If you’re ready to progress in your career, you might find that you need to continue your education. Many management positions require you to have an MBA. This program takes a business degree and expands on the training further. MBAs can have different specializations such as Accounting, Management, Marketing, or a combination of different specializations. Depending on the program, you could spend one to three years in school earning your MBA. If you want to progress from being an accountant to managing a team of accountants, then attaining an MBA from an accredited college or university is your next step. There are more opportunities for career advancement, as well as financial security. Keep reading to gain more information about whether this is a good approach for you and your career.
Your Guide to Career, Curriculum and Education
Earning an MBA Online
Years ago, to get your MBA you would need to either go to school full time during the day, or part-time at night. But with the invention of online MBA programs, people can work full-time and go to school at the same time. Online programs from accredited schools usually have the same requirements as on-campus programs, so they aren’t necessarily easier to get into. MBA programs are popular for anyone looking to move up the corporate ladder, and are almost a necessity if you want to work your way into the c-suites. However, there has been a decrease in MBA program applications over the last few years, so now is the time if you’re looking to get into a program that’s particularly exclusive or hard to enter. These programs are available from local schools to ivy league colleges and universities. If you have a dream school, they very well might have an online MBA program to meet your needs.
How Much Does an MBA Cost/Earn?
The average MBA costs $18,000 in the United States. This is for a 30-hour program at $500 per credit hour. Many schools charge upwards of $1,000 per credit hour, so obviously there can be quite a range in school tuition. The more prestigious the school, the higher the cost per credit hour is going to be. Setting those costs aside, a person with an MBA will make on average $25,000 more per year after the first year of having an MBA. The increase is due to salaries that increase in order to equal educational achievements, and the fact that a worker is able to take on additional managerial duties and other opportunities once they have an advanced degree. So, it’s easy to see that the program could pay for itself after one year of attainment. Also, the more prestigious the MBA, the more money a person can command. Wharton School of Business graduates can command much higher salaries than someone who graduated from program offered by an unknown school.
Do I Need to Have a Business Degree?
Many people who get MBAs do have degrees in business subjects such as Accounting, Finance, and Business Management. However, a business degree is not a requirement for an MBA. Many people are moved to get an MBA after working for several years, which provides the needed business experience background to take MBA courses. In some rare cases, certain business courses might be needed, such as business law or business statistics, but those could be taken separately to complete any such requirement. For the most part, as long as a person has a few years of working experience, preferably with some management experience included and they have a four-year degree in any discipline, getting into an MBA program should not be an issue.
How Do You Decide Which MBA to Earn?
Although it’s called a Masters of Business Administration, that’s a large umbrella under which are many different concentrations.
A few types of MBAs that one can achieve include:
- Operations Management
- Tech Management
- Human Resource Management
In some MBA programs, different specializations can be combined into one program, such as ECommerce and Tech Management. Most people choose the program that matches what they are currently doing, such as an accountant getting an MBA in Finance or Accounting. But, if you’re interested in shifting gears in your career, getting an MBA in your new interest could be an option. Or this could be a good time for the hybrid MBA that would combine what you currently do with what you want to do.
MBA Program Accreditation
Getting an MBA from a school that holds accreditation is important. For many employers, only degrees from schools that have proven that their programs are legitimate and beneficial to students will be considered when making employment decisions. Accredited programs have jumped through all the hoops and earned the “seal of approval” from an accreditation board. For MBA programs, there are three accreditations that stand out above the rest: AMBA, EQUIS, and AACSB. These three are the highest level of accreditation a school or program can receive and are indicators that the program is worthwhile and will help its students further their careers.
Top MBA Careers in the US
It shouldn’t be much of a shock that the majority of the top MBA careers are focused around finance, but there are a few non-finance contenders on the list.
Here are five to the best-paying careers an MBA helps to provide:
This job helps corporations and government entities earn money. Although their salary is usually a combination of salary plus bonuses, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, they can earn on average upwards of $450,000.
Chief Technology Officer
This person is in charge of the technical operations of an entire organization. These people usually have IT and computer undergraduate degrees, then get MBAs to assist with the management aspects of their job. Between salary and commission, they can earn over $200,000.
Information Technology Director
The IT director often reports to the CTO, but he or she will have a lot of responsibility in the operation and design of the organization’s technology operations. They also often get MBAs and can earn salaries over $155,000.
Most marketing managers hold MBA degrees, often because they have several undergraduate degrees in other fields and the MBA rounds out their education. These professionals can earn well over $120,000.
Investment Bank Manager
These specialists offer investment advice to individuals and groups. They also handle large investment accounts and control large amounts of money. They can make upwards of $150,000.
It is rare for a person who reaches the upper levels of management to not make at least $100,000, so earning an MBA in order to qualify for these positions isn’t a bad idea and can provide a great return on your investment.
GRE or GMAT
Deciding whether to take the GRE or the GMAT depends on several factors. The Graduate Record Exam is usually for students who are pursuing non-business graduate degrees. The Graduate Management Admissions Test was specifically designed for those who wanted to pursue an MBA. However, with so many students holding one graduate degree and then choosing to pursue an MBA, many admission departments at business schools have begun to accept the GRE instead of, or as well as, the GMAT. If you have a graduate degree, then this is a bonus, since it means you won’t have to study and then sit through another graduate exam. However, if your MBA will be your first graduate degree, be prepared to take the GMAT.
Online MBA Programs in Your State
Online MBA Programs in Your State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia