Stay ahead of the career curve with this insightful webinar led by Asia School of Business (Malaysia). In his presentation, associate dean Dr. Sean Ferguson shares the latest employer perspectives in Asia as well as useful tips for professionals considering MBA studies.

Is an MBA from an Asian school worth it?

The MBA program at Asia School of Business is for professionals who are frontier-minded and who want to go where the future of business is, Dr. Sean Ferguson explains. As he and many other experts forecast, Asia is the future commercial center of the world, which makes this destination ideal for MBA studies.

Asia School of Business continues to present MBA class participants with exciting benefits to create a memorable and practical study experience for them. The institution is in the process of moving to a new campus with separate residential and academic sections.

To judge from the latest stats, MBA professionals who opt for this institution will be immersed in a truly diverse environment. Its international cohort is impressive – 65% international MBA participants from 18 different countries. Diversity is essential in every aspect – female professionals in class amount to 43%.

The value of a diverse generalist skill set in Asia

There is a lot of uncertainty in the business world today and, as Dr. Sean Ferguson points out, today’s acquired skills have a relatively short lifespan. Studies show that specialized technical skills have a lifespan as short as 18 months. This means that the generalist skill set will continue to grow in demand.

Here’s what makes a generalist skill set so attractive and valuable:

  • Employers hire for discipline skills in the early stage of careers, but professionals eventually rely on generalist skills to grow
  • Different perspectives are crucial for successfully navigating vague or uncertain situations
  • Employees with diverse skills are valuable because their roles can be dynamically adjusted
  • Professionals with analytical capabilities developed via experiences will outperform domain-specific skill development

2019 survey: Asia-Pacific employers value the MBA

But what about the post-MBA benefits of studying in Asia?

A survey recently conducted by Dr. Sean Ferguson and Asia School of Business revealed important insights about the value and reputation of the business degree in the eyes of Asia-Pacific companies. One of the major findings is that Asian schools are on par with the rest of the world – 70% of survey respondents have the same view of them as of other schools from around the world.

Employers also recognize the general nature of the MBA as different from other degrees for its ability to teach students to solve problems and think strategically.

However, the credential alone is not enough. Survey respondents highlighted that the MBA brings together experiences and classroom work for maximum impact.

Supporting previous points addressed by Dr. Ferguson in the webinar, the survey results confirmed that soft skills are essential in today’s day and age. Check out the most important soft skills for professionals with a generalist skill set outlined in the session:

  • Maturity
  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Communication and storytelling
  • Thinking strategically
  • Ambition
  • Being client-centric

Asia School of Business takes soft and hard skills to the next level by shifting the focus to a new terminology – “smart and sharp skills”. Advanced technical skills are called “sharp”, while people skills are called “smart”. By combining the two with the institution’s action learning approach, Asia School of Business develops market-ready talent.

How does action learning help you in a Covid-19 world?

Action learning provides opportunities to solve real-world problems using smart and sharp skills. MBA participants use different tools and skills to reinforce this process. This approach ensures that you know how to apply your technical skills in a practical setting.

Because action learning takes place in a multi-cultural setting across different countries in Asia, professionals also gain unique cross-cultural perspectives that position them for a global career.

Moreover, the most effective learning happens through reflection of the process and the material. This means that the school faculty members act more as coaches than as instructors. They guide you, verify your learning, and coach you on your academic and professional journey.

How to make your career change easier

As Dr. Sean Ferguson points out, professionals who pursue an MBA usually seek some type of career change. There are three types – change of industry, change of function, and change in geographic location or focus. His advice is to minimize the degree of career change you want to accomplish. Each thing that you try to change makes the subsequent job search a little bit harder.

Usually, for students who start their MBA at Asia School of Business, the change in location is already included. So, try to focus on either switching to another industry or to another function.


For more expert guidance, admissions tips, and an insightful Q&A session, watch the full webinar with Dr. Sean Ferguson, associate dean at Asia School of Business.