Graduate Program - Master of Business Administration |

Master of Business Administration

One of the most common graduate programs, a master’s degree in business administration, oran MBA, prepares students for a wide range of management, business and financial occupations. Short of the actual management of a successful company, an MBA is the best opportunity to demonstrate excellence in effective business management for those professionals with specialist, management, or executive aspirations.

In addition to the top executive spots that many business-oriented students aspire to, a master of business administration prepares graduates to work as managers in many industries, including administrative services; advertising, marketing and sales; computer and information systems; construction; engineering and natural sciences; agriculture; food service; labor relations; industrial production; medical and health services; lodging; property and real estate; and purchasing.

A good MBA program will teach the student how to effectively manage businesses of all kinds. Management is a skill, but it is also a science. MBA programs around the country seek to quantify the traits and tendencies of effective leaders, and arm a new generation of entrepreneurs and executives with that information.

Prospective students in an MBA program come from all walks of life, but the pre-requisite is that they have all completed a bachelor’s degree in one field or another. Some of the most common undergraduate majors pursued by future MBAs are:

  • Engineering
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Marketing and Public Relations

While a bachelor’s degree is required to enter into a master of business administration program, the choice of undergraduate major is not the most important criteria that admissions professionals look at. More important are strong work experience and the references and quality essay writing that comes along with that employment background.

MBA Career Opportunities

"The 2011 job market for business school graduates has rebounded from 2010 levels. More than half (54%) of all graduate business students seeking employment had received at least one job offer by the time of the survey. Last year only 32 percent had job offers."

As the nation begins to recover from the most recent "Great Recession,” one of the worst in decades, graduates of MBA programs reported better and significantly more job opportunities than those MBA students who had graduated during considerably less serious economic downturns. In fact, as the GMEGS shows, those who had received job offers at the time of survey completion received “2.0 on average” versus 1.8 in 2010. This rebound in job offers, despite the leftover strains of the recession within the job market, is an increasingly positive sign for students who invest in a MBA degree.

In fact, 92% of the MBA classes of 2011 rated the value of a graduate education as “outstanding, excellent, or good” in terms of employment and salary opportunities. Additionally, MBA graduates who are currently employed and plan to stay with their employer after graduation “expect a 39 percent increase in salary,” as well as an “increase in responsibilities (44%), a promotion (35%), and a change in job title (30%).” As the MBA students and graduates surveyed show, investing in a MBA degree can be the differentiating factor in terms of job opportunities and employment levels.

MBA Earnings

According to GMAC’s 2011 Alumni Perspective Survey,the median starting salary of MBA graduates from the class of 2010 was $78,820. 70% of the MBA graduating class of 2010 “indicated their starting annual base salary either met or exceeded their expectations.” In terms of overall earning power, MBA alumni, regardless of graduating year, reported a median annual income of $94,542. Additionally, median bonus compensation totaled $17,565. While annual salaries of MBA graduates often vary by industry and level of experience, the median annual income earned by a MBA degree holder is more than $50,000 more than the median annual income for all occupations ($44,410).

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

MBA Educational Benefits

As the GMAT surveys show, earning an MBA online or through a ground school is one of the most promising ways to ensure job and career advancement opportunities as well as above average annual salaries and bonus options.

In fact, many of today’s top industry positions require at least an MBA in order to be considered. Demand for MBA graduates is projected to be strongest in accounting, health care, finance, consulting, pharmaceutical, and technology sectors. Overall, 67% of companies plan to hire MBA graduates.

As in most professions, a significant gap in earnings and potential earnings exists between bachelor’s and MBA degree graduates: Median earnings reported in 2011 have reached as high as $91,433 per year for master’s degree holders compared to $50,180 for bachelor’s degree holders, according to 2011 GMAC numbers. That’s a potential difference of over $40,000 a year!

MBA Programs Online

There is currently an expansive and rapidly growing number of accredited online MBA programs. These programs offer working professionals the ability to pursue and earn their MBA degree coupled with the flexibility that their schedule requires. Online MBA degree programs are becoming increasingly popular with these working professionals who are seeking to earn the advanced credentials and expertise the graduate degree provides while continuing to work full-time.

Strikingly, the overall satisfaction rates among those MBA graduates who earned their MBA degree from an online graduate degree program were generally HIGHER than all other kinds of MBAs, including full-time 1 & 2 year MBA programs as well as executive MBA programs, a positive sign in terms of the growing effectiveness of online MBA programs.

As with any serious graduate school decision or higher educational decision in general, it’s essential to do your research when choosing the online MBA degree program that is right for you. You may want to ask yourself a few, or all, of the following questions.

  • Is the MBA degree program accredited?
  • Do graduate credits transfer?
  • What are currents students or recent graduates saying about this MBA program specifically and this MBA degree program in general?
  • Will this online MBA degree program qualify me for the career I want to pursue?
  • What job placement statistics and salary data can the MBA degree program provide for graduates of this specific MBA program?
  • Does the online MBA degree program offer career placement aid?
  • How many semester hours of graduate study are required in your online master’s degree program?

Ask your admissions counselor for information on internship placement as well: Earnings for MBAs that complete internships are significantly higher than those who do not.

MBA Skills and Abilities

According to GMAC's 2011 Corporate Recruiters Survey: “The number one criterion that employers use in their decision to recruit at a school is the quality of its students. They seek students with strong communication skills (86%), initiative (77%), professionalism (77%), motivation (76%), and integrity (76%), and those who are able to deal effectively with pressure (75%) and have an achievement goal orientation (74%).

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