What Are the Benefits of Earning an MBA Degree?
Explore the career and financial benefits of earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Learn about types of MBA programs, and discover your potential earnings as an MBA graduate.
What Can I Do with an MBA Degree?
With an MBA, students may qualify for a career as a securities, commodities and financial sales agent, or as a chief executive or operations manager if you have significant work experience. As a securities, commodities and financial sales agent, you would be in charge of communicating between buyers and sellers of stocks, bonds and commodities. You'd explain various financial services to clients, monitor markets and initiate trades for clients.
Chief executives, general managers and operations managers all have similar responsibilities. In these careers, you'd be in charge of creating organizational goals and policies. To be successful, you'd also need to be able to manage operations, work with other executives, oversee budgets and make financial decisions for the organization. The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.
|General/Operations Managers||Chief Executives||Securities, Commodities and Financial Sales Agents|
|Key Responsibilities||Manage day-to-day operations of a company||Establish company goals, manage overall operations, analyze financials and other reports||Sell securities, connect buyers and sellers for financial policies|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||7%*||-5%*||4%*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$100,930*||$189,600*||$64,120*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
What Types of MBA Programs are Available?
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a graduate degree which incorporates finance, marketing, business strategy, management and other specialized classes dealing with production and commerce. Many types of MBA programs exist, including general MBA programs and specialized programs in areas such as international business, marketing, finance, information technology management and supply chain management.
How Long Does it Take?
A typical full-time MBA degree program takes approximately two years to complete. There are, however, many options for MBA programs. Accelerated programs can be completed in eighteen months, part-time programs that can take up to three years and combination bachelor's degree and MBA programs that add one year to a 4-year bachelor's program.
Another option is completing an MBA as a dual degree with a master's degree in another field. The time required to complete a dual master's degree program will depend on the subject area of the other master's degree program. For example, you could complete an MBA and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) simultaneously and it could take four years to complete everything.
What Are the Career Benefits?
MBA programs are often tailored to numerous subject areas, and they can lead to a high-level job in a variety of industries. If you choose an MBA program with a concentration in computer information systems, you could become a computer systems analyst. These analysts design information systems and configure computer components to increase efficiency and effectiveness of business. If your MBA is concentrated in finance, you may become employed as a stock broker, selling securities at a major securities exchange. Or, you could become an investment banker and be responsible for underwriting new businesses.
While working in your chosen industry, an MBA could help you move up to management or executive positions. These positions require analytic ability, business expertise and in-depth knowledge of the industry you are working in. An MBA for executives or an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship may lead you to start your own business and become your own boss.
The overall career benefit of earning an MBA is the general business principles that you will be taught. Finance, strategic planning, marketing and management are just a few of the skills you'll learn that can be used in a large number of business-related jobs.
What Is the Financial Benefit?
The MBA degree is financially worthwhile, according to research done by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a non-profit group of graduate business schools. GMAC concluded in 2016 that students who complete an MBA program are generally able to command a higher salary than those without.
According to the same survey data, three out of four MBA graduates say their degree accelerated career advancement. In addition, the majority of MBA graduates recouped the cost of their degree within four years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that MBA graduates often hold higher-level positions in the securities, commodities and financial services industry, and they may be offered signing bonuses and receive higher salaries.
What Salary Could I Earn?
Your salary as an MBA graduate will vary based on the type of job, the location of the job and the amount of time you have been in the job. A PayScale.com 2019 survey found that MBA grads could earn about $86,840 depending on their position and experience.
For specific jobs, the BLS reported in 2018 that securities, commodities and financial sales agents earned an average of $64,120 annually. Chief executives median salary was $189,600, and general and operations managers earned a median salary of $100,930 annually.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Related to securities, commodities and financial sales agents, financial analysts and financial managers both play a role in ensuring the financial security of a company. They both analyze financial reports and use them for various purposes. Where financial analysts advise investment decisions, financial managers direct companies' investment decisions. Related to top executives, administrative services managers take charge of organizations' supportive services and facilities. While all of these positions only require a bachelor's degree at minimum, a master's degree is often looked upon favorably by employers.