MBA? EMBA? DMBA? Which MBA is Right for You?

Modern city office with team of business people

Your career is in good shape, but you’re ready to change things up. You want more… but how do you lift yourself to the next level? The QUT MBA portfolio has the power to help you transform where your career is headed, become more future-focused, more adaptable to change, and better equipped to lead others. But which version of the MBA is right for you?

Why should you consider doing an MBA (or similar) and what is QUT’s point of difference? 

The Executive MBA, MBA, and Digital MBA (online) programs are cohort driven and highly structured developing you to be both capable and confident to perform and lead effectively in VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) environments irrespective of your for-profit, non-profit, or public-sector status.

The Cohort model whereby your progress results in strong and enduring personal and professional relationships is a defining feature of your QUT learning journey and allows you to gain perspectives from a range of leaders.

All of the programs cover a wide range of contemporary and relevant topic areas required by organisational leaders, including an international study tour to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where you study the latest developments in innovation, entrepreneurship, and digital disruption.

Your study is tightly coupled to your employment and leadership aspirations, achieved with the use of contextually embedded assessment, requiring you to link your study and “real world’ practice of leadership and learning directly to your professional circumstances and organisational context.

Executive coaching is also central to the QUT MBA curriculum, in which you are allocated a leadership coach to discuss your progress and ongoing efforts to develop your key leadership capabilities. Your leadership journey begins to deepen when you are partnered with a mentor with whom you can discuss perspectives of leadership, challenge your notions of what leadership is (or should be), reflect on experiences, and discuss how you are developing and will continue to develop your leadership practice into the future.

QUT’s EMBA program has given me the skills, frameworks and importantly, confidence to manage within increasingly complex or ambiguous business environments. The design of the cohort-based learning experience has enabled me to join a cohort of likeminded peers to collaborate, exchange ideas with and be inspired by – both now and into the future.”
Lisa Corten, Head of National Networks, Medibank Health, and EMBA 2017 member


What job opportunities will an MBA give you?Business man with city skyline

There are a range of job opportunities available to MBA students. As highlighted above, the main aspect of the QUT MBA portfolio of programs (Executive MBA, MBA and Digital MBA)  is the ability to build your confidence and capability in leadership which allows you to work with our Career Consultants to identify your next career goals.

There are numerous examples of students and alumni willing to affirm the significant impact the program has had on their personal and professional development, spanning disciplines, sectors, and industries. Several of our students report being promoted internally or externally midway or upon completion of their MBA studies.

In the last 12 months, 53% of the 2019 graduating cohort has moved into a senior leadership role either within their organisation or externally.

You will also have the opportunity to build your entrepreneur capabilities working with QUT’s entrepreneurship hub, The Foundry. Several businesses have been created this way and are thriving.

Management consulting is also still a strong career opportunity avenue for students, although very competitive. In the past two months, we have had several companies present on such opportunities on campus.

QUT’s Digital MBA challenges me to think beyond the traditional concepts of business and leadership and given me the knowledge, skills and the mindset to succeed in the digital age.
Within weeks of commencing the course, the perfect career opportunity presented itself. The Digital MBA equipped me to grasp the opportunity and successfully transition into an exciting new career.
Gemma White,  Manager Technology Delivery, BHP, and DMBA 2019 member

What contact will you have with practitioners in the field and potential employers?

A range of networking events connects you with prospective employers. These range from on-campus presentations, career workshops, career mentor schemes, and one-day workshops that offer you a real-world issue and the opportunity to develop collaborative consulting engagements with businesses and non-profit organisations.

We also hold Employer Showcase events, where we have seen Nous Group and Infosys Portland present on campus as they are actively looking at hiring potential MBA students.

Events are moderated by students, giving them experience facilitating and engaging with panelists and the event audience. Our most recent event, Kick-Starting your Board Career was delivered in partnership with Kerryn Newton, CEO of Directors Australia, Jason Titman, Managing Director and Founder at Integr8 Group, and Nadine Bates, CEO, and Co-Founder at Like a Photon Creative. The event was facilitated by our MBA student Michelle Hughes. This event gives students and alumni a practical approach to engaging with industry and developing their network.

You will have access to a career consultant where you are encouraged to explore your career goals and next steps.  Further guidance is offered through Career Workshops, hosted by QUT Career Educator, Martin Stead. The Career Workshops showcase how you can leverage social media to achieve your career goals, networking, and relationship building for career success, and most recently career re-focus and working through complexity and change.

