10 Careers That an MBA Can Open Up for YouBy Ernest Hamilton, UniversityHerald Reporter
MBA's are well regarded in the business world, as employers know that MBA graduates are not only knowledgeable about business skills, but they are adept in problem-solving, critical thinking and communication.
As the digital world advances, it's now possible to do an online MBA and access the same quality of education that you would through a brick and mortar university, so understandably more and more people are choosing an MBA as their next step.
One of the main focus areas for MBA's are leadership and strategic thinking, which place graduates from online MBA courses in a prime position to step into leadership roles as well as more analytical roles. Here are just a few of the possible roles that an MBA could make available to you.
Business consultants can work in any number of industries, helping the company that they have been employed to work more efficiently.
Typically, a business consultant will be employed on a contract basis, either independently or through a consultancy firm, generally with a specific problem in mind.
When they first start at the company, they will spend a great deal of time on the 'discovery phase' which is researching how the business currently works, both by reading written materials and talking with existing staff members.
Once they have a thorough understanding of how the business works, they can use the problem-solving ability that they gained by studying their online MBA to address the issue that they have been engaged to solve. Some of the reasons an employer might bring in a business consultant are:
Expertise in a specific area. For example, if you wanted to build a new website, but you weren't a software company, you might bring in a web design consultant to guide you through the process.
They are identifying problems. A good consultant will be able to use their business knowledge to identify inefficiencies in your business and help you to redesign processes to make them run more smoothly.
Teaching and training staff. For example, if you bought a new piece of software, you might bring in a consultant to teach your staff how to use it.
They are using their connections and influence on your behalf.
The average salary for a business consultant is $73,015, but their salary can range anywhere from $60,418 to $89,761.
The role of a finance manager is to oversee the end to end finance operations within a company, typically companies with a large enough turnover to warrant having an entire finance department.
Some of the duties that a finance manager might take on are:
Continuously reviewing the end to end accounting practices and improving them.
Budgeting and forecasting.
Preparing the monthly accruals, prepayments and other accounting entries.
Leading the analysis of monthly and quarterly finances and presenting findings to the board.
Managing an end to end audit of current systems and acting as the point of contact for external auditors.
Working with stakeholders in other departments and managing their expectations appropriately.
Responsible for working capital management and the production of cash flow forecasts.
Leading the teams responsible for tax and payroll processes.
A finance manager must have excellent financial acumen and an affinity for numbers, as well as great leadership and problem-solving abilities. If you were planning to use your online MBA to pursue a career as a finance manager, then it is a good idea to make sure that you choose a course that allows you to select a finance concentration.
The median pay for financial managers is $129,890 per year.
An investment banker is a job title that we hear quite often, but most of us aren't sure what it is they do.
Investment bankers work with corporations and governments in an advisory capacity, sharing their insights on the capital markets. They might help their clients to raise money, give them advice or assist them with mergers and acquisitions.
As you might expect, investment bankers must have an in-depth knowledge of the capital markets, as these are what determines their success or failure. If a company decides to grow and raise funds by going in for an initial public offering (IPO), an investment banker will be the one to help them with that process. They will put together a prospectus for the offering detailing any risks that it carries, and they will also help to set the initial share price. This is an important job. If the shares are priced too high, then nobody will buy them. Too low, and the investment banker won't have generated all the capital that they could have done for their client.
Investment bankers must also have excellent problem-solving abilities, as a lot of the time, this is essentially what they will be doing. For example, if a company needs to raise a large amount of capital in a short amount of time, an investment banker will be the one they call on for advice. If you'd like to pursue a career as an investment banker, make sure that you choose an online MBA with a finance concentration.
The hours that investment bankers work is long and grueling but the hours you work are well rewarded. According to data from Wall Street Oasis, analysts, who are on the lowest rung, start at anywhere from $70,000 to $150,000. Once you become an associate, you'll likely bring in between $150,000 and $350,000 a year (and those who make it to "vice president" earn even more).
If you choose the marketing concentration for your online MBA, you'll be able to utilize your degree to carve out a career for yourself as a marketing manager.
Marketing managers work in a variety of industries, from charities and non-profits to huge finance corporations. Every business needs to tell the world what they are doing to thrive. To be an effective marketing manager, you will need to have excellent people and communication skills, as well as the ability to analyze data and create solutions with what you find.
