What Can You Do with an MBA?
You’ve heard that an MBA is a great option to help you advance in your career or transition to a new field. But what kind of jobs can you get with an MBA?
You can achieve a lot with an MBA! Many students combine their previous work experience with the skills acquired from an MBA to become eligible for new and better paying opportunities. Adding to these obvious benefits, the rise in online master’s degree programs have made getting your MBA more convenient than ever. Read on to find out what you can do with an MBA based on your specialization or area of interest.
MBA with Finance Focus
One of the most popular specializations, MBA Finance graduates typically find themselves in the finance departments of corporations. They may also gain positions in investment banking and management firms, such as hedge fund management. Graduates are in solid demand, because they’re well-versed in good financial practices and have a solid, practical understanding of how finances fit into the larger puzzle of running a thriving business. Here are a few of the careers an MBA Finance grad might be eligible for:
- Chief financial officer (CFO) – A key member of the executive management team, these graduates oversee all the financial operations of a business.
- Senior financial analyst – If you are transitioning careers, your MBA might help you land a job as a senior financial analyst instead of an entry-level analyst. Financial analysts assess and recommend investments, evaluate financial data and economic trends, and offer strategic guidance through financial reports.
- Financial manager – This position oversees cash management and investments, often working with budgets or creating financial procedures within an organization.
- Finance director – Typically reporting to the CFO, a finance director will closely work with department heads to stay on budget and perform internal audits.
- Senior auditor – Ideal for those with an accounting focus, these MBA graduates may develop fraud prevention measures or scrutinize corporate activities to ensure financial compliance. Senior auditors often help organizations identify problems and streamline their procedures.
MBA with a Marketing Focus
More than ever, MBAs are bringing their unique skill set to the field of marketing. These graduates are responsible for developing powerful marketing strategies that wisely allocate budget resources, implement practical plans for growth, and capitalize on data analytics. Here are some of the top careers for MBA graduates with a marketing focus.
- Marketing manager – These graduates estimate the demand for a company’s products or services and identify new markets for these goods. Depending on the organization, they may also be responsible for overseeing aspects of advertising.
- Advertising/promotions manager – Often working in advertising agencies, these MBA graduates develop campaigns to promote products and services; they also collaborate with sales personnel to generate ideas, preparing and managing budgets and cost estimates as a campaign develops.
- Public relations manager – Those with a public relations focus develop and execute plans to enhance the public image of an employer or client, usually through press releases, media coverage, and working with the advertising or marketing department.
- Sales manager – These graduates analyze sales statistics and monitor customer preferences to improve existing sales strategy. They also coordinate sales staff training and work with advertising personnel to run special pricing promotions.
MBA with an Information Technology Focus
Information technology is a booming specialization for MBA grads, especially if you already have a background in technology and are looking for advancement. Graduates need to be well-versed in existing technologies and the various security measures required to maintain their security. They may also put their analytical skills to use by contributing to financial systems and technology protocols.
- Chief technology officer – As a member of the executive team, CTOs oversee all aspects of technological development within a company, including research and establishing technical standards.
- Information security analyst – The analytical skills gained in an MBA program prepare graduates for this career, in which they will create and execute plans to protect an organization’s computer system(s).
- Information technology director – These graduates manage the computer-based resources for organizations in virtually every industry, making sure that a company’s IT infrastructure remains available and secure.
MBA with an Operations Focus
Business operations is an umbrella specialization that includes anything relating to the process of running a successful business. It particularly relates to product development. This focal area is ideal for graduates who want to work directly in bringing a product to market. Here are some of the career paths falling under this broad category:
- Business operations manager – A jack (or jacqueline) of all trades, business operations managers coordinate efforts across different departments to ensure they all remain under budget and on track.
- Supply chain manager – A subset of business operations, these graduates evaluate suppliers and negotiate with vendors to produce products and sell them to outside markets.
- Management consultant – These consultants work closely with clients to help organizations focus their direction and remain competitive. They lend their perspective to problems that a company may face, helping with anything from maximizing efficiency to increasing employee satisfaction to ensuring compliance with new regulations.
Other MBA Specializations
In addition to the skills that traditional MBA specializations offer, newer, niche specializations are emerging. These specializations fulfill the modern demands of business and society, and can therefore lead to some exciting career opportunities.
- Innovation – MBAs in innovation are trained to bring new ideas to the table. Possible careers include innovation specialist, innovation strategist, or chief innovation officer.
- Entrepreneurship – While you can pursue traditional management positions, an MBA of Entrepreneurship is the perfect track for students who want to launch their own business ventures.
- Brand management – MBAs of Brand Management may find themselves perfectly placed for positions like associate brand manager or product manager, which are common in the pharmaceutical, technology, and consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industries.
- Healthcare management – Hospitals need skilled administrators to keep their services running, maintain adequate supplies, and ensure that their clients leave satisfied and healthy. These graduates might fill roles such as medical manager, health information manager, or serve as the CFO for a medical facility.
Wrapping it Up
As you can see, there are plenty of worthwhile career paths for MBA graduates in a wide variety of specializations. While we’ve highlighted some of the common careers and specializations, MBA graduates can do anything they set their mind and newly acquired skills to.
If you’re considering an MBA, think about what is motivating you to pursue this step. Are you looking to advance in your current industry, or to gain new skills and switch careers? In the latter case, you’ll want to make sure that your MBA internships give you the right skills to make that switch after graduation.
Thinking about your motivations will help you choose the specialization that makes the most sense for your goals. Whether you choose to pursue more traditional routes in finance or follow a newer niche specialization like brand management, you’re bound to find that an MBA is a valuable investment for your future.
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