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10 of the Best Jobs for MBA Graduates

September 12, 2023
A confident financial advisor providing expert guidance with a reassuring smile.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is one of the most sought-after degrees available for those looking to break into the business world. It prepares you to move up the career ladder into some of the best jobs you can get in today’s competitive market.

As a highly marketable credential, it will make you eligible for several top-shelf careers in managerial and supervisory positions. An MBA reveals to prospective employers that you exhibit strong leadership skills and have extensive experience and knowledge in your specific field.

Jobs for MBA graduates vary depending on each individual’s interests, goals, and credentials. Some MBA programs are centered around specific themes, as is the case with the Responsible Business Online MBA program at CSU, Monterey Bay. This educational approach can help students direct their training toward the particular facets of business they intend to pursue. Other programs offer a broad-scope, generalized curriculum. In either case, you should check to see if your program of choice offers courses and study opportunities that are aligned with your goals. If you’re not quite sure what your goal is, explore this list of 10 hot MBA jobs.

Financial Manager

Every business needs a financial manager with a wealth of economic experience and financial skills. Due to the highly sensitive and critical nature of this role, top financial managers are usually paid attractive salaries: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual salary for financial managers in 2022 was $166,050, though the numbers varied by industry:1

  • Credit intermediation and related activities: $135,250
  • Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services: $177,880
  • Independent artists, writers, and performers: $216,820
  • Motion picture and video industries: $220,130

Since a financial manager is responsible for safeguarding the wealth of the business and maintaining its financial interests, it's a job that requires a mature attitude and strict adherence to rules and regulations. No ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ antics here! You'll be expected to complete daily reporting, analyze targets, meet with department heads, and coordinate the monthly budget.

An MBA coupled with appropriate finance-related qualifications can help you get considered for some of the top financial management roles at companies such as Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide, and Charles Schwab.

Marketing Manager

Marketing is the lifeblood that drives many businesses, particularly in the retail or service industry. With an MBA, you'll find little resistance on your path to becoming a marketing manager. Highly effective marketing managers are always in demand as they can make or break a company’s bottom line.

As a business executive, you’ll be responsible for managing the marketing team and overseeing marketing campaigns. You’ll also need to analyze business ideas, assess product profitability, and formulate strategies to increase sales and attract new customers. Your expertise will not only benefit your company but also your bottom line: The BLS shows the 2022 mean annual salary for marketing managers at $158,280, with diverse industries showing equally diverse numbers:2

  • Credit intermediation and related activities: $135,250
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $181,860
  • Web search portals, libraries, archives, and other information services: $224,460
  • Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities: $243,990

Operations Research Analyst

These business-savvy problem-solvers develop and interpret information that helps company leaders make decisions, create policy, and run their organizations at maximum effectiveness and cost-efficiency. They may be called upon to develop decision-support software, services, or products, or to develop and supply optimal time, cost, or logistics networks for program evaluation or implementation.3

Adept at using tools such as optimization, data mining, statistical analysis, and mathematical modeling, operations research analysts are in demand across a diverse range of business pursuits. While the mean average salary in 2022 was $95,820, analysts in many industries earned far more than that:3

  • Scientific research and development services: $110, 800
  • Petroleum and coal products manufacturing: $128,600
  • Business schools and computer and management training: $164,550
  • Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing: $231,150

Purchasing Manager

Equipped with an MBA, usually with a focus in operations and supply chain management, purchasing managers plan and coordinate the buying of materials, products, and supplies for their companies. Although they help coordinate the supply chain, their focus lies in ensuring that the items their business needs are in stock. They’re often expected to negotiate successfully with wholesalers and contractors to get the best prices for products and services, and they oversee local or regional buyers and purchasing agents.

As with many other careers made possible by an MBA, expertise in purchasing management pays. In 2022, the mean annual salary in the United States was $140,650, with compensation in some industries coming in above the $200K mark:4

  • Household appliance manufacturing: $134,320
  • Aerospace products and parts manufacturing: $147,360
  • Travel arrangement and reservation services: $188,090
  • Clothing and clothing accessories retailers: $207,030

Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors help individuals manage and invest their money well in the interest of reaching their short- and long-term financial goals. They advise on taxes, investments, insurance, retirement savings, mortgages, and estate planning. They’re often responsible for assessing their clients' assets and liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, and tax status, and they may buy and sell financial assets for clients.

With the business management and networking skills garnered through an MBA, combined with a solid financial background, you'll be in a strong position to make it in the competitive world of financial advising. According to the BLS, the 2022 mean annual salary for personal financial advisors was $137,740, with variation across industries as follows:5

  • Agencies, brokerages, and other insurance-related activities: $95,040
  • Credit intermediation and related activities: $106,320
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $136,600
  • Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities: $150,540

Information Technology (IT) Manager

Effective IT management has become one of the most critical requirements in any business, as cybersecurity threats increase annually. Good IT managers—also called computer and information systems managers—usually have a wealth of experience in all areas of computers, networking, and communications, and possess a high level of business and leadership skills.

