One of the most sought-after professional graduate degrees is the Master of Business Administration. The MBA program is designed to transform business professionals into leaders with actionable skills and advanced knowledge of the best business practices. This versatile degree program is one of the most worthwhile investments that you can make in your career, as it allows you to pursue high-level positions across a wide range of industries.
Career Outlook for MBA Graduates
MBA students are primarily preparing for careers in management, yet the industry that they choose to focus on may vary based on their personal interests and professional goals. Overall, regardless of the chosen industry, MBA graduates can enjoy a favorable career outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management job opportunities are expected to increase between 2022 and 2032, with an additional 1.1 million jobs anticipated at the management level. Income potential also varies significantly based on the individual position, but the median annual wage for those in management was about $107,000 in May 2022.
MBA Career Benefits
The MBA degree program is known for being challenging, offering students an opportunity to undertake a rigorous, skills-based curriculum that prepares them for some of the most advanced positions in business. MBA students must invest their time, talent, energy and financial resources into this graduate degree program, but in the vast majority of cases, the return on the investment is well worth the effort.
These are some of the ways that your career could benefit when you pursue an online MBA degree:
Elevate Your Career
An MBA effortlessly combines advanced business topics with the soft skills required to be an effective leader in today's modern workplace, which can allow you to elevate your career to new heights. According to Indeed, graduating with an MBA proves that you are committed to your career and your organization, which can help enhance your job security. You will be more qualified for top-level positions and better prepared for advancement opportunities.
Flexible Career Track
There is no set career path for MBA graduates, allowing you to carve your own way forward. MBA graduates commonly find work in the industry that they have experience in, such as marketing, finance, business, human resources or healthcare. In addition, if you are looking to switch industries and find work in a different sector, an MBA program can help you embark on a new and exciting career path.
Build Your Own Business
By completing an MBA degree program, you can take control of your career in a variety of ways. This program can equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue an entrepreneurial track, giving you the chance to build your own business or start working as a consultant. Ultimately, you may find that you feel more autonomous once you have earned an MBA and that you are better able to balance your career goals with your personal life.
There are endless networking opportunities within an MBA degree program, and many MBA graduates find that this is one of the most surprising benefits of pursuing an MBA. Whether you are connecting with a professor who is teaching an advanced course in your chosen industry or meeting new classmates actively involved in your field, you will find that networking during your MBA program allows you to expand your skills, discover new opportunities, and grow your career.
High Career ROI
The Indeed Career Guide notes that most MBA graduates enjoy a return on their investment by way of increased earning potential. Those with an MBA are more qualified for higher-level positions, including senior management opportunities and executive positions. Many of these positions come with a higher salaries, and some may even offer signing bonuses. In fact, many companies offer MBA graduates a salary increase immediately after completing their program.
Top MBA Industries
An MBA is held in high esteem across a wide variety of industries, but graduates often want to focus on the industries that will truly value their accomplishment. According to Fortune, the top MBA industries are:
- Finance — For MBA graduates, finance has long been considered one of the top industries. With an MBA, you may be able to find a position as a financial manager or analyst, and you can expect a six-figure salary.
- Tech — Tech has recently entered the arena as one of the most lucrative career options for MBA graduates. Those who want to focus their career on technology-related roles will likely find themselves working in product and strategy development.
- Media and Marketing — In the ever-changing world of media and marketing, forward-thinking MBA graduates are in high demand. An MBA will qualify you for top-level media and marketing positions, which typically pay more than an average position that requires a bachelor's degree.
- Healthcare — MBA graduates typically work in the business side of healthcare, formulating advanced strategies to improve marketing efforts or increase the efficiency of hospital operations. Salaries for MBA graduates in healthcare can range anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 per year, depending on where you find work and what position you secure.
- Packaging and Supply Chain Management — The consumer packaged goods industry is constantly looking for innovative leaders to help them transform their products and improve supply chain efficiency. Recent data published by the MIT Sloan School of Management indicates this is a lucrative industry for MBA holders, with graduates in this industry earning a median annual salary of about $141,000.
MBA Consulting Jobs
MBA graduates often find themselves working in the consulting field, given the fact that this degree program is known for its generalist nature. An MBA degree provides you with a comprehensive foundation of leadership skills as well as advanced business knowledge, giving you the opportunity to apply your newfound skills in a variety of settings.
The Big Three management consulting firms are the largest employers of MBA graduates, and they offer an average salary of $165,000 annually as well as signing bonuses that can be as high as $70,000.
