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Top Skills MBA Grads Need for Success

The Huffington Post
By Stacie Nevadomski Berdan

By the time today's MBA students graduate, the world will have changed significantly since they applied. Although career options continue to be broader than in many other fields and the acquired skills marketable in just about any industry, new MBAs are entering a tight, competitive job market. The fine luster that MBAs once imparted often guaranteed a six-figure salary and signing bonus. But the job scene is rough going these days.

What's an MBA grad to do? I asked some experts -- a cross-section of business leaders, civil servants and academics -- for their opinions. The skills they identified as necessary for success are listed in no order of importance except for the first one; everyone I asked included "communications skills" and so I put it at the top of the list.

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Quantitative, Analytical and Strategic Thinking Skills. I've combined these three -- skills that many MBA programs might list separately - because they are the basic "tools" that MBA grads are supposed to have regardless of the industry or sector pursued. These skills are the basic building blocks of understanding, managing and leading business. They also include data collection, fact-checking and synthesis skills. "MBA students should move from merely acquiring these skills toward applying these skills with vision and leadership," says Konrad S. Lee, Faculty Chair and Director of the MBA Program at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. "MBA students should not just know something, but strive to become something extraordinary."

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