The addition of an MBA will take you out of the stuffy server room and into the boardroom, where you will help plan and implement a highly effective IT strategy. IT managers must be critical thinkers, with strong analytical skills and the ability to bring a team together.

With a mean annual salary of $173,670 and a wide salary range by industry in 2022, IT management was a lucrative career across the board:6

  • Monetary authorities–central bank: $165,270
  • Software publishers: $195,560
  • Clothing and clothing accessories retailers: $208,110
  • Local messengers and local delivery: $230,560

Human Resources Manager

Those with a background in human resources will find that an MBA prepares them for moving into managerial positions. As a human resources manager, you will be expected to supervise the human resources department and oversee recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding of new staff.

While an MBA is not necessarily a requirement for an HR manager position, it will help boost essential skills and greatly improve your chances of securing the job. In 2022, the mean annual salary for HR managers in this country was $145,750, with the range by industry including these numbers:7

  • Office administrative services: $138,480
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $163,760
  • Software publishers: $200,050
  • Media streaming distribution services, social networks, and other media networks and content providers: $209,830

Health Services Manager

Hospitals and healthcare facilities often require business-minded professionals with MBAs to oversee the compliance, regulations, and administration of the organization. While not a necessity, any experience in a medical field would be beneficial for this role, which is expected to see a 28% increase in demand between 2021 and 2031.8

Health services managers ensure that the facility is running smoothly, the staff members are adequately supported, and the organization is adhering to regulations. Excellent communication skills and technical literacy are musts as medical records become increasingly digitized. These skills pay off: According to the BLS, the mean annual salary for medical and health services managers in 2022 was $127,980, with some industries showing far higher numbers:9

  • Outpatient care centers: $122,870
  • General medical and surgical hospitals: $139,490
  • Grantmaking and giving services: $186,800
  • Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing: $252,520

Management Analyst

Management analysts are often self-employed or entrepreneurs, working with companies to support specific, perhaps mission-critical, projects. Typically, the management analyst will have many years of experience in a specific industry and will be an expert in the field. Management analysts help their clients identify problems and formulate solutions, provide advice on the rollout of projects, and help businesses define and improve processes.

An MBA can help you shift from your current area of expertise into a self-employed position, allowing you greater flexibility in your career. The BLS notes that the 2022 mean annual wage for management analysts was $104,660, with a sizable range of numbers by industry:10

  • State government, excluding schools and hospitals: $73,440
  • Insurance carriers: $95,490
  • Clothing and clothing accessories retailers: $136,010
  • Web search portals, libraries, archives, and other information services: $191,030

Chief Executive Officer

Almost every company needs a chief executive officer (CEO)—the person in charge of making business-critical decisions and steering the business. CEOs typically have many decades of experience, with years of managerial experience and strong technical skills. CEOs will regularly meet with the board of directors to communicate business operations and report back to corporate. They usually stand as the public face of the company, speaking to the press, conducting interviews, and maintaining good public relations.

According to Forbes, an MBA is the most common type of graduate degree earned by CEOs at Fortune 100 companies.11 Deep experience combined with top qualifications, leadership, and the strong business skills provided by an MBA make for the ideal CEO candidate.

The experience and expertise required to succeed in this highly visible position are sizable. So is the compensation. The 2022 mean annual salary was $246,440, with industry-specific numbers ranging from the enviable to the eye-popping:12

  • Local government, excluding schools and hospitals: $141,410
  • Elementary and secondary schools: $184,160
  • Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets (except copyrighted works): $307,800
  • Motion picture and video industries: $498,970

Choose your dream job and prepare for it.

Gain the business acumen that’s valued by employers in today's global marketplace. CSUMB’s Online MBA program is focused on the increasing role and importance of responsible business. Led by industry veterans and expert educators, this rigorous yet flexible program is designed to fit with your full-time commitments.

Start advancing your career today. Review the program details and schedule an appointment with an admissions outreach advisor.

  1. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes113031.htm
  2. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes112021.htm
  3. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes152031.htm
  4. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes113061.htm
  5. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes132052.htm
  6. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes113021.htm
  7. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes113121.htm
  8. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
  9. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes119111.htm
  10. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes131111.htm
  11. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from forbes.com/sites/kimberlywhitler/2019/09/28/new-fortune-100-ceo-study-the-top-graduate-schools-attended-by-fortune-100-ceos/?sh=371451cb2719
  12. Retrieved on August 22, 2023, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes111011.htm