Is experience enough to climb the corporate ladder?

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Surviving and growing in the corporate world is tough. With intimidating competition and an ever-evolving economy, it is important to relentlessly refresh and update your skills and knowledge to progress in your career.

But, can that be achieved through experience alone?

To answer this, it’s important to consider the tools required to excel as a business leader. Interestingly, many of the key strengths could be considered ‘soft skills.’ While every industry needs specialist skills, adaptability and communication skills really set business leaders apart. No matter what your profession is, it is important to comprehend and internalise the basics of what makes a business tick. This knowledge will guide you in making sound decisions, while communication skills will ensure that you have the power to motivate and direct your team.

These skills can be honed both in the workplace and while studying. While many leadership qualities are learned on the job, studying rapidly develops the depth and breadth of your knowledge.

The reality is, while you may feel completely qualified to lead, you don’t know what you don’t know. A tertiary education exposes you to latest information and developments quickly and efficiently.

While it may seem daunting to study and climb the corporate ladder at the same time, most students in this position actually do better than full-time students. This is often because they are studying a subject they are truly passionate about and know how the course will set them apart in a competitive job market.

In terms of global MBA programmes, South Africa remains at the top of its game as the content is continually reviewed and regulated. While there has been a global debate on the relevance of the MBA, it remains a relevant and necessary qualification in the African and South African business context. Recent exploratory research by

Recent exploratory research by Dr Millard Arnold, the executive director of the South African Business School’s Association (SABSA) illustrates that Africa still has a shortage of MBA skills, making the degree highly relevant for our continent.

An MBA is a perfect choice for mid or senior managers looking to grow their careers, as well as industry specialists such as doctors, lawyers or even veterinarians who would like knowledge on how to grow a practice. Depending on your industry, you could also weigh up the merits of attending a university of technology versus a traditional university.

If your job requires practical skills, universities of technology offer excellent training in applied skills, while traditional university education focuses more on in-depth conceptual understanding. Both have their unique benefits.

Ultimately, a tertiary education will always benefit your career and personal growth. While it may appear a daunting prospect, if you are passionate and driven, you will find the time and support to succeed.



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Staff Reporter

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