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Careers with an MBA degree

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

A Master of Business Administration degree can help you open doors to a variety of career paths, make you a more employable and credentialed professional, illustrate your dedication to lifelong learning and growth and potentially provide you with job security for years to come.

In fact, despite layoffs in many industries, “the job market for MBA graduates remains strong,” according to U.S. News & World Report.

While many roles in business and finance do not require a graduate or MBA degree, earning the advanced degree is advantageous, experts say — especially for those who are looking to advance their career, earn a higher salary, grow into leadership roles or develop leadership and managerial skills, U.S. News & World Report noted.

If you envision a career in business, finance or just about anything connected to them, an MBA can provide you with numerous skills and qualifications to help you build a successful future.

Read on to learn about potential careers with an MBA degree you could pursue, including job outlooks, potential salaries and more.

MBA degree: A versatile degree to prepare you for various career paths

Achieving success in today’s workplace, regardless of the industry, requires many competencies, a well-rounded education packed with real-world experiences and a solid personal brand. And the Broad College’s Full-time MBA program checks all those boxes.

Unique to Broad, you will spend your first year of the program as part of a relatively small cohort of fewer than 40 people. This helps guarantee that you will familiarize yourself with the collaborative work you will find in all industries today. It also provides you with a low student-to-faculty ratio, which allows for the feedback and instruction you need to personalize — and maximize — your growth.

An MBA degree also will equip you with an array of skills and experiential learning opportunities that will prepare you to face future challenges, adapt to ever-changing business demands and lead effectively in myriad industries.

From consulting, financial services, manufacturing and technology to pharmaceuticals, biotech and health care, you’ll find never-ending opportunities in a wide range of fields when you explore careers with an MBA from the Broad College.

Today, you’ll find Broad Spartan MBA alumni serving in important roles at some of the world’s most influential companies, including Amazon, Cognizant, Dell Technologies, Deloitte, Dow, Intel and P&G — and you can, too.

Careers with an MBA degree

Regardless of the industry or sector you’re drawn to, an MBA from MSU prepares you to add value to any organization, from day one of your internship all the way to the boardroom.

Here is a sampling of careers with an MBA degree you can explore, including information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics about median annual salaries, job outlooks and more:

Financial manager

Among their duties, financial managers create financial reports, direct investments, develop financial plans and goals for businesses and organizations. While financial managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, the BLS notes that some credentials and certifications require a graduate degree such as an MBA or a master’s in a related field.

Job outlook: Employment of financial managers is projected to grow 17% through 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Management analyst or consultant

Management analysts and consultants analyze the efficiency of businesses and organizations and make suggestions accordingly. While a bachelor’s degree is required for most entry-level analyst roles, the BLS noted that some employers prefer to hire candidates with MBA degrees.

The Broad MBA degree is a known entity among all major management consultancies, placing graduates across McKinsey, Bain, Boston Consulting Group, GEP, LEK and Kearny in a variety of roles along the corporate ladder, from consultants to partners.

Job outlook: Employment of management analysts is projected to increase 11% through 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Medical and health services manager

Medical or health services managers, or other professionals working in health care management, coordinate and direct the business functions of health care facilities. Education requirements vary but usually range from bachelor’s to master’s degrees.

At Broad, you can complete your MBA degree concurrently with a Medical Doctor degree (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (DO). This will prepare you to elevate your clinical knowledge and unlock even greater value managing others in health care delivery or in adjacent industries.

Job outlook: Employment in these roles is estimated to increase 28% through 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Operations research analyst

Operations research analysts solve complex problems for businesses and organizations, typically through data, mathematics and more. These roles typically require at least a bachelor’s degree, and some require a master’s degree in operations research, business or another related field.

As the school with the No. 1 graduate program in supply chain/logistics for seven years in a row, Broad MBA graduates are in tremendous demand.

