Pursuing an MBA: When you need it and why you should get it

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Graduate student working on assignment for graduate school.

Whether you’re just finishing up your bachelor’s degree or are immersed in a career in business, now may be the right time to pursue a Master of Business Administration. Whether you’d like to begin your career or advance within it, the Online Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland may provide you with the education you’ve been looking for.

Before you’re ready to start applying for business schools, you might want to do a little research on MBA programs to make sure this master’s degree is the right fit for your goals. Here are some questions you might have about acquiring a business education, along with some answers to help guide you as you apply for and attend graduate school:

Getting an MBA degree: Is it worth it?

Before you spend the time and money on a master’s program, you’ll probably want to make sure it’s going to be worth it. Additionally, as a business-minded professional, you probably want to make sure you’re getting a return on investment. Fortunately, sources indicate that an MBA degree can lead to various positive outcomes.

According to a 2018 Graduate Management Admission Council survey of over 10,000 alumni from hundreds of graduate programs, 94% considered their business education to be “personally rewarding,” 89% said it was “professionally rewarding” and 73% stated that it was “financially rewarding.”

In addition to providing MBA graduates with increased knowledge on their area of specialization, these programs can increase their earnings potential in their current or future career. According to a 2018 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average salary someone earns after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business is $56,720. Meanwhile, the 2018 average salary for those with a master of business administration was $69,756. This is due to the fact that plenty of organizations understand the business expertise one can gain from an MBA program.

Can you get an MBA without a business degree?

Even if you didn’t pursue a bachelor’s degree in business, you can still earn a business administration MBA. As a matter of fact, many MBA students come from backgrounds that aren’t related to business. In these instances, professionals might be trying to improve their marketability, as gaining a business acumen can make them more well-rounded in their current paths. Other MBA candidates may be pursuing a master’s degree to transition into a new career.

However, if you did earn a bachelor’s degree in some area of business — such as finance, marketing or human resources management — you can leverage your MBA as a means of building upon the business acumen you already have in your specialization. Particularly if you gained a more focused study of business during your undergraduate studies, you may benefit from the holistic approach to business you will gain in an MBA program.

Why is an MBA important for certain job paths?

While many organizations will offer roles to candidates with a bachelor’s degree alone, they often view MBA graduates at a higher level. When you’re on the hunt for a new job or seeking upward mobility in your current company, an MBA can really set you apart.

Because business master’s degree programs cover a wide range of subjects, this level of education can help you gain a big picture understanding of business. That’s why an MBA can be most useful in giving graduates the skills they need to move from entry- and mid-level positions into management roles. In an entry-level position, you might only need to know the ins and outs of your specific area of the business. However, in a managerial role, you may need to collaborate across multiple teams on a regular basis, overseeing employees that are doing work outside of what you majored in during your undergraduate studies.

Is it hard to get an MBA?

Some students are hesitant to pursue MBAs for one main reason: They’re afraid these programs will be too difficult. It’s a master’s degree, after all, so it won’t exactly be a piece of cake. MBA programs are very academically rigorous, with plenty of readings, essays and projects throughout the course of each semester.

Plenty of MBA students who want to work while getting their degrees will pursue part-time MBA degrees to keep themselves from becoming burnt out. Another viable option for busy individuals balancing an MBA with other commitments is an online MBA program. The convenience and flexibility of an online MBA program can allow students to commit to earning a new credential while dealing with the demands of their busy work and home life schedules.

When you’re ready to improve your business expertise and become an asset to your present and future companies, look into an online MBA from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business Online Master of Business Administration is comprised of a broad curriculum of foundational and advanced business courses, covering topics in the fields of finance, entrepreneurship and leadership, among a range of other subjects.

 

Recommended Readings:

What is an online MBA from the University of Maryland?

The specializations you can pursue with a University of Maryland Online MBA degree

 

Sources:

2018 Alumni Perspectives Survey: The Value of a Graduate Management Education by the Graduate Management Admission Council

Salary Survey: Executive Summary by the National Association of Colleges and Employers