So You Got an MBA. Now What?
You’ve spent the past two years taking courses, writing papers, preparing case studies and perhaps completing an internship to earn your Master of Business Administration or MBA. When you entered the program at first, you had a vague idea of what you wanted to do when you graduated, but now that the day has arrived, you’re feeling a little lost and unsure of which path to take.
The good news is that now that you have the MBA, you have opened the door to a wide assortment of options. Thanks to your commitment and all of the hard work you poured into your studies, you have far more career options that you did before you began the program.
Move Up the Ladder
Many people enter MBA programs with a desire to move to the higher levels within their career, whether at the company they currently work for or at a new company. With the practical knowledge and skills that you gain while studying for your MBA, combined with your performance on the job, you can often rise to the top of the candidate pool for open positions. In fact, in a survey by the staffing firm Accountemps, more than 80 percent of top-level executives indicated that an advanced business degree is a required for moving into executive positions.
And, in most cases, the work that you put into your MBA shows in your paycheck. As you move up the ladder, you can expect to earn more than you those in lower level positions, and those who do not have the advanced degree.
Get a Job
Almost no one enters an MBA program thinking that they are going to immediately retire or head to the unemployment line. It’s a sad fact though, that many college graduates these days finish school without a job lined up and it often takes them months, even years in some cases, to find a well-paying job in their field.
While getting an MBA is not a guarantee that you’ll get a job, it increases your chances of joining the working world exponentially. A recent survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council found that the job market for MBAs has improved considerably over the past few years. Of the 216 international companies that were surveyed, almost 75 percent indicated that they plan to hire MBA graduates in 2012, an increase of nearly 20 percent over 2011.
And it’s not only domestic opportunities that are increasing. MBAs have more international employment opportunities than ever before, especially in Asia with its rapidly growing economies.
Change Your Career
MBA programs today offer more specialization than ever before; in fact, very few students actually earn a strict “Master of Business Administration” but instead choose to focus on a specialty area, such as marketing, accounting, finance, organizational leadership or economics. While the core subjects of the MBA program are similar across the board by specializing in an area outside of your experience or undergraduate degree, you open the door to more opportunities. For example, you may hold a degree in accounting – and have several years of experience in the field – but studying marketing at the master’s level allows you to move into those types of positions.
Keep On Going!
For many students, earning an MBA is the end goal; they do very well with that as the terminal degree. However, for others, the MBA is just a stepping stone to further education. Accountants, for example, may seek an MBA in Accounting to meet the prerequisites for becoming a Certified Public Accountant, while finance majors seek an MBA in preparation for taking the Certified Financial Analyst exam. In many cases, the work you do as a graduate student will meet the requirements for standard certification, which improves your employment prospects and earning potential in the long run.
Earning an MBA is an accomplishment that cannot be understated. Unlike other degrees, which may prepare students for a specific career path, MBA studies open a whole world of opportunity. Whether you want to climb to the top of the ladder, change your career, move forward with a higher level of certification or even own and operate your own business, this versatile degree will help you to meet your goals.
This article was written by Justin Davis who has been pursuing his MBA online and expects to have his degree by next year.