Your ‘Career Passport’: The MBA Skills You’ll Use In The Future, No Matter Your Industry

    University of Queensland MBA To Address Pandemic Response Ideas With Free Program
    UQ Business School MBA Director Dr Nicole Hartley.

    With new research showing 40 per cent of the global workforce is thinking about changing their jobs*, the MBA is emerging as a valuable qualification because of its ability to equip professionals with versatile skills.

    The pandemic has caused massive disruption in the business world, and the MBA provides an opportunity for professionals to upgrade and broaden their capabilities while adapting to changing environments.

    MBA News spoke to The University of Queensland (UQ) MBA Director Associate Professor Nicole Hartley and UQ Business School Professor Matthew Hornsey about the skills MBA graduates benefit from, no matter where their career takes them.

    1. Leadership

    Professor Hornsey said an MBA is “an amazing opportunity” for people to reimagine their careers.

    “I think of leadership skills as being like a career passport,” he said.

    “People with the passport are the ones that can smash through the career ceiling within their sector and demonstrate to the people around them that they are ready for that more senior role.

    “People with that passport are also best able to pivot across sectors and across industries with flexibility and freedom. That’s one reason we prioritise leadership skills in the UQ MBA.”

    Professor Hornsey said developing leadership skills was a great way for people to futureproof their career.

    “Leadership is never going to go out of fashion,” he said. “Leadership is one of those things you can’t outsource, and it’s not going to be replaced by artificial intelligence.

    “Great leadership is always going to be one of the most sought-after qualities in the corporate sector.

    “There comes a point when career progression and career success is going to be synonymous with the extent to which professionals can demonstrate leadership skills.”

    2. Collaboration

    Associate Professor Hartley said business collaboration and leveraging internal and external connections would continue to be a key skill in the future.

    “Ways of collaborating continue to evolve as new opportunities increase the connectivity happening within work environments,” Dr Hartley said.

    “There are now hybrid teams, high-performance teams, remote teams and all of these different ways of working.

    “However, the way in which collaboration and communication occurs in those teams is critically important to achieve best business outcomes.

    “Collaborative leaders can energise teams, release creativity and cultivate positive work environments. That’s what we want for the leaders coming out of our MBA programs.

    “And that’s why the UQ MBA program provides students with ample opportunities to work together in various team environments – to test and develop their collaboration and communication skills.”

    3. Self-awareness 

    Professor Hornsey said there was a direct correlation between being self-aware and being an effective leader.

     “In the UQ MBA, we put a lot of time into helping people understand their strengths, weaknesses, motivations, biases and hot buttons.

    “Understanding your strengths helps you to be bold. Understanding your weaknesses helps you hedge against them.

    “Understanding your hot buttons helps you be more in control of yourself in the workplace and helps you resist being manipulated by others.

    “Self-awareness is a skill you can always carry around with you. It doesn’t matter what stage of your career you are in, you can always draw on this skill to your advantage and it will give you confidence going forward.”

    Associate Professor Hartley and Professor Matthew Hornsey make the case that the UQ MBA can “broaden your tool kit”, allowing people to diversify into other organisations or completely new industries. But these skills are also just as important for professionals hoping to move up the ladder, start their own business or land their first board position.

    No matter what your next step is or what industry you work in, developing these three key MBA skills will be invaluable to you in the future.

    The next round of applications for the UQ MBA close on 31 May 2022. Attend an information webinar or visit the website to find out more.


    Doug Estwick
    Doug is an author for MBA News and Fixed Income News Australia. Doug has been a media and communications professional for more than 10 years, including working as an editor for News Corp's Quest Newspaper group.