An MBA Opens Doors to a Variety of Careers

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There’s no limit to what you can accomplish with an MBA

There is a misperception among some people that an MBA is only for a certain type of person, looking for a certain type of job. The reality is that earning an MBA appeals to a wide array of candidates—running the spectrum between the analytical and the creative, the extroverted and the introverted, and those with business and nonbusiness backgrounds.

The variety of career paths reflects the diversity of inputs that MBA graduates chart after earning their degree. Equipped with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of business and management, the skills to be an effective leader, and the support of a robust alumni network, graduates go on to have successful careers across a wide array of industries and job functions.

There’s no one thing MBA alumni do

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMACsurveyed nearly 6,000 alumni of full-time MBA programs and found that they are employed across eight different industries, with no more than about 1 in 5 currently working in any one particular sector. Additionally, the job functions of these MBA alumni also vary widely.

This diversity speaks to the wide applicability of the MBA curriculum to all types of businesses, and the desirability of the MBA skillset among employers seeking new management talent. A recent GMAC survey of corporate recruiters found that across all industries, nearly 9 in 10 employers agree that hiring recent business school graduates creates value for their companies (86 percent).

Through their MBA programs and the professional guidance provided by their b-school career services office, MBA students are able to identify the job opportunities that appeal to their interests and are a great match for their individual talent and aspirations. Across all industries and job functions, 93 percent of full-time two-year MBA alumni say their degree has been professionally rewarding, and 90 percent say the skills they developed in b-school advanced their career.

An MBA can help you enhance your career or start your own company

Over the last 10 years, the number of candidates who seek to enhance their current career path has grown to 41 percent, and overall, managing people and projects are candidates’ top career goals (42 percent and 40 percent, respectively). If you’re considering an MBA because you want to take your career in a new direction, however, you’re hardly alone. Approximately 1 in 3 prospective MBA students plan to use their management education to pursue opportunities in new industries (27 percent) or job functions they have not worked in before (36 percent).

If you’re driven by the desire to be your own boss, you’re among 1 in 4 candidates with entrepreneurial aspirations (25 percent). The rate of entrepreneurship among alumni increases with years removed from graduation, and it’s seen as the best avenue for propelling graduates’ ideas, goods, and/or services. B-school alumni entrepreneurs most often found their own companies (85 percent), and combined, over half establish businesses within the consulting (36 percent) or products/services industry (26 percent).

An MBA gives you flexibility

The business world changes rapidly, and organizational change experts predict the rate of change in business will only accelerate in the future. That means your ability to adapt to a changing marketplace will be critical to your long-term career success.

Because an MBA is so greatly valued across different industries and disciplines, it can help you adapt to changing circumstances in the economy. For example, if shifts in the market negatively impact your career trajectory in a given industry or job function, having your MBA—not to mention your MBA network—will enhance your ability to deftly pivot your career path in a direction that will enable your continued professional development.

There’s no limit to what you can accomplish with an MBA. Explore the world of career possibilities using this interactive tool and discover how a graduate business degree can help you open new doors.

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