Australian MBA enrolments have surged 42% in the last three years, fuelled primarily by online and fast tracked modes of study – and with good reason. Today’s professionals are busier than ever, with 670,000 Australians working more than 60 hours a week, significantly above the national average of 34 hours. This leaves little time for education and training, let alone one’s MBA aspirations, which can often take two years to achieve.
One man who knows all about increasingly busy lifestyles and the challenges they pose to ongoing education is Adam Wadi, founder and CEO of Get Qualified Australia, the country’s leading provider of skills recognition and RPL.
In fact, he is so acquainted with the world of fast tracked qualifications that, having personally experienced the process himself, he decided to build an entire business model around it.
“Professional Australians are so preoccupied with establishing their work/life balance, that achieving their MBA becomes something they immediately place on the backburner,” Wadi says.
“What they don’t know is that it’s now possible to literally cut the cost, time and effort of studying a leading Australian MBA in half.”
The little known concept he refers to is Recognition of Prior Learning, or as it’s more commonly known in the industry, RPL. Established by the Australian Government in the early 1990s, the initiative works to formally recognise the existing skills and experience of individuals who have worked in their nominated profession for years.
The end result? A nationally recognised qualification that enables its customers to save thousands of dollars and valuable years of study.
Although it has existed within the education sector for well over three decades, RPL has remained relatively unheard of, a fact Wadi attributes to the lack of true industry focus and marketing afforded to the initiative. “Colleges and universities don’t promote RPL because, frankly, it’s not in their best commercial interests. Without having the specialist knowledge and resources required to properly facilitate a full range of RPL services, they’d rather have students pay and undergo the full course. That’s simply the truth of it.”
Wadi’s first brush with RPL occurred in 2005 when he decided to move from a career in the hotel industry to one in education, utilising RPL to achieve a qualification in Training and Assessment.
“I felt that RPL was such a beneficial concept, that I wanted all Australians to know about it.”
And that’s exactly what he did, launching what would quickly become Australia’s largest RPL company.
Now, in its fourth year of operation with over one hundred staff and 40 partner Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), Get Qualified Australia offers skills recognition for over 400 nationally recognised qualifications across 29 different industries, with one of its flagship qualifications being the recently launched Accelerated MBA pathway.
“We understood the concerns senior executives and managers had when considering an MBA, and therefore decided to target this group and offset the challenges they face by offering a truly unique MBA solution, utilising the RPL framework.”
In January 2016, Get Qualified Australia launched its Accelerated MBA Pathway in partnership with the prestigious Australian Institute of Management (AIM), presenting a truly fast-tracked pathway that enabled students to achieve maximum unit exemptions towards their MBA dream, while also walking away with two postgraduate qualifications.
“I call it my signature dish. It’s something that I’m very proud of and have worked very hard to develop,” explains Wadi. “There is simply nothing like it in the market today.
“Most senior level managers and executives are already competent at the graduate certificate/diploma level, and they don’t even know it. They certainly don’t have the formal certification to prove it, and that’s where we come in. By getting their skills and experience recognised through RPL, they can attain their Graduate Diploma in Strategic Leadership in as little as one month, and then use this qualification to seek a guaranteed exemption of up to 6 units of their 12 unit MBA with AIM.”
Yet as Wadi states, this is only one third of the total benefit.
“Getting an exemption on half of your units means that you automatically save half the cost and effort of studying your MBA.”
The average (median) cost of undertaking an MBA in 2016 is approximately $45,000. While this price can range from anywhere between $22,000 and $82,000, the vast majority of providers charge around $30,000 over 1.5 to 2 years of study.
“The Accelerated MBA Program allows you to save, at the very least, $15,000 on your MBA fees, while taking an amazing 6 units worth of study off your plate,” explains Wadi. This, he says, presents a truly achievable way for critically time-poor professionals to complete the remaining 6 units of their MBA in their own time and at their own pace.
To date, Get Qualified Australia has helped qualify over 10,000 Australians, and Wadi is certain that this number will only continue to grow. “There are so many skilled and experienced people out there who are eligible for a qualification and don’t realise it.”
It is for this reason that Wadi says he is motivated day in, day out to make RPL his passion and work, his number one hobby.
“It’s no longer work for me. It’s something I enjoy doing because I get to see the ways in which people benefit from it every day.”
And how is the future looking? “Bright. Very bright, and I can’t wait to help an increasing number of professionals access the same opportunities thousands of others have in fast-tracking their studies with this revolutionised MBA”.
To find out more about GQA and its Accelerated MBA Pathway visit: www.gqaustralia.com.au/fast-track-your-mba BFM