of everything we do at Strathclyde Business School, and leading the centre since its opening in Dubai Knowledge Park has been a tremendous honour, and knowing that through our values and ambitions, we are contributing to the growth of our community-based in Dubai. As the markets in the region evolve and adapt, having specialists leveraging the high-quality education we deliver in the UK, that are able to re-evaluate the environment, strategising with flexibility, innovation and confidence offer tangible benefit. The Strathclyde MBA stands out with real-life business case studies and practical applications as well as direct collaboration with cohorts, academics and industry." 

Abigail Davenport Strathclyde Business School Dubai Centre Manager 

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