Job outlook: Employment of operations research analysts is expected to grow 23% through 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Personal financial adviser

Financial advisers offer advice and guidance on investments, retirement planning and myriad other areas under the finance umbrella. While financial advisers typically require a bachelor’s degree, an MBA or a related field could potentially attract new clients or help a financial adviser advance to a financial manager position, according to the BLS.

As an MBA candidate at Broad, you also can enroll in electives through our M.S. in Financial Planning and Wealth Management program, helping you rise to the top in any financial adviser role.

Job outlook: Employment of personal financial advisers is projected to increase 15% through 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Project management specialist

Project management specialists or project managers coordinate all aspects of a project, including budget, scheduling and project details.

Many students entering MBA degree programs at MSU are interested in pursuing roles in project and program management within the tech sector. While project management specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in business or project management to enter the role, according to the BLS, an MBA from MSU can help set you apart from others in the job market.

Job outlook: Employment of project management specialists is projected to grow 7% through 2031, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Top executive

Top executives plan strategies, craft policies and oversee other functions to ensure that organizations and businesses meet goals. Professionals in these roles typically need a bachelor’s or master’s degree, according to the BLS, which notes that top executives of large corporations may hold an MBA.

Job outlook: Overall employment for top executives is anticipated to grow 6% through 2031, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

With experiences such as tech treks to the West Coast, industry and recruiter panels, MSU-hosted and national-level career fairs and company presentations, you will undoubtedly find your career passion — and excel in it — from day one.

Secure your future with an MBA degree

While many entry-level roles in business, finance and other industries may only require a bachelor’s degree, earning an MBA degree or a related field can potentially improve your job prospects, help you qualify for higher-paying jobs and more.

This is underscored by survey findings from the Graduate Management Admission Council. According to GMAC’s research brief, “most alumni agree that a graduate business degree is a catalyst for reaching their specific career outcomes.”

In fact, GMAC survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their graduate management education increased their employability (87%) and earning power (79%), prepared them for leadership positions (77%), provided opportunities for quicker career advancement (67%) and greater job security (63%) and more.

Earn your MBA degree at MSU

Now that you know a little more about potential MBA careers you could pursue after graduation, take the next step now toward your future with an MBA degree from MSU.

A full-time MBA degree from the Broad College at MSU is No. 1 for return on investment when you consider the percentage increase on pre-MBA salaries, per The Economist. Broad MBA graduates typically earn over $100,000 when they enter the workforce after graduation, allowing for a record 3.6 year payback period from a Top 10 public university.

At MSU, we’ll also provide you with a challenging curriculum, real-world learning opportunities and a wide array of options to learn more about potential employers and MBA careers outside of the classroom, too. With experiences such as tech treks to the West Coast, industry and recruiter panels, MSU-hosted and national-level career fairs and company presentations, you will undoubtedly find your career passion — and excel in it — from day one.

In the classroom to on the job: Explore MBA careers through our career management center

As you pursue your graduate studies at MSU, our Russell Palmer Career Management Center will help you connect your MBA degree to MBA careers.

Our career services team will help you understand MBA recruiting and highlight career-relevant courses, co-curricular activities and student organizations, and coach you from resume prep all the way through to salary negotiations as you land an MBA career. The Palmer Center team is the force multiplier that helps our students exceed even the most aspirational expectations.

When you graduate, you’ll join the ranks of our other successful MBA degree alumni — 94.3% of whom accepted jobs in the three months that followed their graduation in 2022, and an industry-besting 100% in 2021.

To start your application and to become a Broad MBA, visit explore.msu.edu/apply.

In Other News:

The Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business
First-year MBA student Lucas Ferro reflects on his experiences in entrepreneurship and the journey that led him to MSU.
Michael Lamach is the retired chair and CEO of Trane Technologies, with a BS. in Applied Engineering Sciences from MSU.
International MBA student Rishabh Singhal recounts his application and admissions process at the Broad College.
The back of the Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business, facing the Red Cedar River.
MBA student Gurnoor Chuhan compiled a list of career paths that illustrate the breadth of possibilities with an MBA.