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How Women are Using Business Master's Degrees to Launch Successful Careers

woman speaking in class

Graduate management education (GME) is helping women across the globe launch successful careers in a wide variety of industries and job functions. More women than ever before are taking the GMAT exam to gain admission to programs that offer the tools and resources required to achieve their professional goals. Read on to uncover why women in business are earning their business master’s degrees, and how these degrees are accelerating their careers.

What are the most popular career trends among women b-school candidates?

A recent survey conducted by the makers of the GMAT exam revealed that women plan to use their business master’s degrees to pursue a variety of post-GME career plans. A majority of female b-school candidates plan to either switch job functions or change industries (35% and 24%), and 44 percent plan to use their degree to enhance their current career path. For the career enhancers, that doesn’t necessarily mean staying where they are; only 10 percent of women plan to continue working for their current employer. Interestingly, the number of women who want to be entrepreneurs is growing. Nearly 1 in 4 women have entrepreneurial aspirations, up from only 16 percent in 2010.

Graph detailing statistics about women in business

If you’re considering a business master’s degree, you’re likely wondering how your degree will impact your day-to-day activities. After b-school, nearly 2 in 5 female candidates plan to manage people and projects, gain a senior-level position, or travel internationally. Pay is also top of mind. Thirty-eight percent of women want to increase their salary. Luckily, the prospect of achieving these career goals is promising. Eighty-seven percent of female graduates say their return on investment has been positive, and 77 percent agree their degree increased their earnings power.

What industries interest female business master’s candidates?

Female b-school candidates are most likely to be interested in the consulting industry (36%), followed by the finance (32%) and products and services (30%) fields. They also express interest in what may be considered “less traditional” fields for women in business including, technology (15%), nonprofit and government (13%), and energy and utility sectors (13%). Finally, less than 10 percent of women consider roles in health care (7%) or manufacturing (5%).

The interests of female business master’s candidates are roughly translated upon graduation. Female alumni are most likely to be employed in the products and services (21%) industry, and equally as likely to hold jobs within finance and accounting or the nonprofit and government (16%) sectors. About 10 percent work in the consulting (10%) or technology fields (12%), and a fewer number work in health care (6%), manufacturing (6%), or energy and utility (2%).

How can GME help you achieve your career goals?

If you seek to change jobs functions or industries, a robust and supportive alumni network is a critical component of a successful shift. You can rest assured knowing that 70 percent of female b-school graduates agree that GME helped develop their professional network. Additionally, cutting-edge curriculums, top-notch professors, and a focus on soft skills leaves b-school graduates with a wealth of tactics for advancing within their current profession. Two out of 3 female graduates agree that b-school offered them opportunities for quicker career advancement, and 77 percent agree that b-school prepared them for leadership positions.

Overall, 84 percent of female graduates say that their professional situation is better or much better as a result of their b-school degree. If you’re looking to improve your career trajectory, get inspired by these women in business and explore mba.com to learn how a business master’s can help you achieve your dreams.

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