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4 things Construction Professionals should consider before they study for an MBA

Thami Mthethwa 23/05/2016 20Interviews, The Hard Hat Professional Says

study mba

An MBA degree is a good degree to have but it is no guarantee of future success especially for Construction Professionals.

If you are a Construction Professional and you intend studying for an MBA consider the following 4 things:

1. You need a minimum of 5 years working experience

Yes this is not a requirement from some educational institutions offering MBA programs but consider this:

  • Studying an MBA too early in your career might turn off potential employers because the impression you are giving is that you are not focused on your current job instead you are in a hurry to get a management role before you even learn the basics of your career. In other words you want to walk before you learn to crawl.

2. You must be in a management role when studying for MBA

  • You need to study relevantly i.e. when consider studying further you really have to consider a course that will be immediately helpful to your career i.e. whatever you decide to study must be implementable immediately not in a few years down the line.
  • Your MBA studying will be more useful to you if you can immediately implement what you learn in your studies therefore first get into a management role before studying for your MBA not the other way around

3. Technical experience more important at early stages in your career in the built environment

  • MBA stands for Masters in Business Administration when you start a career in the built environment your career is not about Business Administration it does come in but only later in your career you will therefore be better off ensuring that you learn as much as you can about the basics of your chosen field before considering going into business administration .
  • To be a good manager in the built environment you need to empower yourself with technical knowledge about your current career because understanding the basics is a sure way to success in your career in the built environment

4. Management roles in the built environment require a technical knowledge

  • Management roles in the built environment require a good grasp of technical knowledge in fact that is more important than management experience because in most cases you can learn to be a good manager on the job, you are therefore better off ensuring your technical knowledge is on point in order to advance in the built environment.

An MBA not your only way to the top and it also does not guarantee you success in your career in the built environment but if that is your chosen path you are therefore advised to remember that you need to crawl before you walk otherwise your MBA qualification will not help you advance your career. You must first get your hands dirty.




  • Avatar for Thami MthethwaReplyPhilani

    Hi Thami

    Your post are eye opener,i follow them almost everyday.
    Please keep posting some of use are getting help.


  • Avatar for Thami MthethwaReplyMad

    I fully agree with you Thami. My personal opinion is that after undergrad you need to have at least 2 years work experience before proceeding to Masters!

  • Avatar for Thami MthethwaReplyPATRICK GEORGE

    thus kind of advice we looking for thanks man ..tell me dose any one knows how to apply for a diploma when u doing N6 COURSE in civil engineering I have done 15 months on site

  • Avatar for Thami MthethwaReplyAnele

    Would you advise me to do masters in project management as I’m working as a project manager rather than MBA?

    • Avatar for Thami MthethwaReplyThami Mthethwa author

      An Anele I don’t know your circumstances or your background but as I mentioned in the article you must make sure whatever it is you are planning to study must be relevant to your current work and will benefit you immediately

  • Avatar for Thami MthethwaReplyNkosinathi Shozi

    Wow good staff, I have always asking myself what to study now between project management, MBA and Masters Degree and I can tell you that I have the answer already since I started to follow this article.

  • Avatar for Thami MthethwaReplyNomzamo Mlungu

    I’m not sure if it’s necessarily true that you must be in management already by the time you embark on an MBA. A lot of us pursued an MBA because we had reached a ceiling in our careers hence it became the obvious ption to catapult our careers forward. And it has been a success recipe for some and for others it can take up to 3 years to realize the fruits of your MBA investment. You must also remember that the MBA is not so much about subject matter content but rather you are given tools that enable one to operate at an executive level. So the skills you acquire can’t expire as you can start utilizing them in your current role even if you are not in senior management. I agree 100% on gaining practical experience prior to the MBA as it improves your understanding of the academic concepts as you can use your experiences as reference points. And also the classroom environment at MBA level is very interactive and the richness of the experience comes from everyone sharing their experiences.

    Thanks for article though. It certainly has stimulated debate on the subject and has created awareness for people who had not thought that far in terms of their career development.

    Big ups

    • Avatar for Thami MthethwaReplyThami Mthethwa author

      Hi Nomzamo when you are a Construction Professional after 5 years of work experience you are already in management whether your title says so or not in one way or the other you should be managing something and that is what I am referring to.

  • Avatar for Thami MthethwaReplySam Masemola

    Hi Thami . Very insightful article and food for thought. MBA doesn’t guarantee a top role is just a means. Also in today ever changing circumstance a masters in one field of speciality is more relevant than an MBA.

    Thank you and keep posting the articles,

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