Why more employers are financing MBAs


As the war for employee talent heats up, more and more companies are funding graduate management education for their brightest and most senior employees. The main reason for organisations taking this approach is to reduce staff turnover and strategically invest in both the employee and the company.

Today, between one-in-five and one-in-ten students at some of America’s largest business schools are studying company-funded Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. This number is rapidly increasing too, as more online study options emerging onto the global market, which allow employees to study while they work full-time.

MBAs go beyond a “quick fix” — they make businesses better

While a short business course can offer a ‘quick fix’ to those who need more leadership or management skills, completing an MBA gives students invaluable insights into a wide range of industries. This is becoming a preferred option for many companies wanting to open up business silos and improve turnover.

Many online courses also grade students on their ability to apply their knowledge to the workplace, providing an immediate and measurable return on investment for the company. The Australian Institute of Business is responding to this growing demand by offering flexible MBA options with work-applied methodology. The student can apply each module directly back to their current workplace. Developing skills and proficiency in finance, marketing, leadership, and strategic planning enables employees to do their job considerably better, which in turn benefits the business.

How much of MBA fees are subsidised by the company?

This question usually depends on the financial situation of the company and the employee in question. Some companies may choose to pay a set amount of tuition fees; others will pay a percentage of the tuition costs, or provide reimbursement on the successful completion of the degree; and some subsidise costs in increments, as the employee successfully completes course modules.

Large multi-national companies such as Apple, Google, and Starbucks regularly provide MBA scholarships to their employees. Unfortunately, this isn’t always a possibility for smaller businesses, so they may choose to pay for staff education on a case-by-case basis. If the company isn’t in a position to finance the degree, they may offer other benefits such as time off, study leave, or a flexible work schedule, particularly around exam and assignment dates.

An MBA gives employees a broad scope of business knowledge

MBA programmes give employees a generalised understanding of business, including the key elements of finance, accounting, marketing, human resources and operations management. Students can also choose to specialise their degree on a topic of great interest, or their area of professional expertise.

MBAs draw from practical case studies and teach students how to solve real business problems and improve their decision-making skills. The degree provides diverse business knowledge and teaches skills that will always be in demand, which can be taken from company to company, role to role, or even used to start a new business.

See how Chris Cowley, Managing Director Australasia at Varian Medical Systems, became a better manager after completing his MBA with the Australian Institute of Business.

Chris Cowley, Managing Director Australasia at Varian Medical Systems

Chris Cowley, Managing Director Australasia at Varian Medical Systems