Before we dive into the alternatives to an MBA, it’s important to first evaluate why you wanted to do an MBA in the first place.

Many people in mid-career who are at a lost as to what their next steps could be tend to gravitate towards taking an MBA as that’s “the most obvious” option that everyone else is doing. 

I personally was at a stage in life where I wanted a change from my career. After 8 years in the luxury industry, I craved something more. Naturally, the first thing I considered was an MBA. 

As I started to research on the different types of MBAs, I realized that I didn’t want to do an MBA at all. At least not for the knowledge or accreditation of a Masters in Business Administration. 

What I was actually seeking was:

  • To grow my professional network and meet high caliber people
  • To grow as an individual by learning new skills
  • To travel
  • To find CoFounders and business partners to start a business with

I also realized that there were many drawbacks of pursuing an MBA that I wasn’t keen on risking, namely:

  • High costs
  • High time commitment
  • Loss of earning potential during time commitment

With these clear goals in mind, and understanding the cons of attending an MBA, here are 4 productive alternatives to taking an MBA that will still help you accomplish your goals, in a shorter amount of time (and that won’t set you back by a debt of $100,000).

1. Take up an internship

An internship is a great way to explore new industries and possibilities. It’s difficult to get your foot into the door when you have no experience in a new area of expertise. An internship is a low-risk way for a company to open those doors for you, while allowing you to make some income as you diversify your abilities. 

2. Travel

Travel opens your eyes up in so many new ways. When you travel alone, you force yourself to only consider what’s best for yourself. You increase your chances of talking to interesting new people. You start to truly understand your needs and values. You achieve personal growth. 

3. Start a Business

Instead of ‘learning’ about business in the academic sense through an MBA, start a business to immerse yourself in the practicalities of running a business and learn on the go. Starting a business is the quickest route to learning about operations, marketing, sales, and all the traditional subjects taught in a typical MBA, without the same heavy price tag. If the business goes well, you may even make some income while you learn. 

4. Go for a Workation

What happens if you don’t know how to start a business? Combining points 2 and 3 is an alternative known as workations. Workations are productive self-growth journeys where you learn new skills or make money while you travel to a new country. An example of an organized workation is the CoFounders Retreat, where you pick up entrepreneurial skills to start your own business and join a community of driven individuals seeking the same growth as you. Who knows, you might just meet your future business partners while on your coworkation journey. 

The CoFounders Retreat brings together 25 inspiring people from around the world, placing them in a stimulating environment and equip them with the tools to start businesses. Find out more about the CoFounders Retreat and how you can become part of the next tribe of individuals looking to disrupt the world.

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