The Australian Institute of Business has made postgraduate education realistically achievable for more people by challenging the traditional entry requirements for a Master of Business Administration.
As part of its commitment to maintain its reputation as a ‘practical business school’, AIB is one of the only MBA providers in the country which does not require its students have an undergraduate degree or previous study to apply for an MBA.
AIB has instead allowed applicants to apply, without prior tertiary history, for the Graduate Certificate in Management – the first stage of the MBA – once they have five years of relevant work experience that includes at least three years in a management role or as a business owner.
AIB CEO Paul Wappett said while traditional universities require applicants to have prior higher education qualifications to be able to progress up the academic ladder, AIB recognises the value of career experience as an entry pathway.
“Our aim is to make higher education more accessible to more people, so we’re working to ensure that the safeguards which are in place to uphold quality and rigour don’t actually create artificial barriers that could discourage people from pursuing learning opportunities.
“AIB sees tremendous value in the skills, qualities, and experiences of those who have worked hard and proven themselves as people managers, strategic leaders, and experts in their field, so much so that we see this kind of experience to be a valid substitute for formal learning,” he said.
To be successful, an applicant’s business experience will be rigorously assessed to ensure it meets the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and provides the foundation knowledge for the MBA to build upon.
AIB MBA graduate Kane Ryan was one such example, having been accepted into the degree with no prior higher education, not even a year 12 certificate.
Mr Ryan started as a tool maker straight out of secondary school, completing an apprenticeship before making his way up the career ladder. After 19 years at the same company, he moved to a smaller organisation and decided to do an MBA to formalise his education.
“One of the reasons I chose to study with AIB was due to their understanding that people don’t need to have formal qualifications to have the same desire, discipline, and intelligence as everyone else starting an MBA,” Mr Ryan said.
“I have several years of management experience and am at the same stage in my career as someone who completed an undergraduate over a decade ago.”
The pathway has proven to be a success for AIB, as its program requires MBA students to have hands-on experience in order to conceptualise their learning in a practical manner and apply concepts to real-world business and workplace scenarios.