New year, new career: an MBA for change

Jim Whalley

Jim Whalley

The New Year means a fresh start and new resolutions, with many people focusing their 2021 goals on health, relationships, money, and careers.

For those making career resolutions, a vast majority may be considering whether the time is right for a complete career upheaval, often turning to further studies to help facilitate this pivot.

A late 2019 report by Indeed found that 49% of professionals had already undertaken a drastic career change during their lifetime. The most common reasons for changing careers included higher earning potential, a need for greater challenges, or further opportunities to grow and develop. 
And whilst many people attribute millennials as being notorious job hoppers, the most common age for career shifters is 39 years old, the mid-career point for many professionals, signalling widespread career fatigue and potentially greater financial stability to support a career change.

Much like Rome wasn’t built in a day, a career change isn’t done overnight, the report finding it takes on average 11 months for a person to make a career change, seeking to move into an industry where their skills can be easily transferred. 

This is one of the many reasons people decide to undertake an MBA. With the average age of applicants in our Adelaide MBA program, sitting at 36 years of age, an MBA is an excellent tool to facilitate a complete career pivot. Below we explore the top 3 ways in which an MBA can help you transform your career and take the leap into a new one.

Broad business upskilling  

An MBA, at its core, is a general management degree which facilitates a broad understanding of a range of business functions. By studying an MBA, you will be able to upskill in areas such as accounting and finance, marketing, management and economics allowing you to transfer these new founds skills to limitless industries and roles.
Adelaide MBA graduate Jon Conti started his MBA with a technical background in geology. Throughout his studies, Jon developed his leadership ability and gained a greater understanding of project finance and management, using these new skills to step into an operations role within his organisation. 

Professional networks

Perhaps the most integral part of an MBA qualification are the networks gained throughout your studies. In the Adelaide MBA, entry requirements stipulate at least 2 years of professional experience, facilitating a unique learning environment enriched with opportunities to network with aspiring business leaders. These networks will allow you to connect with other people in a range of roles and industries, and as many of us know in business, it’s often not about what you know but who you know, that can lead the way to further opportunities. 

Transitioning from Tax Accountant to Entrepreneur, Mercy Oloo used her networks from the Adelaide MBA to launch digital marketplace HRU Global, with fellow MBA graduate Letisia Odeke.  

Exposure to industry 

As part of your studies, you will be exposed to further industries through your teachers, 100% of whom are industry-engaged individuals. Your teachers are able to guide and support you through your studies and career change, giving you insider knowledge gained from years of experience. As part of your studies, you will also complete a capstone course – the social enterprise project which can be a great launch pad into a new role or career. You can choose to undertake a business project in an industry you are looking to break into, or even start up your own business as part of the course, guided by academics and business mentors along with way.

It was this capstone course that saw fighter pilot Jim Whalley, created the foundations for what is now known as Nova Systems, a multi-million dollar professional services provider, specialising in the provision of engineering and management services in defence. Now Chief Entrepreneur for South Australia, Jim credits the MBA as being pivotal in his business success.
Whether you are looking to change role function or jump industries all together, the broad transferable skills and networks gained from the Adelaide MBA will set you up for career change success. If you are interested in staring your MBA journey, or would like to chat about your career aspirations and how further study can support this, get in touch with our Adelaide MBA team.

Tagged in MBA, Student experience, Alumni


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