Before you make the commitment to earn an MBA, you must first understand exactly what an MBA is, as well as whether it’s the right degree program for your goals. An MBA, or a Master of Business Administration, is a professional degree designed to provide graduate education in foundational business practices, such as accounting, finance, marketing, and management. It is often a beneficial degree choice for working professionals who need to obtain additional education in order to reach their career goals and climb further up the corporate ladder. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to learning, MBA programs are not only meant to deepen one’s understanding of business management, but also to further develop their critical thinking, analytical, and problem-solving skills. This is only one reason why what began as a simple graduate degree is now a highly sought credential in job candidates.
A Brief History of the MBA
While today institutions of higher education all across the world offer MBA programs, this degree is American born and bred. The first graduate school of management, the Tuck School of Business, was founded in 1900 at Dartmouth College. According to the school’s Web site, it was the original graduate business school to award the Master of Commercial Science degree, which later became known as the Master of Business Administration degree. This idea of a graduate business education quickly caught on and in 1908, the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration enrolled 80 students in the first-ever MBA program, as reported by its Web site. Throughout the years, the MBA programs have not only grown in number but in a range of subject matter as well.
The MBA Today
Today, there are various types of MBAs available through online business schools, each of which focuses in on a variety of disciplines, industries, and areas. The most common types of MBAs are strictly business, purposed for those whose professional interests lie strictly in traditional business functions with concentrations such as finance, accounting, marketing, human resources, economics, and business administration.
For the student who wants to make his or her mark in a particular business specialization, there are MBAs with concentrations like international business, sports management, entertainment business, and electronic business. Those who would rather focus on developing desired qualities or learning about a certain approach within a business can choose a concentration concerning an attribute or methods, such as entrepreneurship, leadership, e-commerce, or six sigma.
The goal of most business professionals is to obtain a management position and to effectively manage an organization within a particular industry substantial knowledge of it is necessary. Management MBAs are purposed to help professionals develop their industry expertise with concentrations like health care management, hospitality management, IT management, and supply chain management. There are also MBA concentrations for those who want to become experts within a certain area of management such as operations management, organizational management, project management, risk management, or global management.
For those who would rather focus on specializing in a certain field as a whole, there are concentrations in criminal justice, education administration, health care, and technology. MBA programs have much to offer to someone who wants to specialize within a certain area of health care with concentrations like health information technology, health services, healthcare administration, healthcare management, and nursing. Technology is another big area for MBA programs many schools offer concentrations in computer systems, information technology, network administration and security, and technology management.
And then there is the Executive MBA, which is specifically designed to augment the working professional’s career. The EMBA is typically geared toward the accomplished professional with several years of work experience under their belt. The program not only consists of refresher courses on functional business areas but focuses on the development of leadership qualities, networking abilities, and problem-solving skills.
What an MBA Can Do For You
There are many benefits of getting your MBA, the largest one essentially being employment. While increasing the chances of future employment is the primary reason that anyone chooses a college education, increasing career potential is never more apparent than in the decision to earn an MBA. The ability for an MBA to increase career potential is evident in the response to the Graduate Management Admission’s Council 2011 Alumni Survey. Out of the graduate business school alumni who responded to the survey, 93 per cent reported that they were currently employed and 55 per cent reported significant satisfaction with career progress since finishing their management education. Earning an MBA obviously proved a good investment for those graduates who found they were a few steps closer to reaching their career goals.
Not only do MBA degree holders have a better chance of employment, but they also are likely to earn higher figures when they are. Of the alumni who graduated in 2010, 7 out of 10 reported that their starting salaries were either as much or more than they expected, with the median starting salary equaling $78,820. Out of all the alumni who responded to the survey the median starting salary was $94,542 with a median business of $17,565. All things considered, when it comes to salary potential, it definitively pays to earn your MBA.
If at this point you are still asking yourself whether or not you should go back to school to earn your MBA, consider the following. An MBA might be just the credential you need to make sure that you don’t hit the proverbial glass ceiling. While a bachelor’s degree and work experience is an invaluable commodity on any resume, a graduate-level education can guarantee employers that you have the knowledge, abilities, and motivation that will be demanded of you in a higher-level position. In other words, it gives you a kind of credibility and distinction that cannot be earned in the workplace alone. Earning an MBA will also give you mobility in more than just one sense of the word. Given the broad scope of business, the education one receives while enrolled in an MBA program is applicable to a wide range of industries which will automatically increase the number of positions you are qualified for. MBAs are also universal, recognized in most countries as a respected business credential, literally opening up a world of career opportunities for degree holders.