Students who choose to pursue their master of business administration (MBA) degree will have many different employment opportunities at their disposal. There are several high-paying MBA careers available, including logistician and human resources manager. These business positions may not pay a lot at first, but their wages tend to increase with more experience. Business career options divide into five groups: sales, management, financial specialist, business operations, and other. Professionals in the business field are valuable right now, because as new businesses develop and more established businesses expand, demand for experienced business professionals increases.
Should I Get an MBA?
The ideal MBA candidate is self-motivated, organized, goal-oriented, and works well with others. MBA graduates usually have a plethora of career opportunities available to them and must have the conviction to work hard to build their careers. Most business careers do not start out as high-paying, prestigious jobs, but hard work and dedication can lead to extremely successful careers. In MBA programs, students develop their communication skills, learning how to work both with colleagues and with clients. They also develop their financial, marketing, and managing skills.
On-campus studies are ideal for students entering their master’s program straight from an undergraduate program
MBA students must evaluate whether they are better suited to study on campus or online. Online degrees are perfect for working professionals or people who are interested in returning to college to change careers. On-campus studies are ideal for students entering their master’s program straight from an undergraduate program. While in the program, students will be able to network with their peers, which will help them build strong connections as they approach graduation. Current students can use these connections to find job and internship opportunities, and graduates can use them to learn about organizations and events that will help them grow their career.
What Can I Do With an MBA?
Most MBA graduates begin work in some type of management position, depending on their career goals and personal interests. They can work as general managers, advertising and marketing managers, or event management analysts. Most MBA graduates have excellent organizational, marketing, communication, and sales skills. This skill set qualifies professionals for high-paying, prestigious jobs in many different fields and companies.
- General and Operations Managers
General and operations managers plan, coordinate, and direct operations of various public and private organizations and manage daily operations.
Median Annual Salary: $123,460
Projected Growth Rate: 8%
- Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan different programs to create a public interest in services or products. They work closely with sales agents, financial staff, and art directors.
Median Annual Salary: $129,380
Projected Growth Rate: 10%
- Management Analysts
Management analysts improve the efficiency of an organization, finding ways to make them more profitable by increasing revenue and reducing costs.
Median Annual Salary: $82,450
Projected Growth Rate: 14%
- Operations Research Analysts
Operations research analysts help organizations look into complex issues using advanced mathematical and analytical methods. They identify and solve problems to help make better decisions moving forward.
Median Annual Salary: $81,390
Projected Growth Rate: 27%
- Administrative Services Managers
Administrative services managers direct, coordinate, and plan supportive services. They maintain and supervise activities including mail distribution, record keeping, and office upkeep.
Median Annual Salary: $94,020
Projected Growth Rate: 10%
How to Choose an MBA Program
Students should consider many factors when choosing an MBA program, including how long the program would take and whether they would enroll part time or full time. Most programs outline their degree schedules on the program website, so students can find out ahead of time how long the degree will take. Students can usually access course descriptions and curriculum options, allowing them to compare various programs to choose which ones best fit their interests and goals.
Many programs allow students to pursue a concentration. Those interested in specializing their degrees should research which concentrations, if any, each program of interest offers. They should also take cost into account, since tuition varies between colleges and can feature various rates for in-state, out-of-state, and online students. Learners can review tuition and fee information through program websites, and they may also research employment opportunities and cost of living in various program locations. This will help them determine if the school is right for them.
Programmatic Accreditation for MBA Programs
Employers and higher learning institutions look at accreditation when reviewing candidates. There are two main types of accreditation: regional and national. Regional accreditation is considered more prestigious than national, for which reason credits transfer more easily from regionally accredited institutions, and students at these colleges are more eligible for tuition reimbursement. Regional accreditation typically grants degrees, while national tends to be more for certificate-granting bodies. Programmatic accreditation is specialized for programs that offer unique curriculums that are unlike others in comparable fields. Graduates with degrees from institutions with programmatic accreditation may stand out during job searches and interviews.
