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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » August 2, 2010
Education: MBA Studies
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Masters of Business
August 2, 2010   
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When the labor market gets tough, good qualifications and the prestige of being an MBA graduate become a sought-after commodity. Most of those who choose to enroll for an MBA program show a mature attitude to work and an ability to plan their careers.

MBA (Master of Business Administration) studies are a win-win situation for many professionals these days. Starting an MBA program is a wise move that is bound to pay off in the future. Employers who look for well-educated staff are keen to hire MBA graduates and to many MBA means a high professional standing and something to feel proud about.

The latest economic downturn has spared the market for MBA studies. Admittedly, the number of students has dropped by around 10 percent, but rather than falling popularity, the decline is a result of economizing efforts undertaken by companies, which normally pay for MBA studies for their staff. Still, the cuts have mainly hit less popular schools and ones that were established in the past several years. Over the past year, two new MBA programs have been launched at schools in Warsaw and Poznań and six programs have been discontinued. The Polish market for MBA studies has thus shrunk by 7 percent, which shows that providers of MBA studies have survived the economic downturn more or less intact.

Those wanting to start MBA studies in Poland can choose between 52 MBA programs, most of which are available at schools in Warsaw, Cracow, Poznań and Wrocław. In total, MBA programs are available in 14 Polish cities. The most popular MBA studies are four-semester programs conducted in Polish and English.

MBA studies are a considerable investment in Poland and cost zl.32,000 on average, ranging from zl.6,200 for the cheapest programs to zl.100,000 for the most expensive ones. The most expensive programs are taught in English with some of the classes held abroad. The cheapest programs only encompass two semesters in Polish with classes taught by Polish teachers and no contribution from foreign schools.

As far as the number of available MBA programs is concerned, Warsaw tops the statistics, at 20; it is where some of the most expensive MBA programs in Poland are offered. MBA studies in Warsaw cost roughly zl.10,000 more than the national average, which is only natural given that Warsaw is Poland’s most expensive city to live and study in. Schools in Cracow offer seven MBA programs that cost around zl.26,000 on average, while students in Poznań can choose from five programs priced around zl.27,000 on average.

The investment is worthwhile, because MBA studies offer far much more than just lectures. Students do not have to memorize rules and instead they learn from real-life situations and analyze case studies to learn how to solve problems they may encounter in their jobs. MBA programs give a practical angle to economic questions, teaching students how to solve a given problem using more than just theory. Teamwork, case studies and data analysis and processing are at the core of MBA programs. Classes employ unconventional teaching methods such as virtual discussion groups, managerial workshops and videoconferencing. Some of the most intriguing teaching tools include strategic computer simulations that allow students to put their newly acquired skills to the test.

A typical MBA program comprises management accounting, corporate finance management, statistics, logistics management, strategic management, marketing and economics. The programs are also commonly supplemented with classes in ethics, business psychology and human resources management.

MBA studies are designed for people with a mature attitude to work who have clear-cut goals and a distinct idea of their future career. The studies are only available to holders of master’s degrees, which means high-school education is insufficient to complete an MBA program. This is a crucial rule and the prerequisite for MBA studies to retain the prestige and exclusivity associated with them. Candidates for MBA studies also need to have at least two years of work experience. MBA does not stand for just another postgraduate course. Such studies are for those who work, because rather than textbook knowledge, case studies most of all require work experience. MBA students are people with professional experience who get to solve problems and make decisions on an everyday basis. In MBA programs, they become partners in a discussion, learning from their teachers as well as from one another.

In order to be admitted to an MBA program, students also need to have the right predisposition. Candidates have to possess what it takes to be a good manager and that includes interpersonal skills to manage other people along with the ability to set goals for oneself and come up with new projects. Some schools run psychological tests to assess the interpersonal and managerial skills of candidates.

In Poland, over 1,000 people complete MBA studies every year.
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