A Master's in Business Administration or MBA degree is often seen as one of the best degrees to advance your career in business. For example, an MBA can be a good choice for those who want to be promoted, whether or not they want to move into management in their current field. However, many MBA students and graduates may not be aware of all the possibilities that might be open to them in other fields. Demand for MBA is also on the rise in many emerging markets around the world. Let's take a look at some of the best career opportunities for MBA graduates.
An MBA is a formal program for teaching the soft-skills many professionals lack. This is especially true for science, engineering and accounting professionals who tend to be weak on people skills. An MBA also teaches you the fundamentals of leadership, scheduling, budgeting and everything else you need to supervise others. This includes leading teams of like-minded professionals and diverse, distributed teams.
Your chosen field may require that you pursue a certain specialisation to be eligbile. For example, some companies may prefer candidates with a specialisation in IT management for heading the IT department. A specialisation in healthcare management, on the other hand, is usually preferred for those who want to oversee a medical facility. This is true whether you want to become a nursing manager or the head of a nursing home. However, there are only a few fields where you will absolutely need to earn a specialised MBA. For the rest, a conventional MBA is fine if the goal is to move into management.
An MBA can also prepare you for launching your own company. While some have been trying to downgrade the importance of an MBA for entrepreneurs, the truth is that many companies, especially in the tech field, are now employing MBAs in droves.
One of the reasons why the MBA is so valuable to entrepreneurs is that it gives them a well-rounded understanding of all aspects of business, including things like business law and accounting. An entrepreneur with an MBA will be better prepared to deal with complicated and ever-changing tax codes and is less likely to fall victim to financial manipulations.
Another underrated benefit of the MBA for aspiring entrepreneurs is that it will give you the opportunity to test and brainstorm ideas without having to deal with actual risk. You'll get assistance from qualified teachers who'll be able to give you advice on how to improve ideas or help you see why a particular idea would not be feasible. You'll become better at risk management, and won't have to commit crucial errors that could've been easily avoided.
Entrepreneurs with an MBA are better at managing teams, expansion, and can fulfill many functions themselves without having to bring external help. This allows them to be much more flexible, hands-on, and have more of a say in day to day decisions.
The credential is also valuable for those who want to become a consultant. You'll learn everything from how to give a great sales presentation to clearly communicating your objectives when giving someone an update. You'll also know how to market your skill-set and make your case when defending your recommended solution.
The MBA also teaches a variety of soft skills that will make you even more powerful as a consultant. Some of the skills you'll learn include:
- Critical Thinking
- Cross-Cultural Competency
It's easy to see why an MBA would set you apart. As a matter of fact, many companies will flat out refuse to work with a consultant who doesn't have one. This will not only allow you to get your foot in the door, but also use your expertise to be able to work with multiple departments, whether it's product development and manufacturing, marketing or upper management.
An MBA can teach you more than the basics of marketing. The program may teach you the latest tools used to assess products, companies and digital marketing data. You'll learn how to communicate with your prospective customers no matter what culture they are in because you'll understand how to identify their needs, their wants, their preferences, and their buying habits.
Marketing majors are also in great demand in different markets around the world, especially in the Middle East. And the best thing is that you can get an MBA online from some of the most prestigious universities in Europe without having to leave your home country. For example, universities like Aston Online have online MBAs that are tailor-made for Middle Eastern students. An online MBA from Aston could also prepare you for a role in international business, conventional sales, and traditional marketing for domestic firms.
Globalisation means that parts going into a product could come from twenty different countries. Most end products are more likely to be shipped to customers all over the world as well. This increases the complexity of purchasing, production planning and shipping. This, in turn, is increasing demand for logistics experts.
Furthermore, the growth of online retailing is increasing demand for logistics experts as they try to ship products to customers as fast as the buyer expects them without paying a fortune for overnight shipping. Regardless of your background, an MBA could give you the necessary credentials to move forward in logistics.
Human Resources or HR is far more complicated than listing jobs and interviewing candidates. The process of managing people now includes a wide range of tools from Applicant Tracking Systems to Human Resources Information Systems.
If you already work in HR, you may need to complete an MBA to master the latest HR tools. Or you may want to earn an advanced degree so that you can become a hiring manager instead of posting jobs online and doing initial screenings of candidates. Either way, having an MBA will give you a significant advantage in the field.
