Overview of Highest-Paying MBA Degrees
If you've decided that you're ready to pursue graduate-level studies, a master's degree in business administration (MBA) is a great option to consider. Once you start researching MBA programs, though, you'll notice that there are a quite a few specializations to pick from. If you're hoping that getting an MBA will lead to high-paying career opportunities, choosing a specialty might seem pretty daunting. To help you out, check out this overview of the top-paying MBA degrees.
Admissions Requirements for MBA Programs
Although many programs have a unique blend of admissions requirements, there are a few characteristics that most admissions boards look for when screening applicants. First and foremost, before applying to an MBA program, you must show documentation indicating successful completion of a bachelor's degree or equivalent. Most schools also require that applicants submit GMAT test scores. Obtaining admission into an MBA program can be pretty competitive; quite a few schools out there want to see that you graduated from an undergraduate program with at least a 3.0 GPA. Letters of recommendation are commonly required, and work experience may also be required or considered.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Accounting and Bookkeeping
- Business Economics
- Business Finance
- Business Management and Operations
- Business Marketing
- Business Support and Administrative Services
- Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
- Hospitality Management
- Human Resource Management
- Information System Management
- International Business
- Sales and Merchandising
- Specialized Sales
High Paying MBA Degree Programs To Consider
When talking about future earning potential, not all MBA specializations are created equally. We've listed out five concentrations for you to consider that are the most likely to set you up for a well-paying career.
Choosing a finance concentration can provide you with a solid knowledge of fiscal policy theories and best practices. Graduates of these programs are well suited to help organizations make critical strategic decisions about financial planning and investment strategies. Typical courses you'll likely encounter include advanced accounting, corporate finance, and portfolio management. A finance specialization may set you up to become a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). As of 2018, PayScale.com reported the median annual salary of CFOs at $127,646.
Thanks to continual globalization, many companies are searching for international business industry experts. Choosing to focus on international business while enrolled in an MBA program sets you up to obtain a broad overview of management, marketing, finance, and human resources skills that are relevant when dealing with many different countries. Typical courses cover business operations, managerial strategies, and marketing management. Having an MBA with an international business concentration can help you become a top level executive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chief executives earned a median annual salary of $181,210 in 2016.
Some schools have an MBA program that allows students to focus on economic studies. Classes typically touch on ways that students can combine macro and microeconomic principles to benefit future employers in regards to fiscal policies. Many courses in this specialization put a significant emphasis on data analysis. A lucrative career path that may be available to you after completing an MBA with this focus area is to become an economist. The BLS reported the 2016 median salary of economists was $101,050.
An MBA in marketing may be an excellent fit for anyone who is interested with the ins and outs of consumer behavior. This concentration helps to prepare you with the necessary skills needed to efficiently use creative ideas to create unique, meaningful marketing strategies. Typical coursework includes pricing policy, consumer behavior, and research and design. After graduation, you'll have a competitive edge when applying to highly sought-after positions that pay well. As of 2016, the BLS indicated that marketing managers earned a median salary of $131,180 per year.
If you are interested in an accounting career, an MBA in accounting can help you gain advanced professional credentials. Some programs are designed so that specific classes help you meet Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure requirements. In January 2018, PayScale.com reported the median salary for CPAs at $63,243; for senior manager accountants, this figure rises to $90,954. Alternatively, if becoming a personal financial advisor sounds more appealing, the median earnings for this position were $90,530 according to the BLS in 2016.
Choosing an MBA Program
Some MBA programs are offered solely online, others only on campus, and a several have a mix of both. You'll want to choose a plan that fits your scheduling needs and learning style.
While earning a high salary is very appealing, make sure to select a concentration that interests you. MBA degrees are valuable regardless of the specialization, and multiple high-paying career options are available for degree holders. Starting salaries may also be affected by the reputation and quality of the specific school and program.
Other Career Options
Many employers desire to hire students with specialized MBA degrees. Having this level of education can help set you apart from other job applicants since it reflects a significant level of professional competence. Other potentially high-paying occupations which are viable options for MBA graduates are listed below.