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Career Information for a Master of Business Administration Degree

Jan 08, 2020

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is generally a degree sought by business professionals primarily for career advancement purposes. Continue reading for an overview of this degree program, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

A Master of Business Administration can help to further your career and better prepare you for a career in business, management, or finance. Get information about some common positions MBA graduates take, salary information, and requirements for acceptance into a program.

Essential Information

A Master of Business Administration program can lead to increased earning potential, greater upward career mobility and better chances for promotions into high-level management or even executive positions. Admission to this program is competitive and requires a bachelor's degree, professional experience, a writing sample, letters of recommendation and usually high scores on the GMAT or GRE exam. It's possible to enroll in an MBA program without earning an undergraduate degree in business, but basic knowledge of subjects such as economics, statistics, and accounting is a prerequisite for many courses offered in an MBA program. MBA students can expect to take classes in:

  • Business leadership
  • Management information systems
  • International economics
  • Principles of marketing

Career Management Analyst Marketing Manager Financial Analyst
Required Education Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 14%* 8%* 6%*
Median Salary (2018) $83,610* $134,290* $85,660 *

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Most MBA programs include specializations or concentrations in a particular field of business, allowing students to choose a focus according to their career goals. Core courses usually follow a common curriculum. However, depending on students' area of interest, they can specialize in management, marketing, finance, information technology and public administration, among many others. The following are a few occupations graduates of an MBA program might consider.

Management Analyst

Management analysts, sometimes called management consultants, help businesses become more competitive by assisting with corporate restructuring, planning inventory and providing advice for optimal income, sales and expansion. As the Internet has grown and begun to allow prospective customers to investigate and compare services or products worldwide, firms are relying more and more on outside assistance to increase their profile and competitiveness in the eyes of well-informed consumers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree could land an entry-level job, but an MBA is a common requirement for this position. Relevant specializations might include management, entrepreneurship, economics or finance. The BLS reported the median salary for these professionals was $83,610 in 2018.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers are responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies for companies. Analysis of competitors' strengths and weaknesses is an integral component of the work for this position, as is identifying potential new markets or ways of growing a current customer base. Marketing managers liaise with product managers, promotions and sales departments, and may manage product development or diversification. Hours can be long, and sales conferences and customer hospitality may mean frequently working late or away from home.

The BLS projected around 20,900 new jobs for marketing managers between 2018 and 2028. The median annual salary for marketing managers in 2018 was $134,290. Usually, a bachelor's degree meets education requirements for this position. Experience in the field is a must, and an MBA degree with a specialization in marketing or sales could help professionals climb the ladder.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts review economic trends and offer business and personal investment advice. The majority work in investment firms, financial institutions and insurance companies. Some financial analysts specialize in investment strategies, while others focus on advising companies who sell investment options. It's common for these professionals to concentrate on a particular industry, region or product.

A bachelor's degree is a common requirement, though an MBA could be necessary or helpful for advanced positions. Most schools offer a finance specialization in their MBA programs. The BLS estimated 20,300 new financial analyst jobs from 2018-2028. The median annual salary for this position in all industries was $85,660, according to May 2018 BLS data.

An MBA often prepares a candidate with advanced knowledge in fields such as accounting, finance, and other business related topics. An MBA is a degree meant for career advancement, and usually requires some basic knowledge of accounting, economics and statistics as well as other prerequisites for admission. Common jobs for MBA graduates pay well and are often in the realm of management, investing, or business.

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