These are three consultant positions that you may consider after completing an MBA degree program:
A management consultant is an individual who contracts with organizations to oversee their managerial strategy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a management analyst or management consultant uncovers ways to streamline efficiency and works to implement and improve policies within the workplace. When employed directly by a company, a management analyst could make a salary of about $95,000 annually. Consultants, however, tend to receive higher pay for their services.
Strategy consultants are in high demand across all the most powerful industries, as these professionals work with executive leaders at individual organizations to help them improve business decisions. A strategy consultant will work to uncover any existing issues at an organization and help create policies to address those challenges. The salary for this position may vary, but can range anywhere from $65,000 to $120,000 annually, depending on the employer and the consultant's experience level.
Project managers are responsible for overseeing every aspect of a project, from developing the timeline to creating and adhering to the budget. They must coordinate the logistics of the project and ensure that all team members are assigned to appropriate tasks to keep the project on time and under budget. Project managers are in high demand, which is why many choose to work in consulting. As a consultant, you can accrue professional experience across a diverse range of industries, ultimately improving your income potential over time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a project manager is $95,000, but consultants can often charge more than that to oversee a project.
MBA Jobs in Finance
The top companies in the finance industry are always attracted to job candidates who have an MBA degree, because they know that these applicants have a solid working knowledge of the best financial practices combined with the soft skills required to be an effective leader.
When you focus on developing your analytical skills as well as your leadership qualities, you may find that you can secure one of these coveted positions within the financial sector:
Financial managers are responsible for monitoring and improving the financial health of an individual organization, making this an ideal professional position for MBA graduates. According to Indeed, financial managers focus on the big picture — often creating dynamic strategies to accomplish the short- and long-term financial goals of the organization. The average annual salary is about $103,000, which appeals to many MBA graduates interested in the finance sector.
Marketing managers are in high demand across all industries, as organizations and corporations seek to build a brand based on trust while generating buzz among their target audience. Marketing managers are typically responsible for developing a strategy that will elevate the company's brand and overseeing the team of marketing specialists who will implement that plan. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the median annual salary for marketing managers is about $138,000.
Financial data analysts often work to extract accurate and valuable financial data and analyze it to provide the organization with insight into its financial habits. Data analysts rely heavily on analytical tools, metrics and complex reports to create evidence-based recommendations for the company. They play a critical role in ensuring the long-term financial health of the organization. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data analysts typically make more than $103,000 per year.
MBA Jobs in Tech
Big tech is constantly looking for rising stars who can lead their companies to greatness. The competition within the tech industry has never been greater, which is why it's necessary for large tech companies and firms to hire the most qualified MBA graduates. With a solid background in business development and a flair for creativity and ingenuity, MBA graduates can easily find employment at some of the most well-known tech giants of our time.
The most common positions in tech for MBA graduates include:
MBA graduates who are hoping to work in the tech industry will likely find that they are not creating code and developing new products but, rather, they will work on the administrative side of things. The vast majority of tech companies want to fill open innovation strategist positions with MBA graduates. According to MBA.com, 71 percent of MBA graduates hired by tech companies are working as recruiters focused on securing and retaining top talent for the organization.
Computer and Information Systems Manager
Computer and information systems managers, sometimes referred to as IT managers, often work to oversee a team of IT professionals within an organization to ensure that the technological infrastructure is running smoothly and efficiently. This management position is a popular option among MBA graduates interested in the tech sector, and according to Indeed, the median salary is more than $97,000 annually.
Product managers play a critical role in the technology sector, as they are responsible for developing products and identifying the needs that the product fulfills. According to Coursera, the product manager must understand what the customer wants and subsequently develop a product line that fulfills that need. More than 51 percent of MBA graduates who go on to work in the tech sector find work as product managers. The average salary for this type of position is typically higher than $100,000 per year.
What Can I Do With an MBA and No Experience?
Generally, students pursue an MBA after completing their undergraduate degree program and working for several years in their chosen industry. However, it is not unheard of for some MBA students to start their graduate degree immediately after completing their undergraduate program, which begs the question, what can you do with an MBA and no professional experience?
Fortunately, according to Zip Recruiter, there are opportunities for MBA graduates who have yet to accrue any professional experience. An MBA still prepares you to work in a leadership position, and you will have the freedom to pursue an industry that interests you most. In some cases, you may find that you must first take an entry-level role to get your foot in the door at an organization that also offers additional on-the-job training.
Find Out What You Can Do With an MBA from University of the Cumberlands
At University of the Cumberlands, we offer an online MBA program that allows students to prioritize their career goals while balancing their existing responsibilities. Our MBA program focuses on the most sought-after skills among managers and business leaders, such as managerial decision-making, corporate governance, business analytics and change management.
Request more information about our MBA today, and find out where you could take your career tomorrow.