What’s an MBA Worth in the Workforce?

The MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a degree program that has been around since the late 19th century. The MBA is offered at many business schools, and is typically offered in various options: full-time, part-time and distance learning, as well as an executive MBA.

With so many other business degrees offered today, many students are wondering if earning an MBA is worth the investment. Read this informative article and learn some important facts about the MBA, as well as its worth in the workforce.

Types of MBA Programs

Here are the most common MBA program types.

Traditional 2-year MBA – This full-time program generally takes two academic years to complete and typically requires completion of 60 credits. The student attends school full-time during the day and must have sufficient real-world work experience. Princeton Review reports that some students can even earn this degree in one year.

Accelerated MBA – A variation of the traditional MBA, the accelerated MBA has a heavier workload with no long breaks between semesters.

Part-time MBA – This program, which can take three or more years to complete, allows the student to continue to work because the classes are held during the evenings and/or on the weekends.

Online MBA programs – This program, offered through distance learning, has become very popular because the student can continue to work and not have to attend classes on campus. Students earning their MBA online may choose several learning formats, including teleconference, videoconference, pre-recorded video, correspondence courses or other online computer courses.

Executive MBA – This program, aimed at business executives and managers, can be completed in less than two years. It’s very popular because it allows the executive to continue to work full-time. This program is generally used by those with many years of work experience – sometimes ten years or more.

Hybrid MBA – This program is typically used by students who can’t attend a traditional MBA program. It combines both on-campus and online courses.

What About Online MBA Programs?

The popularity and success of online MBA programs has encouraged many business schools to include distance learning as part of their learning options. The main reason for its popularity is the flexibility it offers students. Students pursuing an MBA online can continue to work full-time and complete coursework at their own pace. Another advantage of taking an online MBA program is that students can be enrolled in some of the country’s top universities, which can be a boost to their career.

Applicants to the online program are expected to either have relevant work experience or complete prerequisite courses. Most of the best MBA programs offered through distance learning use the same faculty members that are used in the on-campus programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. Students complete courses such as managing human resources, marketing, problems in financial management, global operations and supply chain management, financial systems and accounting.

MBA Career Outlook

The growing global economy has increased the need for management positions and workers in business fields. This looks favorable for students completing MBA programs. Graduates of MBA programs from the top schools usually find employment in their field within just a few months of graduation, as reported by Forbes. Possible career fields available to MBA graduates include business analysis, business operations, sales management and project management, among others.

An MBA graduate may find employment as a financial analyst, management analyst, human resource manager, computer and information systems manager, financial manager or top executive, to name just a few. Below is a table indicating the employment growth predicted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics  (BLS) for these positions for the years 2012-2022.

Financial analyst – 16%
Management analyst – 19%
Human resource manager – 13%
Top executive – 11%
Financial manager – 9%
Computer and information systems manager – 15%

MBA Salary Outlook

Students who complete MBA programs, both on-campus and online programs, generally experience various career opportunities and can potentially expect excellent earnings. Forbes reports that MBA graduates from the top 50 business schools experience an increase of 50% in wages over what they were earning the year prior to starting the business program. Additionally, their wages almost double in the next five years. Below is a list of the median annual wages for some of the positions possible with an MBA. The salaries, reported by the BLS, are effective as of May 2014.

Financial analyst – $92,250
Management analyst –  $90,860
Human resource manager – $114,140
Top executive – $122,060
Financial manager – $130,230
Computer and information systems manager – $136,280

Is the MBA Still an Important Degree?

In recent years, there has been some speculation as to the relevance of an MBA for a successful business career due to the various other business degree programs now available. However, research indicates that the MBA is not only far from obsolete but also is still one of the top graduate business programs. A 2011 Forbes ranking of the top 50 business schools provided some valuable information for students considering an MBA.

Forbes indicated that MBA graduates can recoup all degree-related expenses (tuition and loss of wages while in college), in less than four years. They also indicated that when the wages and pay increases were taken into account, the traditional 2-year MBA program continues to be the best overall choice. The main difference between an MBA and a traditional Master of Science program at a business school is that the MBA programs require work experience. Despite this, students and graduates are still realizing the importance and benefit of having an MBA.

Why earn your MBA at Rivier?

Highly valued work, competitive salaries, expansive job opportunities—an MBA from Rivier University is your path to professional success. Rivier’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees combines traditional business education with key elements in the field of your choice. MBA degree options include:

These programs enhance both hard and soft skills for greater effectiveness and career advancement.