I’m retired – How can an MBA benefit me?Chen Wan Lim
Lifelong learning has been broadly defined by the Institute of Education Sciences as “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated”. Typically, the average age for MBA candidates globally is between 30-40 years old as reported by multiple universities. As for more senior applicants in their 40s and possibly 50s, the motivation for pursuing an MBA is largely to further enhance their executive managerial skills and to broaden their professional network for the value of lifelong learning. However, for MBA candidates who are nearing or even post-retirement, how can two years of effort pursuing an MBA be of benefit? Here are some ways how an MBA degree can benefit retirees and why MBA is important and main reasons to study MBA:
1. Keeping the mind sharp
Although the motivation for pursuing an MBA might differ between a 30-year old and a 60-year old, actively participating in course works and lecture series will keep the mind sharp and focus. According to Harvard Medical School, a higher level of education is associated with better mental functioning in old age. Experts think that advanced education may help keep memory strong by getting a person into the habit of being mentally active.
2. Keeping socially engaged
According to the Centre for Advancing Health, elderly people who are socially active and maintain or increase their interactions with others as they age have a slower progression of health declines than elderly people who become less socially engaged over time. This is because socially engaged older people may be more motivated to maintain their health than their less-engaged peers and elders who are more socially active may have access to better health information than their less-engaged peers. Therefore, actively participating in an MBA programme will allow for the opportunity to have intellectual interaction and engagements with class peers.
3. Education opens the mind
The common saying that goes around is, ‘travelling opens your eyes and your mind’. Education also opens one’s eyes and mind. An MBA programme is all about interaction, case study discussions, debates and always trying to find multiple solutions to multiple problems. Actively participating in classroom discussion allow for candidates to access new ideas and new ways of thinking, just like how traveling does. The plus point about MBA courses is that candidates come from all educational backgrounds, different work experiences and possibly, different nationalities.
4. Self-fulfilment during retirement
Dave Bernard, author of “I Want To Retire! Essential Considerations for the Retiree to Be” noted that people often lose a piece of their identity once they retire. Hence, the struggle is to come up with a new reason to start the day and to be occupied with something that provides self-fulfillment during retirement. This is how pursuing an MBA can help. Two years of intense classroom, course works and discussion may provide retirees with a new purpose to complete the course and to successfully attain an MBA degree by the end of the day.
There are other beneficial reasons as to how pursuing an MBA can benefit retirees such as making new friends and creating a valuable relationship, increasing knowledge and wisdom and generally, just to do something useful for the happy retirement. But the real bonus for pursuing an MBA for retirees is to essentially get a sense of achievement and to continuously benefit the community with their vast knowledge and experience eventhough at early retirement.