As individuals look for inventive ways to ride out the coronavirus-induced economic downturn and stay occupied with their new pockets of free time, many are angling to go back to school. As a matter of fact, various prestigious business schools have seen a record high of double-digit percentage growth for Master of Business Administration (MBA) applications in 2020. This prompts people to wonder whether attending a top graduate business school will set them up for career success and if they have the right reasons to pursue an MBA.  To provide deeper insights into the programme, The 5W’s of MBA will expound on the What, Who, Why, When, and Where factors of MBA.


You may have been hearing about the MBA abbreviation for the longest time but not entirely sure what MBA or Master of Business Administration in its longer form offers as a postgraduate degree programme.

Most MBA programmes include a core curriculum of subjects, such as accounting, economics and marketing, and elective courses that allow participants to develop their own personal or professional interests. On top of the module offerings, the MBA programme class environment should also include an interactive classroom experience with extensive opportunities for dialogues and conversations to hone individuals’ networking and communication skills.


Pursuing the Master of Business Administration (MBA) can open new career paths for most ambitious graduates. The question boils down to who is recommended to do the MBA, who requires it, and who is eligible.

Who is recommended?
Anyone looking to get a leapfrog ahead of their peers can consider furthering their education after graduating with a first degree. Notably, an MBA survey reveals a
higher inclination of MBA take-ups when graduation occurs during tough times to improve career opportunities.

Who requires it?

Other than the business industry, those pursuing a managerial career in the public sector, government, private sector, and other areas can also apply for an MBA. Thus, contrary to most assumptions that MBA is beneficial to only the professionals in the banking, finance and business industries, it is open to all interested in climbing the corporate ladder in management or aspiring to sharpen their managerial skillsets.

Who is eligible?

Most MBAs will have a set of entry requirements to ensure a healthy mix of student profiles for the programme intake. Some of the standard prerequisites include the following:

  1. A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with 2 years of relevant working experience;
    or matured applicants who have years of relevant working experience
  2. English Language Requirements:
    • Applicants with a degree that was not completed in English must have a minimum IELTS of 7.0 overall with no less than 6.5 in any band or equivalent.
  3. Some professional qualifications in Singapore may be eligible for certain module exemptions subjected to the university’s terms and conditions:
    • Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA)
    • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
    • CA (Chartered Accountant)
    • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
    • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
    • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  4.  An interview with the MBA Programme Director


    The most common reason for enrolling into MBA is to pick up or refine management skills and knowledge. Other motivating factors include enhancing marketability as a professional for career progression, increasing the quality and quantity of job opportunities and honing communications skills via networking and teamwork (Refer to Infographic 1).

      Common Reasons for MBA Applications

      Infographic 1: Common Reasons for MBA Applications



      There are no exact answers to when an individual should take an MBA. In general, most would enrol after a few years of working experience due to the following factors:

      • Requirement for leadership experience from most universities
      • A better understanding of the information presented in the courses

      However, there are also a few other scenarios, such as fresh graduates or those thinking of a mid-career switch.

       For fresh graduates, here are some benefits to taking the MBA early:

      • They believe the achievement of an MBA can be advantageous to their long-term career plan
      • An early switch in career path for those that are struggling to find a good start in their career
      • More time to reap that Return of Investment (ROI) from your MBA

      For individuals thinking of a mid-career switch, there is a silver lining to pursuing an MBA:

      • Help in the transition from the public to the private sector and vice versa
      • Studying MBA provides you with two years to think through your long-term career goals
      • Taking specialised modules that allow students to focus on niche industries or work scopes


      Quality business schools generally require that candidates have at least a few years of professional work experience before embarking on an MBA programme. It is essential to look for a reputable, degree-granting academic institution. For Master of Business Administration (MBA), the highest accreditation worldwide would be the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Established in 1916, AACSB is one of the oldest and most widely renowned international accrediting bodies for business education. Therefore, achieving an AACSB accreditation is deemed as a hallmark of excellence for education institutions.


      Distinguish Yourself with a Higher Education

      Established in 1998, Ngee Ann Academy (formerly known as Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre) is a high-quality tertiary education institution in Singapore. As a testament to our high standard of quality in the overall provision of education services, Ngee Ann Academy has been awarded the EduTrust certification by the Committee for Private Education (CPE) since 2015. The EduTrust certification is is a quality assurance scheme administered by the CPE for Private Education Institutions (PEIs) in Singapore.

      University of Adelaide

      As a member of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight research-intensive universities, the University of Adelaide stands tall among the world’s leading learning and innovation institutions. With over 50 years of experience, the University of Adelaide Business School holds the AACSB accreditation. The University of Adelaide is routinely ranked highly in accredited national and world university rankings like the QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education, which affirms its prestigious position as a world-class university.


      Contact Ngee Ann Academy for a free information session.



      Share on Social Media


      Enquiry Form How to Apply Chat with us