What Can You Do With an MBA?
For students who have an undergraduate degree in business field and want to climb the corporate ladder, a logical next step would be to pursue a Master's in Business Administration. There are business schools with excellent reputations, such as the Harvard Business School and The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.
But what if you can't afford those high-priced degrees? What if you need to continue working while you pursue your MBA? One great option is to earn an MBA online. What can you do with an MBA? Let's take a look.
Online degree programs are flexible and offer working students a terrific option for continuing their education. What most people don’t realize is that within a MBA you will specialize in one of many majors or concentrations. Let’s look at the top two online business schools and compare their programs.
One of the number one online MBA programs originates from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. This global program has students from 31 countries around the world. It is fully accredited and offers seven majors to choose from:
- Business Analytics
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Global Supply Chain Management
- Information Technology Management
- Strategic Management
The course path begins with Business Fundamentals (six credits) and moves through the following courses:
- Quantitative Analysis, 3 Credits
- Managing Accounting Information for Decision-Making, 3 Credits
- In-Residence, 3 Credits
- Topics in Directed Business Interaction (Kelley Connect Week 1), 1.5 Credits
- Topics in Business Analysis (Kelley Connect Week 2), 1.5 Credits
- Integrated Core: 18 Credits
- Core 1: Understanding Markets and Foundations, 6 Credits: Business Law and Ethics, Economics, Organizational Behavior
- Core 2: Delivering Value through Functional Excellence, 6 Credits: Operations Management, Marketing Management, and Financial Management
- Core 3: Creating and Sustaining Competitive Advantage, 6 Credits: Digital Technology and Innovation, Developing Strategic Capabilities
- Major Courses, 12 Credits
- Open Electives, 15 Credits
- Global Perspectives, Experiential Learning, or Career and Professional Development Electives, 3 Credits
- Open Electives of Your Choice and from Major Areas
Another of the top online MBA options is The Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. This school offers an online MBA with five concentrations to choose from:
- Data-analytics and Decision Making
- Strategy and Consulting
The curriculum begins with the following core courses:
- Analytical Tools, 4 Credits
- Business Communication, 4 Credits
- Business Strategy, 2 Credits
- Leading and Managing, 4 Credits
- Strategic Economics, 4 Credits
- Financial Accounting, 4 Credits
- Finance, 4 Credits
- Marketing: Analysis and Development, 4 Credits
- Operations, 4 credits
The curriculum is then completed with 28 Credits of electives. Some of the electives will be from the business school itself, while others are listed as Cross-University Courses offered by other universities in partnership with the University of North Carolina.
Jobs for MBAs
What can you do with an MBA? Once you have completed your degree, there are a number of jobs you can apply for, depending on your specialty (major or concentration). According to a recent ranking from US News and World Report, the top five jobs for fresh MBA graduates include the following:
- Product manager
- Medical and health services manager
- Financial manager
- Marketing manager
Job Descriptions and Outlooks
Product managers organize tasks among development, finance, and marketing teams to produce new systems and products, on deadline and under budget. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that the growth for Product Manager jobs is faster than average at 12% with more than 300,000 jobs available in 2016. The pay averages $135,000 annually.
Management consultants deliver expertise to organizations facing new problems or adopting new processes. They work with the company to improve efficiency, profitability and long-term planning. The BLS says that the growth for Management Consultant jobs is faster than average at 14% with more than 800,000 jobs available in 2016. The pay averages $83,000 annually.
Medical and Health Services Manager
Medical and Health Services managers supervise operations and finances at health care facilities. They can also be called Health Care Executives and Health Care Administrators and are more in demand as the medical industry expands to care for the aging American population. The BLS says that the growth for Medical and Health Services Manager jobs is faster than average at 20% with more than 350,000 jobs available in 2016. The pay averages $98,000 annually.
There are many titles that fall under the financial manager umbrella: "Chief financial officer," "senior financial analyst," "controller," and "director of finance" are four of them.
These roles require managers to have the technical skills needed to successfully develop and execute financial modeling. The BLS says that the growth for Financial Manager jobs is faster than average at 19% with more than 580,000 jobs available in 2016. The pay averages $125,000 annually.
Marketing managers help determine the value of what a company makes and how to set price points while also analyzing the competition. The BLS says that the growth for Marketing Manager jobs is faster than average at 10% with more than 245,000 jobs available in 2016. The pay averages $128,000 annually.
Regardless of the program you choose, the outlook for MBA graduates is promising. As technology continues to grow, there will always be a need for more marketing, financial, health care, and product managers.