What’s one of the fastest ways to get ahead in business? An MBA degree!

MBA BadgeMBA programs work as fast tracks for those interested in business. If you’re looking to become a manager before you turn 30 or want the secrets that all the top CEOs have, look no further than an MBA program!

These programs teach students management and analysis skills to make complex business decisions quickly and confidently. They also teach organizational leadership and coordination skills, so that students can effectively manage teams and team members.

College Choice has ranked a number of these awesome programs, including the Best Online MBA Programs to help students looking to start their MBA search.

By the way, if you’re looking for more general Business & Management degrees, we have a whole separate page for those. We also have a separate page for Accounting degrees.

What Do You Do With An MBA?

You can do so much with your MBA! Earning an MBA breaks down barriers to managerial roles. MBAs earn more and develop critical business skills overlooked as undergraduates.

But the degree helps more than just business majors. Anyone running or managing a business can find value in an MBA curriculum, as can anyone managing other workers, planning business growth, or administering logistical plans.

Not only that—getting an MBA carries prestige, attracts employers, and gives you an advantage over applicants or coworkers without graduate-level education.

How Much Money Can You Make If You Get an MBA?

U.S. News issued a 2017 report on salaries and employment rates for new MBAs. Eighty-eight percent of graduates find employment within three months.

At top schools, that rate easily reaches 100 percent. In 2016, 13,000 MBAs were awarded nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6 percent job growth among top executives and 9 percent for all MBAs.

For one common MBA profession, finance managers, states such as New York, Delaware, and New Jersey offer the best salaries in the country, of just about $150,000.

In terms of job availability, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Connecticut offer at least 8 jobs per 1,000 residents, which is the highest in the country.

Salaries do vary by state, as does cost of living: putting the two together, one finds that Delaware, Texas, and Georgia offer the most favorable ratios of average salary and cost-of-living.

Consider these MBA careers and their mid-range salaries:

  •        Accountant: $53,240 to $90,670
  •        Medical and Health Services Manager: $73,710 to $127,030
  •        Finance Manager: $87,530 to $168,790
  •        Business Operations Manager: $64,890 to $155,020
  •        Compliance Officer: $49,160 to $86,620

Securities, commodities, or other financial industry sales professionals with MBAs earn 90 percent more than colleagues with Bachelor’s degrees ($170,000 versus $90,000).

Supply chain managers earn 52 percent more, distribution managers make 45 percent more, and both market researchers and sales managers achieve 38 percent higher salaries with MBAs.

And remember that when it comes to salary, the school you choose absolutely matters. A graduate from an unranked school can hurt his or her earnings potential.

The highest reported salaries come from graduates of the top 14 business schools in the U.S. The top three, Stanford, Harvard, and Wharton, produce MBAs with average salaries and bonuses around $164,000. Some graduate schools accept recent college graduates while others only admit students with significant work experience.

However, you don’t have to go to a Top 14 schools either. Many other programs offer unique and challenging curricula. But you do need to do your research.

What Kind of MBA Degrees Are Available?

A full-time student completes the MBA program in two years. Part-time schedules can stretch this out to three or four years. The American MBA diploma has a stellar reputation around the world, and international students often travel to the States to enroll in top business schools.

Working toward an MBA opens you up to new methods, unique viewpoints, and the wisdom of those with years of experience under their belt. When seasoned professionals gather in a classroom environment, each student benefits from the experience of everyone else.

In Montana, a typical MBA enrollee has worked for 11 years. While 58 percent hold undergraduate business degrees, others had majored in math, engineering, life sciences, or the social sciences.

And so to respond to this diverse crop of MBA students, schools have created a number of different MBA programs, for example:

An Executive MBA (EMBA) program focuses on management principles, international business trends, and corporate ethics. These students study business law, economics, and statistics. An EMBA boosts the potential of becoming a CEO, COO, or Executive Director. These programs are intended for working professionals, and can bring with them raises of anywhere between 30-60%.

A Global MBA prepares students to think beyond their own backyard and to adapt to the world economy. These degrees typically incorporate some sort of humanitarian or ethics component as well.

Students who complete this type of program often pursue careers as Management Analysts, who have a median salary of around $81,000.

