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How an MBA Can Help Advance Your Career

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Michael Tarantino, Lehigh University

Discover why there is no better time than now to earn your MBA degree.

Michael Tarantino is director of Recruiting & Admissions, Lehigh University, College of Business & Economics.

The MBA Degree in its simplest form is a professional degree. Other examples of fields that confer professional degrees are dental, law and medical.  An MBA doesn’t mean you are eligible to perform surgery, but it does come with a certain level of recognition in its own right within the field of business. When you take a look at the job market in 2015, mba.com projects that 84 percent of companies globally will hire MBAs, which is an all-time high. It is better now than ever before to earn your MBA degree.

MBAs are sought after in today’s environment for many different reasons. The curriculum in an MBA program focuses on four major subject areas: analytical, functional, ethical and electives (which can be a variety of specific subjects). When you think about what it takes to be a leader in any environment, what are some of the key character traits that you would imagine that type of leader would possess? Looks pretty similar, right? MBA programs prepare students to be leaders in their area of expertise, but not necessarily only within the field of business. The MBA degree has become the most widely accepted master’s degree in the US, mostly because of the practicality of the knowledge obtained and the ability to apply the skills learned to positions in any industry.

The MBA can also open up new experiences to you that would otherwise be unavailable by conventional methods.  

Here at Lehigh University, students are eligible to go on a week-long immersion trip abroad where they not only prepare projects based upon a theme of study, but they also gain many connections within foreign companies and receive behind the scenes access to top international organizations that as a tourist, they would be shut out of. These types of experiences can set you apart from other job applicants and at a minimum, give you a great conversational piece at your next networking event.

Finally, the traditional members of our workforce will change jobs upwards of five times before they finish their careers. While you will gain different experiences in each of those job placements, there is a possibility your future employer likely won’t understand the details about your potential fit as an employee at their firm just by browsing your resume. Not every person gets to work for a name brand company that is internationally known and it can be difficult to stand out from the pack.  However, if you are able to include an MBA on your resume, you will enhance your resume with a brand name that also sets you apart from your peers. The MBA is a globally recognized degree that will inform an employer that you have the business acumen and the leadership skills to succeed in their company. In addition, career adjustments for MBA candidates are more likely to be vertical movements, rather than horizontal job changes for those who do not hold the degree.