The marketing manager has to plan the company marketing strategies and ensure that those strategies are achieving the desired results through the use of analytics. They will usually have a strict budget to stick to. A good manager must stay abreast of the latest marketing trends as the industry is always evolving, particularly in the digital space.
Working in marketing is a great opportunity to combine your business acumen with your creativity so that the job can be very rewarding. The salaries for marketing managers are highly dependent on the sector in which they are working. Still, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for marketing managers in May 2019 was $125,510.
Data Scientists are becoming increasingly valuable in the business world. Every business that is doing well is doing well because of the data that they collect and the action that they take based on it. A data scientist is a key part of that.
A data scientist collects and analyses data, and then uses their excellent problem-solving ability to work out trends and predictions based on it. They will use data systems and numbers to come to their conclusions, but they will need to present their findings to members of their business who perhaps aren't as data-minded as they are in the form of charts, graphs and presentations. Therefore, a data analyst must have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. Pursuing an online MBA is a great way to prove to potential employers that you have all of the skills they are looking for in a data scientist.
Some of the duties and responsibilities of a data scientist are:
Sifting through huge volumes of data from multiple internal and external sources
Use complicated analytics programs, machine learning and statistical methods to prepare data
Go through data to discard irrelevant information
Examine data from various angles to identify trends, weaknesses and opportunities
Provide solutions for the challenges that the business is facing which is backed by the data
Invent new problem-solving algorithms
Clearly explain findings to management and IT departments through visual, written and spoken communication
Recommend cost-effective changes
The average salary for a data scientist is $87,913, but the salary range starts at $68,000 and goes all the way up to $180,600.
Higher Education Management
If you are passionate about educating the next generation, then your online MBA could be the thing that opens the door to a career in higher education management.
Higher education is currently going through a huge transition. With more and more institutions offering their courses online, competition for students is fierce, and universities have to ensure that what they are offering is what their potential students want.
An MBA graduate is in the perfect position to communicate with potential students to discover what they want from their university, research what has worked and what hasn't in the past, and to implement new programs that will appeal to the next generation.
Leadership Positions in The Arts
There are also some unexpected sectors that those who pursue an online MBA can enter. For example, there is a need for MBA trained individuals in fashion, sports and entertainment companies.
Just like any other business, these industries can only operate so long as they are providing their audience with what they want. Pursuing an online MBA puts you in the perfect position to carry out the rigorous analysis that's required to ascertain what the customers of these companies are looking for.
If you can prove that you have the analytical skills needed, you could be playing a part in what shows your favorite television network is producing.
A great example of analytics in the entertainment field is Netflix. They collect data on their subscribers to create a detailed profile on the viewer, and from this, they have created models for what shows are likely to be a hit with their users and which ones are not. They even keep track of when a show is paused, if people begin watching again after they have paused it, and if there are TV shows that viewers never finish. They use this information not only to recommend shows to its viewers that they know they will enjoy, but to greenlight their own productions.
MBA graduates have both the analytical and the leadership skills needed to get involved with innovative industries like this and carve out an interesting and fulfilling career for themselves in the process.
If you are passionate about sustainability and the environment, then you can use your online MBA to shape your career around that passion.
Not only could you use an MBA to bag yourself a position at a green charity or non-profit organization, but you could also actually use it to drive sustainability in larger companies by becoming a sustainability manager.
A sustainability manager is responsible for ensuring that their company upholds green initiatives and that they are always working towards new and more innovative ways of being environmentally friendly while still remaining profitable.
Ensuring that your company is meeting its green objectives involves utilizing analytics and measuring your performance, as well as consulting with experts to come up with innovative new approaches which allow you to be green and profitable at the same time.
The salary and the actual day to day work of a sustainability manager will vary wildly depending on the industry in which you are working. However, sustainability is becoming a focus across the world for a multitude of different businesses in different sectors, so if you can use your online MBA to become a sustainability leader then you will find yourself an expert in a growing niche market - which is always a desirable position to be in!
If you are someone who wants to go out on their own, then you could use your MBA as an opportunity to learn everything that you need to know to start your own business.
One of the benefits of an online MBA is that they are generally quite flexible and will allow you to tailor your curriculum based on your needs. If you have a business idea, approach your institution with it, and they will be able to tailor your course to give you everything you need to make it a reality!