Many schools also offer MBAs with concentrations in various fields of business. Examples of these types of MBAs include:

  • MBA in Finance
  • MBA in Marketing
  • MBA in Information Technology
  • MBA in International Business
  • MBA in Operations Management
  • MBA in Leadership
  • MBA in Strategy
  • MBA in Entrepreneurship
  • MBA in Innovation
  • MBA in Corporate Social Responsibility
  • MBA in Accounting

What MBA Specialties Are Available?

As noted above, there are many speciality MBA degrees available for students looking to pursue unique business interests.

The hottest trends include an MBA in Supply Chain Management. Of the employers surveyed by the Graduate Management Admission Council, 27 percent actively recruited these recent graduates.

Experts recommend a hybrid MBA program combining online and campus coursework for the most well-rounded education.

A Market Researcher with an MBA can anticipate a salary of $120,000. Job growth outpaces national averages at an impressive 19 percent. Technology Product Managers with MBAs average $124,927 with a hiring bonus of $25,000.

An MBA in Organizational Leadership has a projected job growth of 7 percent through 2024. By the mid-point of their career, these MBAs average $87,554. This type of MBA has a broader curriculum than a regular Masters in Organizational Leadership.

The MBA includes key business concepts in finance and accounting, and also encourages more specialization.

That was a lot of great information. Anything else?

You can find lists of dozens of job descriptions for MBA subfields. Today’s graduate students can choose a General MBA or select from several concentrations.

We have rankings of the Best MBA Degrees, as well as that ranking’s online counterpart: the Best Online MBA Degrees. If you’re concerned about cost, have a look at the ranking of the Most Affordable Online MBA Degrees.

MBA in Accounting

Undergraduate accounting degrees are always a good idea. With an almost golden guarantee to scoring a job out of college, it’s a great place to start. However, an advanced graduate degree in accounting could potentially open even more doors! You could earn significantly more money in the long run. Pursuing an MBA in accounting will not only equip you with the basics, but with all the skills needed to benefit you across the entire spectrum of business-oriented areas.

With an MBA in accounting, you can expect to pursue the following careers: actuary, auditor, compliance manager, budget analyst, and more. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average starting salary for an accountant is over $65,000. However, if you specialize in something like financial management, you’ll be looking at closer to $121,000 per year. Senior accountants also report high levels of job satisfaction; with a salary like that, it’s easy to see why!

College Choice has ranked the 50 Best Master’s in Accounting including, Stanford University, Miami University, and the University of Virginia. If you’re looking for flexibility without compromising quality, check out our ranking of the Best Online MBA Degrees in Accounting.

MBA in Finance

Are you a natural born leader who has a knack for all things finance? While earning a Master’s of Business Administration is no easy feat, it sure can be worth it! This internationally recognized degree provides graduates with not just critical knowledge but hands-on experience. An MBA in Finance is necessary for dealing with the most pressing financial issues that our world faces.

Financial Managers with an MBA, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, can earn upwards of $120,000 a year. Many MBA graduates can earn even more depending on the company and location–not to mention the impressive sign-on bonuses many receive! Of course, salaries will vary depending on your specific career track and if you have a noted area of specialty. Popular companies that hire MBA graduates with a specialization in finance include Amazon, Citi, and Bank of America. 

Excited about obtaining an MBA in Finance? From MIT and Harvard, to NYU and Cornell, College Choice has ranked the 15 Best MBA in Finance Degrees. For those looking for a more flexible and affordable degree without sacrificing quality, check out the 15 Best Online MBA in Finance Degrees.

MBA in Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management affects every aspect of modern life; it’s what makes sure that everything from apples to televisions gets from where they are produced to where they are sold.

Managers deal with producers and suppliers, but they can also oversee large teams of specialized employees, who help them deal with intricacies such as language barriers or customs issues.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, supply chain managers, also known as logisticians, can expect to earn high salaries compared to the median worker in the United States.

Logisticians earn around $36/hour, which translates to an annual wage of just over $74,000 per year ($20,000 over the national average). Employment in the market is also considered very stable, with minimal changes expected in the job market over the next decade.

College Choice has published a list of the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Operations Supply Chain Management Degrees. Despite the lucrative career path offered for Supply Chain Managers, the cost of school can still be a massive barrier for potential logisticians.

By focusing specifically on affordability, and looking at the traditionally affordable subset of schools found online, this ranking can help provide the best bang for a supply chain student’s buck.

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