MBA Program Admissions
The admissions process for MBA programs is vigorous. Admissions advisers work hard to admit only qualified students to their programs, and these students are expected to satisfy prerequisite requirements along with admissions materials. On-campus admissions are extensive, but not as involved as online admissions. Online settings are much more relaxed than on-campus settings, for which reason online admissions officers are often more selective with their candidates. Prospective online students must be prepared to complete challenging, in-depth coursework in a setting that lets them work at their own pace. Online programs require self-encouragement and conviction to stay on task and commit to the mandatory coursework. Admissions departments look at test scores, minimum GPAs, letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcripts, and applications to determine if students are qualified for the program.
- Bachelor’s Degree: Students must earn their bachelor’s degree before gaining admission to an MBA program. They do not always have to have their undergraduate degree in business, but some programs prefer or require it.
- Professional Experience: Students are not required to have professional experience to be admitted to MBA programs, but some programs may have specific experience requirements.
- Minimum GPA: MBA programs require students to have a minimum GPA to be considered for admission. Typically, students must have a GPA between 3.0 and a 3.5.
- Application: Applications are usually similar between universities. They are straightforward about which information they require and do not take long to complete. Students can usually use CommonApp to apply to multiple programs.
- Transcripts: Students must submit their transcripts to be considered for admission. There is usually no cost for obtaining transcripts, but some programs do charge fees.
- Letters of Recommendation: Many programs require students to submit letters of recommendation as part of the application process. They must review how many letters the university requires and should ask professional and educational contacts to write the letters for them.
- Test Scores: Most MBA programs require students to submit GMAT or GRE scores. Students must complete their required exams and submit test scores. Each program has its own minimum score requirements.
- Application Fee: When students submit their program application, they must include their application fees. These fees vary depending on the program, but are usually $50 to $60.
What Else Can I Expect From an MBA Program?
Some of the best MBA programs allow students to choose and pursue a concentration. Concentrations are available in more than 20 different areas, depending on the university. Each university offers its own specific concentration options, and some programs do not offer concentrations at all. Students who are interested in tailoring their degree to their personal interests and career goals might prefer a program with concentration options.
|Finance||Portfolio management, stocks and bonds, mutual funds, investment opportunities, and client interactions are key subjects students learn in a finance concentration. They learn how to make intelligent investment choices for their clients and how to explain them tactfully.||Financial advisers, credit risk managers, and other financial professionals are some of the many career opportunities available to students who pursue a concentration in finance.|
|Accounting||Accounting is one of the most common concentrations offered for an MBA. Students learn how to understand tax information and communicate important financial information. They also learn to create effective business planning strategies and manage financial assets.||Students who pursue an accounting concentration can have successful careers as chief financial officers, treasurers, controllers, and purchasing managers at banks, government agencies, and accounting firms.|
|Marketing||Another common concentration that MBA students pursue is marketing. In the marketing concentration, students learn to create advertisements and documents to promote businesses, products, and services. They learn different methods to boost sales and raise awareness.||With a marketing concentration, students can pursue careers as marketing managers, advertising professionals, and document designers.|
|Management Consulting||In the management consulting concentration, students learn how to effectively manage and run large businesses. Students in this area typically have confidence and poise. This area is very challenging and pushes students to work hard.||This concentration prepares students for careers in management and consulting. They often put in long hours and hard work to make six-figure salaries.|
|Agri-Business Management||Agriculture is a big business across the United States, and larger agricultural businesses need management. Students interested in that area can concentrate in agri-business management to learn about food distribution, farm machinery, marketing and sales, and crop production.||Students who pursue a concentration in agri-business management can have successful careers managing large agricultural businesses.|
Courses in an MBA Program
MBA courses cover a wide range of topics, providing students with the foundational skills they need in order to excel in the business world. They explore topics including marketing, finance, ethics for management, teamwork, and operations management.
- Foundations of Teamwork
In the business world, teamwork is crucial. Foundations of teamwork courses teach students to effectively collaborate with their peers. They will learn to work together to share and develop ideas. They will learn team dynamics, leadership behaviors, and organizational awareness.
- Marketing Management
Marketing is a huge part of business. Marketing management courses teach students about the flow of goods and services between consumers, competitive markets and factors, marketing environments, and marketing organizations. They also learn how to implement and evaluate marketing materials for products and promotion.
