Explore the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about MBA degree programs and career options for MBA degree holders.
An MBA degree is a Master’s in Business Administration. An MBA education may create a solid foundation for those seeking to pursue a career in accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, and management fields. For many professionals, earning an MBA may help them fine tune their business skills so they can be more effective professionals. Increasingly, more students are considering online MBA programs in addition to traditional MBA programs located on campuses around the nation.
Common careers for individuals who have earned an MBA degree are: marketing manager, management analyst, HR specialist, financial adviser, financial manager, and IT manager. In general, MBA programs help develop skills that may be needed for leadership and management positions.
Depending on the type of program you enroll in, earning an MBA degree may take anywhere from 1-4 years. Accelerated programs are usually designed to enable students to earn their degree within one year of intensive study. Those enrolled in a traditional full time MBA program will typically earn their degree in 2 years of study. Students taking courses part time may take longer to complete their coursework.
When choosing an MBA program, ensure the program is accredited, make sure you will be able to financially support the MBA costs, and ensure that the program offers coursework in the specialization you are interested in studying. Speak with school faculty, staff, alumni and current students to ensure the school culture is a good fit for your personality and work style.
According to the MBA rankings by US News and World Report (2013), the MBA program at Harvard University is considered the best in the country1. Other highly ranked programs can be found at Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Northwestern University. While these prestigious programs are well respected, and often earn high MBA rankings, it is important to keep in mind that lesser known schools are also capable of providing you with a quality education. The best MBA program is the one that best satisfies your personal and professional needs.
If you hope to be accepted to a high ranking MBA program, you’ll need great grades, impressive standardized test scores, and a considerable amount of work experience. Additionally, you’ll need strong letters of recommendation, an excellent application essay, and an interview that showcases the passion and goals you have for your future business pursuits.
Popular specialization options among MBA students include accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, organizational leadership, international business, healthcare management, human resources management, information technology, e-commerce, marketing, non-profit management, operations management, and supply-chain management.
Unlike medical school, many MBA graduate programs do not require students to have completed pre-requisite courses prior to enrollment. However, the following courses might help you develop your business acumen; Statistics, Financial and Managerial Accounting, Principles of Management, Principles of Marketing, Calculus, Micro and Macro Economics, Computer Applications, and Management Information Systems.
The cost of MBA programs varies significantly. Generally speaking, the more highly ranked the program, the greater cost of tuition. It’s important to figure out, during the application process, whether or not the potential future benefits of attending a highly ranked school offset the respective cost of enrolling in that school. The right business school is relative to your financial and professional goals.