Pursuing an MBA is an exciting moment in your personal and career development, but it can also bring about some uncertainty. It's completely normal to ask questions like: What can I expect after graduation? What shape will my career take? And can I count on stability during this time of transition?
For those who feel stagnant in their current careers or who aspire to a new role in the business world, getting an MBA is a great step to take. Students in MBA programs learn the skills they need to succeed in global business settings today through collaborative, rigorous coursework with other business professionals.
While employers often view MBA degrees in a favorable light when considering candidates, they can find online MBAs an attractive option for their current employees who wish to grow within and beyond their current roles. For these employees, an online MBA degree can lead to new responsibilities, new job titles and even a new income level.
Here are some potential career outcomes that students in online MBA programs may enjoy after graduation, whether they choose to remain with their current companies or move on to new professional challenges.
Earn a Higher Salary
Whether you want to stay in your current position or move on to a different company, one possible career outcome of obtaining an online MBA degree is salary growth. Consider:
- Students who graduate with an MBA degree earn a median annual salary of $92,000, while the 75th percentile of graduates earn upwards of $120,000 a year, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council1
- On average, students recoup their business school investment in four years or less after graduation2
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees in the following business occupations with MBAs can enjoy a particularly significant salary premium compared to those with only a bachelor's degree:3
- Financial services sales agents ($170,000 median annual wage for master's degree-holders versus $90,000 median annual wage for bachelor's degree-holders)
- Financial managers ($110,000 annually versus $78,000 annually)
- Marketing and sales managers ($110,000 annually versus $80,000 annually)
Other business occupations with notable wage differences include logisticians, transportation and distribution managers, market research analysts, property and real estate managers, accountants and auditors, general and operations managers, and human resources workers.
Obtain a Leadership Position
Some leadership positions require that candidates hold an MBA to be considered. If you're looking to grow within your current company, pursuing an MBA indicates to your employer that you are ambitious and focused on expanding your business skill set.
Online MBA courses enable students to put business principles into practice, by working collaboratively on simulations and tackling realistic scenarios. Students in these programs learn not only hard skills like economics and finance, but also the soft skills that help effective business leaders manage teams, motivate employees, and inspire and empathize with those they manage.
By practicing these skills in class, students can build real-world experience in a risk-free environment. And they may be able to use the skills they're learning in their classes to improve their performance in their current roles and accelerate their growth on the job even before graduation.
Work at the Company You Want
Some students enroll in online MBA programs because they feel stuck at their current companies. Maybe no new leadership positions are opening up, or maybe there are legacy systems in place that prevent upward mobility.
If this is the case for you, an MBA degree can give you an advantage as you begin to pursue new positions at other companies. The Graduate Management Admission Council reports 9 out of 10 companies planned to hire MBA graduates in 2017.4
If you want to get a job at your dream company, an MBA degree can help you stand out among candidates. This credential signals to employers that you are driven, you're passionate about business, you have the focus needed to work in challenging environments and you have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the contemporary business world.
Become a Small Business Owner or Entrepreneur
If you're really looking to shake things up in your professional life, you may be considering starting your own business. Entrepreneurship is a dream many people have, but few are able to succeed in this risky endeavor: Only about 20 percent of new businesses survive after their first year in operation, USA Today reports.5 While an amazing idea is a great first step, business acumen and tangible skills are needed to create a sustainable venture.
In online MBA programs, students are set up for success as small business owners. They learn the financial literacy skills needed to create and maintain a budget, make wise investments, effectively price services and goods, and use accounting best practices to stay financially healthy.
A founder with an MBA degree can also make your venture attractive to potential investors. When an entrepreneur has an educational background in business, investors may be more likely to provide funding, as the knowledge and experience this degree demonstrates can mitigate potential risk.
Learn More About the CSUMB Online MBA
If you're interested in growing your career, earning a higher salary, obtaining a leadership position and doing work that stimulates you, an Online MBA from California State University, Monterey Bay can help. Contact an Admissions Advisor today for more information about applying to this innovative program.
1. Retrieved on April 24, 2018, from gmac.com/why-gmac/gmac-news/gmnews/2016/august-2016/salary-estimator.aspx
2. Retrieved on April 24, 2018, from gmac.com/market-intelligence-and-research/research-library/measuring-program-roi/2016-alumni-perspectives-survey-report.aspx
3. Retrieved on April 24, 2018, from www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm
4. Retrieved on April 24, 2018, from gmac.com/why-gmac/gmac-news/gmnews/2017/june-2017/companies-plan-to-hire-mba-graduates.aspx
5. Retrieved on April 24, 2018, from usatoday.com/story/money/business/small-business-central/2017/05/21/what-percentage-of-businesses-fail-in-their-first-year/101260716/