- Ethics for Managers
In ethics for managers courses, students learn the fundamental moral issues that exist within a business setting. They also learn to analyze issues in various contexts to effectively resolve challenges.
- Financial Management
Finance is one of the most important facets of business. Financial management courses teach students to analyze different financial topics, including corporate liabilities, interest rates, cost of capital, budgeting, investment securities, and risk and return.
- Strategic Operations Management
The strategic operations management course teaches students how to examine and implement organizational competitive advantages by exploring and investigating new technologies. They learn about sourcing, forecasting, warehousing, inventory control, and supply chain management.
How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA?
MBA programs typically take full-time students two years to complete, and three years for part-time students. Students who want to earn their degrees faster might consider accelerated MBA programs, which allow them to complete their degrees in 12-18 months. Students should decide how much time they would like to spend in their program and research which programs and enrollment options are best for them. MBA programs usually comprise around 35-50 credits, depending on the university and program. Online and on-campus programs are usually completed in the same timeframe, but online students might access accelerated programs more easily than on-campus students, since online programs are generally more flexible.
How Much Is an MBA?
Program costs depend on many factors. Students enrolled in MBA programs face varying costs depending on whether they are enrolled full time or part time. Tuition costs also depend on whether students reside in state or out of state, or if they are international. On average, in-state tuition costs $31,800, and out-of-state and international tuition costs $50,440. Tuition is not the only cost that students need to keep in mind. In addition to tuition, students must pay for room and board, books and supplies, food, transportation, utilities, and technology costs.
Prices range for each cost factor depending on each institution and its location. Students may account for the fluctuating costs of housing, utilities, and transportation by researching the cost of living for the location they are considering. Technology costs are also important to keep in mind when researching different programs.
Certifications and Licenses an MBA Prepares For
Students interested in finding work as auditors, professional accountants, finance managers, financial consultants, or tax specialists must obtain their CPA certification. To gain certification, candidates must pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
- Series 7
Stockbrokers must take and pass the Series 7 exam in order to get their license to trade. The test is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is a six-hour exam that is held in two three-hour sessions. Candidates must score 72% or higher to pass.
- Series 63
The Series 63 test is the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam. It is administered by FINRA and developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association. The exam helps candidates qualify to become security agents within a specific state. Candidates must score a 72% or higher to pass the exam.
The Chartered Financial Analyst program provides professional credentials to investment and financial professionals. The CFA program covers financial analysis, bonds, stocks, derivatives, investment management, and other key areas of finance. Candidates who complete the program and meet professional requirements become CFA chart holders.
- Real Estate License
State governments issue real estate licenses and give brokers and agents the power to represent a buyer or home seller in the process of buying or selling real estate. Real estate professionals must become licensed to conduct real estate transactions.
Resources for MBA Graduate Students
The Online MBA Page is a community of MBA students looking for accredited MBA programs available online or through distance learning.
MBA World is one of the largest communities for MBA students, allowing students to connect with other students and employers around the world.
The Reddit Page for MBA students is an online community that allows past, present, and future students to share advice and ideas with each other.
MBA.com gives students access to GMAT test prep materials, tips for what to look for in an MBA program, and other relevant information.
The Business and Economics Journal is an open-source journal allowing students to access a variety of free research and publications about the latest trends in the field.
Professional Organizations for MBA Students
MBA students should take advantage of the multitude of organizations in the field by attending events, participating in seminars, and connecting with other students and professionals to find job and internship opportunities, cultivate relationships, and gain reputable references for future opportunities.
With a 75-year history, more than 215,000 members, and 275 collegiate chapters, DECA has a remarkable impact on emerging leaders and entrepreneurs. It hosts programs and activities to conduct research and use the latest technology.
The American Management Association provides online training, web events, seminars, podcasts, women’s leadership, and other valuable resources to professionals in management roles.
EO is the world’s only peer-to-peer network that is exclusive to entrepreneurs. It is a global network of more than 12,000 leading entrepreneurs that educates members and offers global resources.
NASP members are distinguished leaders in the sales field. The organization commits itself to advancing careers and improving financial security.
AMA is a professional organization for those in the marketing sector of the business field. AMA seeks the best practices in the field to propel business growth by way of marketing.