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Can a Specialized Business Master’s Degree Accelerate Your Career?

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Find out how a specialized master's degree could help you with job prospects.

If you’re at a point in your education where you’re thinking about how you’ll start your career, ask yourself this question: “What makes me stand out?” Internships and work experience are valuable but could a specialized master’s degree in business put you over the top? In many cases the answer to that question is, “Yes.” So, the real question becomes, how can a degree put you ahead of the competition and help you build new skills along the way?

Dig deep on a specific subject 

A specialized business master’s degree offers an opportunity for you to gain in-depth knowledge in a specific subject area. Whether you choose to focus on finance, accounting, management, data analytics, publish policy, economics, marketing, or any other concentration, you will graduate with a comprehensive understanding of your specialty and skills that will remain relevant for years to come. The value of this expertise can’t be overstated, and it will translate to a greater respect for your ideas and strategies in the workplace. 

Hone skills beyond your area of specialization

Pursuing a business master’s degree allows you to explore the area of study you care about most. You’ll also learn to master interpersonal skills such as teamwork, time management, and communication. As companies’ demand for soft skills continues to grow, you’ll put yourself ahead of the pack by sharpening these important abilities.

Build a strong network

Your business master’s program is much more than just classroom lectures and time spent studying. It’s an opportunity to build relationships with your professors and fellow students. A 2016 study by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that average employee tenure at a company is 4.2 years. In other words, even if you start out with a great job, odds are good that you’ll be open to new opportunities in the future. The broad network of peers and professionals you build over the course of your career can get a serious boost while completing a business master’s degree. An active network is a powerful force in the business world, and you can never start building yours too soon.

The value of a specialized master’s degree in business can be measured in many ways. The experience of earning a business master’s degree will pay off for you through the satisfaction of a job well done, but it also prepares you to do your job more successfully. Plus, you’ll find that starting salaries for those with specialized business master’s degrees are higher than those for individuals with undergraduate degrees only. With so many degree options available, you can tailor your education to your specific goals. Once you’ve narrowed down the study areas that interest you most, check out the mba.com Program Finder feature to find and review program options.

Video: What can candidates do with an early career general master's degree like the MiM?

Full Video Transcript

At Fuqua, we have a couple of early career master's degrees. One is a master's of Management Studies and the other is a master's of Quantitative Management Business Analytics degree, and I would say in both of those types of programs, they are pre-experience students who are coming out of those programs. We find that employers are very interested in their analytic skills, so we find that they go into consulting roles, they go into business analyst roles, they go into marketing analyst roles. We have a student who just graduated and will be a data analyst for Rent the Runway, so they go into technology roles. They're also well suited for rotational programs, especially at technology firms, or kind of big blue-chip types of companies.

We also see them, especially on the quantitative side, depending on whether or not programs have various tracks, we have a forensics track, a finance track, marketing track, and strategy track. And depending on the tracks that students go into, they also could be appropriate for various types of employers. So, for instance, PWC hires many of our students into their forensics track. We have students in the strategy track doing all kinds of business analysis. We have the finance track folks going into private equity or investment banking.