Is An MBA Worthwhile When Working in Digital?

In this modern age, one might be asking if a traditional Master of Business Administration – or indeed any traditional masters course – is a worthwhile endeavour. As things move increasingly towards the digital, and factors like remote or temporary contract workers become more and more prevalent, are the skills and techniques taught by universities actually worthwhile?

Short answer, Yes.

And the reason probably shouldn’t surprise you. To start, remote workers and temporary contract workers aren’t actually anything new. In fact, many major businesses have been engaging in this situation for decades already. Literally, any business that has offices around the world, or that makes use of offshore employment agencies has already worked with the same limitations, issues and solutions as modern remote work – which means that most modern MBAs already teach skills and business models that cater for these “new” conditions.

The same can be said about the short-term gig economy, online competition and online sales. Most of these factors have been around since the early nineties, the only “new” thing about them is that a number of businesses that merely had the choice to deal with these issues before now must make active choices on how to work with or around them. Yes, consumer, worker and employer needs have changed, and so have their expectations, but the core issues are still the exact same ones that have been experienced before. The exact same ones that traditional education has been successfully addressing and training new administrators in for decades. So the short answer? Yes, absolutely.

What Else Does It Offer?

But for a slightly longer answer, not only has the digital age not diminished the value of an MBA, but in some regards it has actually increased it. The expected salary in Australia for someone with an MBA has increased significantly, well above Australian averages. With a range of benefits including increasing chances at promotion, leadership, and better preparing you personally to take over any administrative element of any business – including one you might choose to start yourself. If nothing else, an MBA increases your existing skillset and adds new and up-to-date information about the industry and industry practices, and a crash course in those could be worth an MBA in their own right.

But will an MBA still be valuable in the future?

Again, the short answer is yes. Although no one can predict the future, it’s a fairly safe bet that even as the world increases in matters of automation and AI application, there will still be a role for humans in many areas. The main areas that humans will dominate will be in jobs that require human-to-human interaction – and that is exactly the kind of role that an MBA is catered towards. While some elements of the job can be made easier with AI, we need to remember that Artificial Intelligence can, at best, only imitate past human achievement – and it is terrible at fact-checking. To go further, beyond, or just to accurately gauge factors like human performance, a metric developed or run by an AI is insufficient, and an imitating AI can never take over the role of an effective manager, capable of much more than mere imitation.

On top of that, although a lot can be said about human corruption, a lot more can be said about programming viruses and data corruption. At the end of the day, humans are more robust, capable, and discerning than any artificial intelligence, meaning that in the world of administration automation and AI serve the administrator, not the other way around. And that means that in terms of job security, business administration is one of the higher-paying and more secure options around.

So take your time, and think about it, but know that the answer to your questions about an MBA’s value is a resounding yes. All you need to figure out is which MBA is most right for you.