Finding employment with an MBA can involve applying to jobs in many different fields, including finance, information technology, marketing, sustainability and management. Most MBA programs begin with a core set of courses which provide important job skills that can help students succeed in any area of business, though most also allow students to specialize in these or other areas. Students with MBA degrees can succeed in general business professions as well as those that play to their specialties.
Finance, the study of investments and monetary decisions, is 1 of the most common fields in which MBA degree holders pursue employment. Usually MBA finance students work as financial analysts, who provide businesses and individuals with advice on investment decisions. Financial analysts need at least a bachelors degree, and many of these professionals return to school for an MBA to advance higher positions with more responsibilities and greater pay.
Financial analysts typically make about $75,000 per year, and analysts with MBAs earn even more. Jobs in financial analysis are expected to grow by more than 20% between 2010 and 2020. Some MBA programs offer a Master of Science in Finance that can be acquired alongside the MBA, further strengthening your credentials.
Information technology (IT) deals with the use of technology to communicate and move data between and within locations. Many businesses require IT departments to facilitate the use of business technologies, and IT professionals will often study for an MBA to advance their careers. Many management positions in IT departments encourage or require the applicant to have an MBA in addition to an undergraduate technology or engineering degree.
Information technology managers make an average of $115,000 per year, with some professionals earning over $150,000. Having a grasp of both the business and technology components of the job can lead to significant career advancement as businesses seek to become more technologically capable and update business models for the emerging information economy.
Marketing, the study of how to place, price and promote a product, is a very common MBA specialization. Students with marketing MBA degrees usually become marketing, advertising or promotions managers within a company, seeking to increase public awareness of and willingness to buy products. Marketing professionals benefit from the core courses of an MBA program, as these courses help them to contextualize their impact on an organization.
Marketing management positions are expected to grow by about 14% between 2010 and 2020, which is comparable to the national average for job growth. These positions pay very well, providing a median salary of more than $100,000 per year. An MBA program in marketing proves that the student is well versed in all aspects of marketing and business.
Sustainability, in a business context, is the study of effectively using resources and being environmentally conscious in the corporate world. Sustainability managers may examine corporate practices for sound environmental judgment. Sustainability is a relatively new MBA field, but more companies are becoming interested in sustainable practices.
Those who work in sustainability for corporations have many different titles, and their pay varies considerably. Top executives in the field may earn more than $100,000 per year as chief sustainability officers, though these positions are still uncommon.
Management deals with the effective guidance and leadership of organizations and is emphasized in MBA courses. Most MBA degree holders work in a management capacity after receiving their degrees, and some MBA students are managers who return to school to better understand the principles behind effective management. MBA students who specialize in management may become project leaders or top executives.
Salaries for management functions vary considerably, though most are above $100,000. These positions have significant responsibilities and demand a keen eye for detail. They also require professionals to set broad goals for large organizations as well as smaller goals for teams or departments that make those broader goals achievable.