To Put This in Context:
Pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can equip you with one of the most versatile skill sets afforded by higher education – but what are the potential outcomes for those who put in the effort to earn this specialization? The foundations in management and business that an MBA provide can take you down a variety of career paths, and we’ll explore some of the diverse opportunities available in the fields of health care, entertainment, technology, and more.
Where Could Your MBA Take You
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can provide you with valuable knowledge of marketing, strategy, and company leadership, as well as develop your critical thinking and decision-making abilities. This academic background can make you highly desirable to employers in many areas, making it among the most versatile graduate-level degrees available.
According to a Bloomberg report, 84% of organizations expressed a desire to hire MBA holders in 2015 – a significant increase from 74% in 2014 and 50% in 2009, and the most in a decade.
The job potential is clearly there, but what career paths are open to those who excel in a college MBA program? Let’s explore the benefits, responsibilities, and opportunities afforded by 10 possible careers.
Financial advising is a fairly traditional career choice after completing an MBA. In this position, you will work with clients to help them make sound financial decisions, ranging from investments to retirement plans. This can be done independently, as part of a large firm, or even somewhere in between.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the average salary for a financial advisor in 2014 was $81,060, with the highest earners bringing in more than $180,000 a year.
If you wish to work in financial advising but completed an undergraduate degree in a different concentration, an MBA can give you the specialized training you need. If you did complete a bachelor’s in finance, an MBA may be necessary to become a partner or take on another leadership role.
U.S. News & World Report listed financial advisor as the fourth best job in business. #Context
Health services manager
In this age of health care reform, there is a significant push being made toward improving quality and lowering costs. This makes health services managers critically important, as they are responsible for organizing, leading, and coordinating patient care operations.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median salary for health services managers was $94,500 as of 2015. The organization further projected jobs in this area to grow by 17% between 2014 and 2024, adding approximately 56,300 positions. If you are already working in the health field but wish to begin a career in management, an MBA can help you earn the business knowledge to meet required qualifications.
An MBA also equips you to help businesses improve their own management processes. As a consultant, you help your clients improve aspects of their business operations, such as public image, efficiency, and execution.
The job and salary website PayScale reported that a management consultant’s median salary is $86,181, with additional opportunities for bonuses and commissions. While an MBA can equip you with valuable knowledge, developing your workplace expertise is also an important part of becoming successful as a management consultant.
Data analytics manager
Data is being collected, curated, and leveraged in greater amounts than ever before, creating high demand for qualified professionals who can store, sort, and make use of this information. As a data analytics manager, you will be responsible for not only collecting important numbers pertinent to your field, but also leveraging information to improve business practices and the bottom line.
According to PayScale, the median salary for a data analytics manager is $91,479, with some salaries reaching into six figures. Even if you are already working in data, the added skills learned from an MBA can give you the tools to thrive in a management role in this intellectually stimulating field.
Did You Know?
According to IBM, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are collected globally every day.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in the nonprofit field after completing your MBA, consider fundraising. A fundraising position will allow you to use your financial expertise to help support organizations that provide valuable services in the U.S. and abroad.
These careers can offer the personal fulfillment of knowing you are making a difference, but can also be financially rewarding. The 2015 Compensation and Benefits Study by the Association of Fundraising Professionals reported that the average U.S. fundraiser salary in 2014 was $75,913, with the top 25% earning more than $89,000 annually. If you want to enter the nonprofit field, consider finding a volunteer position with an organization you are passionate about while you work on your MBA.
Investment fund manager
Financial advising is far from the only facet of finance that can benefit from a higher degree in business administration. Another option for an MBA graduate is a career as an investment fund manager, where you will be responsible for managing investments for individuals or organizations, including pooled funds such as pension plans.
To excel in this role, knowledge of risk and return, quantitative analysis, securities and assets, diversification, and other nuances of the finance field is critical. PayScale reported that the median salary for an investment fund manager is $85,643, but you can earn commissions that range well into six figures.
While creativity and brand audience awareness are incredibly important in marketing, a solid background in business is critical for developing effective growth strategies. As a marketing manager you will typically collaborate with a number of departments, such as communications and creative teams, to execute a cohesive plan.
Although an MBA is not generally a requirement for entry-level jobs in marketing, the field’s competitive nature is making the degree increasingly popular for management roles. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median salary for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers was $124,850 as of 2015, but salaries for larger firms can be significantly higher.
If you have a background in technology, an MBA can help you pursue a position as IT director. In this role, you will likely be responsible for developing and implementing an overarching strategy for your company’s IT department. With technology an invaluable component of almost every industry, you can find these jobs in a variety of fields, from health care to sports.
The BLS reported that computer and information systems managers — titles with responsibilities very similar to IT directors — had a median salary of $131,600 in 2015.
Did You Know?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that computer and information systems managers — titles with responsibilities very similar to IT directors — had a median salary of $131,600 in 2015.
Do you have a gift for closing a deal and a penchant for leadership? An MBA can build on your existing sales knowledge and practical expertise to equip you for management positions.
According to PayScale, the median salary for this role is $95,832, though many of these jobs also come with opportunities to earn generous bonuses or commissions based on your success.
Chief financial officer
If you want to climb the corporate ladder, an MBA can help you develop the skills to get there. “Chief financial officer” is a broad title which can entail a number of different responsibilities depending on the company, but they are typically responsible for managing an organization’s monetary risks.
It’s a role requiring sharp financial aptitude and continual insight into the market trends specific to your industry — skills that bring sizable compensation for those with the ability to champion company profitability. While numbers can vary widely, PayScale reported that the median salary of a CFO in the U.S. is $121,942. While landing one of these positions typically requires an investment of time and hard work, an MBA can set you on the right path and demonstrate the credibility of your financial expertise.
Whichever position you pursue, completing an MBA degree can help you prepare for a rewarding career with increased earning potential and advancement opportunities in your industry of choice — whether you want to work in finance, nonprofits, technology, or any of the many other fields that benefit from specialized business expertise.
Want more information? Click here to learn how Context can help connect you with the MBA program that fits your career goals in your field of choice.