Three Ways Going to Business School Will Help You Switch Careers
After several years in the same job, you might feel like it’s time to start something new. Switching careers, and even changing industries, is pretty common, but it does require planning and careful consideration.
Jumping into a new field isn’t easy. You must be able to prove you’ll be able to do the job if hired, and some of your past experience may not seem relevant. You’ll need transferrable skills and the contacts to help you make inroads into a new sector.
Going to school for business can make all the difference when switching industries. According to the Prospective Students Survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 36 percent of candidates go to business school to switch job functions and 27 percent go to switch industries.
What’s more, 25 percent of business school candidates want to use their experience to launch their own business and 29 percent want to work internationally after their degree.
If you’re looking for a career change, here are three ways going to business school will help:
Business school helps grow your network in different industries
The opportunity to build a network is one of the primary advantages of going to business school. In the classroom, you’ll meet professionals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and countries who will become close, personal contacts through the course of your degree. You’ll gain insight into new industries and areas of expertise through these relationships.
Business schools also have strong relationships with major employers who recruit directly on campus, making it easier to apply for jobs—and switch industries—than it would be on your own. Furthermore, many of these companies are staffed by business school alumni.
Having a common bond with these high-profile alumni will help you when you’re looking to enter a new field. Out of the 10,882 alumni surveyed in GMAC’s 2018 Alumni Perspectives Survey, 95 percent said they would recruit a student from their alma mater for a job opening at their organization.
Going to school for business will expand your experience in other industries
Let’s say you’ve worked in engineering your whole career, and you’re keen to switch into consulting. Do you lack the direct consulting experience employers are looking for? Business school is the place to get it.
During your graduate business degree, you can work on group projects, intern, and choose practice-based modules to help you build up experience in several areas that will apply to consulting, and many other corporate business settings. From finance to technology and health care management, you’ll have opportunities to practice business skills in industries outside your current field.
An internship is one pathway to a full-time role. As an intern, you’ll prove that you’re ready to switch into a full-time position with the same company. But even if you decide to work for a different firm, having that real-life experience on your resume will help you stand out.
Business school will increase and deepen transferable skills for your next role
If you’re looking at your dream job description and noticing that you lack some of the skills it asks for, business school can help.
Specialized master’s programs—in finance, data analytics, and health care—can help you build knowledge in a specialized area and the technical skills often required for some career paths. At the same time, today's employers value soft skills like communication, the ability to work with others, and problem solving.
Generalist management programs, like MBA degrees and Master in Management, focus more on these transferable soft skills. These programs can help you become a well-rounded manager and leader, qualified for senior management roles in a variety of industries.
That’s why the careers that business school graduates pursue today are not limited to consulting and finance. Companies across industries—like energy, health care, nonprofit, and technology—hire business school grads.
Whatever new career path you want to embark on, the combination of the network, experience, and skills you’ll gain, makes going to school for business a great place to start.
Read more information on the value of switching careers by clicking below.