Through our formal Mentoring Program, you will be matched with alumni over a 6-month timeframe and encouraged to create a strong relationship in order to benefit yourself throughout your studies.

Our Ideas Factory initiative is a one-day workshop where you will have the opportunity to respond to a defined industry challenge to identify the key issues, develop potential solutions, and present your recommendations while working alongside the organisation. These workshops are held 3-4 times a year in conjunction with our other networking and professional development events.

Person studying online

Is there an online vs face-to-face option?

QUT launched the Digital MBA in 2019, a program specifically designed for on-line delivery, with a specific focus on preparing you to lead future-focused organisations in an era defined by rapid technological change and digital innovation. This future-focused on-line experience is further augmented by the ability to attend four optional face-to-face intensive weekends per year.  These allow you and the cohort to network and interact, to meet academic staff, and to engage in a series of learning activities designed to supplement your MBA curriculum.

The design of the digital program is unique, offering a trans-disciplinary approach to decision making and adopting a “phenomenological” approach to the design of learning experiences. Under a phenomenological approach, current business phenomena or events are utilised as the focal point for learning rather than the content of one specific discipline, allowing you to explore real business problems and how to apply MBA skills to real-world situations. For example, pre-COVID, this cohort was working on topics such as Amazon Fresh operating in Australia, the financial implications of Telstra introducing the new 5G standard throughout their national network as well as the leadership and ethical challenges of introducing an AI bot into a team-based environment.

The Digital MBA, therefore, applies traditional MBA philosophies to relevant phenomena such as industry disruption, large-scale transformation, and emerging technologies to produce leaders who can adeptly navigate the challenges of Industry 4.0, whilst also seizing the opportunities it offers.

Modern office with group of business people.

What impact has COVID had on the course as it will be delivered next year, etc?.

One of the biggest advantages of the COVID disruption has been the change it has driven in systems, process, and behaviour. It has demonstrated that capability (however latent) does exist to deliver teaching and learning in different forms and that individual and institutional confidence is now stimulating more open and positive conversations about what might be possible in the future, with a view to optimising learning and utilising both physical and digital approaches to their full effect.

Whilst some institutions will look to return to the status quo as soon as possible, those with an eye to the future will use this “inertia break” to create new teaching models and new learning experiences for students. The COVID period has also shown, at least in the quality MBA market, that there is still a very strong preference for face to face quality learning experiences over purely online learning.

In the MBA program, we have heavily leveraged learning from our blended Executive MBA program, based out of Canberra, and our newly launched on-line MBA to ensure our students continued to learn throughout the lock-down period.  Our learning design team worked closely with each of the academic teams to ensure they were aware of issues relating to teaching on-line and developing digitally compatible teaching plans to address them.  For example, to assist in cohort communication and collaboration, we migrated the whole cohort onto Microsoft Teams and appointed a “co-pilot” to assist with every class.  This allowed our teaching academics to run classes in a seamless manner, with their co-pilots ensuring that students could enter Zoom sessions, collaborate in break-out rooms, raise queries and be answered via the chat function, and relaying questions to the academic where appropriate.  In addition to this format ensuring that our students had the best possible learning experience, our teaching staff also really appreciated their co-pilot’s support which allowed them to focus on what they do best and get into the “flow” of their teaching.

Whilst we largely returned to classroom study after lockdown in July, we will continue to offer blended learning environments during border closures.

Want to discuss your QUT MBA options?

Come along to the next MBA and Postgradauate Information Event where you will have the opportunity to learn about the right course to further your career in business. Find out more. 

Or if you prefer, I am happy to discuss the opportunities available to you.  Just give me a call on  (07) 3138 7731 or email me at tim.burton@qut.edu.au
Applications are closing soon for our Executive MBA program that commences on 8th and 9th January 2021.
The MBA program commences on Tuesday 9th March, and our online Digital MBA commences on 17th and 18th April, 2021.
For more information about the QUT Leadership and MBA courses click here.
The QUT suite of MBA programs are embedded inside a triple-accredited Business School.

See more stories about the QUT MBA suite


Tim Burton is the MBA Program Manager, Graduate School of Business. Tim has exceptional leadership skills with 20 year’s experience in leading and managing teams, recruiting, coaching, and mentoring. He has a strong commitment to people development working within the recruitment, hospitality and higher education sectors.

Write A Comment