Project management has become a distinct discipline. Project managers may oversee complex construction projects, data center upgrades or the testing and roll-out of integrated hardware systems. Project managers also have to deal with contractors, consultants, clients, managers, and their own team members.
Instead of earning a specialised project management certification, you could learn the same skills with an MBA and have a degree that could open up further career opportunities. For example, a programmer who earns an MBA could move into IT project management. Once you've supervised a number of system updates and upgrades, you could move into IT management as a computer and information systems manager or even become a Chief Technology Officer.
Speaking of which, there is now increasing demand around the globe for qualified Chief Technology Officers. As a CTO, you will be responsible for:
- Developing technical aspects of an organisation's strategy to make sure it's aligned with business goals
- Discovering and implementing new technologies to gain a competitive advantage
- Helping departments use new technology in a profitable way
- Supervising system infrastructure in order to ensure efficiency and functionality
- Building data protection and quality assurance processes
- Monitoring IT budgets KPIs and to evaluate technological performance
- informing necessary technological adjustments and improvements by using stakeholders' feedback
- Communicating technology strategies to investors and partners
In short, the job of a chief technology officer is to establish an organisation's technical vision and oversee every part of its technological development. Note, however, that while you can get a position as a Chief Technology Officer with an MBA degree and prior experience, many companies will prefer graduates with a specialisation in information technology management.
We can also expect to see a growing demand for health services managers around the world. The healthcare industry is constantly evolving and diversifying and needs managers who have a well-rounded understanding of both the business and managerial side of running a healthcare facility.
As a health services manager, you will be responsible for overseeing doctors, clerical workers, and technicians. You may also have to supervise other functions such as nutrition services, maintenance, and equipment purchases. You might have to establish relationships with suppliers and oversee the supply chain as well.
On the other hand, you might also be asked to work specifically with one department. This is usually the case for larger facilities. Or you may be asked to work closely with human resources and help with hiring, onboarding, and training new employees.
Analysts have been a staple of the business world for years. Someone might analyse the current market trends in a particular region, project demand for a product for the next few months or determine if a company is a good investment. Demand for data analysts has taken off because of Big Data, the collection of data from the Internet of Things, and the detailed data collection of user behavior online.
This means manufacturing firms are hiring data analysts to make use of the data coming off their production equipment in addition to marketing teams needing analysts to create charts explaining customer behavior. Analysts are asked to determine what behaviors are associated with an increased risk of default on a loan or hack attacks on a network.
Businesses are also relying on data analysts to present streamlined business metrics via business dashboards so that managers have the data they need to make decisions without wasting time making sense of it all. If you already work in marketing, an MBA focused on data analytics allows you to move into digital marketing data analysis without having to go into IT.
Cost estimators are responsible for compiling and analysing data to estimate the money, time, labor, and materials needed to build constructions, offer a service, or manufacture a product. Most estimators are specialised in a particular industry or a specific type of product.
Cost estimators play an essential role in the building and manufacturing process and are in great demand at the moment. Not only are they able to help businesses plan finances better, but they also help them when it comes to pricing products correctly or submitting solid contract bids.
The job of a budget analyst is in many ways similar to that of a cost estimator. However, they don't only work on calculating costs on a project.
The job of a budget analyst is to organise a business's finances at every single level. They are also responsible for releasing budget reports, monitoring spending, and making recommendations. For instance, they will be able to identify overspending on things such as energy and help the business make corrections to their processes to cut costs. Or they might advise that the company searches for new suppliers.
Budget analysts will also be asked to prepare a variety of special reports, and look at budget proposals. They will also look at data to evaluate the benefits and costs of assorted programs. It's not uncommon for them to also recommend the appropriate funding for new initiatives.
Banking and investment firms routinely restrict high paying jobs to those with an MBA. You might be able to work as an entry-level analyst or clerk with a bachelor's degree. However, you will need an MBA to be allowed to manage someone's portfolio or oversee the budgeting process. Capital managers, investment advisors and traders are expected to have an MBA specialising in finance.
Business operations managers mainly deal with supply chain management, and we can expect massive growth in demand for these professionals in the near future. The main goal of operations managers is to manage the local and global supply chain while figuring out how businesses can overcome sourcing challenges. Those with a love for analytics, good problem-solving skills, and the right foundation will thrive as business operations managers.
An MBA can be seen as a stepping stone into a new profession or a greater level of responsibility in your current field. The only question you need to ask yourself is where you want to go so that you can choose the right degree program.