As a prospective Master of Business Administration (MBA) applicant, you are probably experiencing or approaching a plateau in your career. To take the next step, you need to develop the skills and competencies that correlate best with making organizations successful. These include business acumen in finance, accounting, strategic management and leadership skills, as well as soft skills like communication and critical thinking.
Luckily, there are various affordable, flexible options for master’s in business administration programs. An MBA degree offers significant advantages, especially in today’s highly competitive and challenging job market. Here are three to consider:
- The Choice of Specialization or Versatility
When considering an advanced business degree, you can pick a general or specialized degree. With an increasing variety of concentrated MBA programs, such as the six offered by the University of Southern Indiana, professionals have a compelling choice:
- Opt for the versatility of a general MBA, which provides a time-tested base of knowledge in business and management fundamentals. General MBA programs develop capabilities that apply across fields and functions, including business acumen and soft skills.
- Choose a specialized MBA for in-depth education in one field, such as data analytics or engineering management. This allows for a head start and the development of expertise in a specific field. A specialized MBA is ideal for those who are intent on a particular career trajectory.
- High Demand and Compensation
Employer demand, opportunities and compensation for MBA graduates are strong, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). When calculating your potential return on investment (ROI) for an advanced business degree, consider these findings from the 2020 Corporate Recruiters Survey and the two waves of responses (Wave I: Feb 17 – March 17 and Wave II: June 17 – July 17).
- Even in the context of the pandemic, the average income for business management graduates is holding steady. The median salary of MBAs is 75% more than those with a bachelor’s degree in Wave I at $115,000, which slightly decreased to $105,000 in Wave II.
- MBA graduates can expect even more lucrative salaries working for Fortune 100 companies or the big-three industries that hire the most MBA graduates: consulting, finance and technology. The median salary for MBA graduates in the consulting industry is twice that of bachelor’s degree holders at $145,000. An impressive 77% of employers planned to hire MBA talent in 2019.
- Even amid economic uncertainty, the leading industries of employment for MBA graduates report stable-to-increasing talent hiring. The overall percentage of recruiters planning to hire MBAs in 2021 is 89%.
- MBA talent commands a salary premium higher than all other graduate degree programs.
- Recruiters Are Confident in MBA Talent
Enthusiasm for MBA talent is not for lack of conviction from those who hire MBA graduates: the corporate recruiters. The top three reasons recruiters reported confidence in b-schools’ ability to prepare graduates for success in their organizations were strategic thinking, strong communication skills and versatility, according to GMAC.
Consider what a sampling of recruiters had to say in the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey 2020 about the value of graduate management education:
“Breadth of business knowledge and a mindset that emphasizes delivering results, coupled with personal attributes like ambition and desire to learn/grow.” – Recruiter from a tech sector Fortune 100 organization
“Ability to work in ambiguity, stronger analytical acumen and leadership.” – Recruiter from a finance sector Fortune 500 organization
“Well-rounded candidates with relevant past experiences and demonstrated achievement both professionally and academically.” – Recruiter from consulting sector organization
“Candidates with graduate management education tend to have greater ability to analyze problems, define strategies and communicate with peers and superiors.” – Recruiter from a tech sector Fortune 100 organization
An MBA combines the ability to choose a program tailored to career aspirations while increasing leadership viability, which appeals more strongly to leaders in hiring positions.
Learn more about the University of Southern Indiana’s online MBA program.
Graduate Management Admission Council: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Hiring of Business School Graduates: Corporate Recruiters Survey 2020
PrincetonReview: Is It Better to Get a Specialized MBA or General MBA?