Accelerate Your Business Career After a Bachelor's Degree

Feb 19, 2015
Tags: Business School, Internships, MBA, Value of an MBA

Two Key Stepping Stones to Career Success 

While many undergrads dream of someday enjoying a successful career and occupying a spacious corner office, the path to this destination can be unclear. You may be ready to put in the hard work and time you imagine necessary to get there, but may not be sure where to place your first steps.

Two stepping stones in particular that could help undergraduates jump start their careers are an internship experience and a graduate management degree. Specialized business master’s degree programs—in subjects like management, finance, and accounting—can be entered immediately following a bachelor’s degree, while MBA programs typically require full-time experience.

Internships Offer Work Experience

Through an internship you can gain not only valuable on-the-job experience, but also expand your network to help land a future job. You can also sample the working cultures of different companies or industries to assure a good fit.

Good news for you is that right now is an opportune time to be looking for an internship as an undergrad. GMAC’s 2014 Year-End Poll of Employers, which surveyed 169 employers in 33 countries, reveals that 73 percent of employers plan to offer internships to bachelor’s candidates in 2015—up 5 percent from the previous year. Among employers with plans to offer internships to bachelor’s students, 65 percent plan to bring on as many or more than they did in 2014.[1] Companies use internships as a significant part of their recruiting strategy.

Further reading on the importance of these work opportunities: Internships Today Lead to Job Offers Tomorrow

Employers Value Biz Degrees

To continue progressing along your career path—and even to increase your pace—a step employers want to see you take is earning a graduate management or business degree. 96 percent of employers worldwide indicate that “graduate business school hires create value for their companies,” prompting more than two-thirds of employers to confirm that “hiring business school graduates is a priority in their hiring strategy for the coming year.” Much of this perceived value can be accounted for in graduates’ exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to make data-driven decisions—assets 98 percent of employers agree graduates need.[2] 

Further reading on which communication skills are important to employers when they select new hires: Employers Want Communication Skills in New Hires

B-School Alumni Communicate Career Advantages

The value of a graduate business degree to career development is trending upward: 2014 business school graduates were more likely to have job offers, drew more job offers, and received offers at higher organizational levels compared to graduates from five years ago.[3] For all graduate business school degree types—including MBA, Masters in Management, Master of Finance, and Master of Accounting—employers plan to hire more of these degree-holders than they did last year. These new hires can also look forward to higher starting salary offers from the majority of employers compared to last year.[4]

2014 Expected Median Starting Salaries 


On average, employers expect to offer MBA and Master’s degree candidates a significantly higher starting salary compared with bachelor’s degree holders. In the United States, for example, median starting salaries for MBA new hires in 2014 was US$95,000 compared with US$50,000 for bachelor’s new hires. Still, the value of a graduate management degree stretches beyond higher salaries and career development.

In the words of one alum: Value of education cannot be measured in quantitative terms like ROI, rather in qualitative effects like change in mindset, strong peer bond and professional network. Not to mention the ‘branded for life’ tag.”[5]

A graduate management degree affords you the opportunity to not only grow professionally, but as an individual through skill building, expanding your personal connections, and broadening your worldview. In a life full of uncertain decisions, the decision to pursue graduate business degree is a smart one: 9 in 10 students that graduated in 2014 rate the value of their graduate management education as good to outstanding.[6]

Get Started With SchoolFinder!

So, when considering the stepping stones of your future career, plan to find sure footing in an MBA or business master’s degree in a number of fields like management, accounting, finance, as well as others like data analytics, supply chain management, and more. Begin exploring your step to a graduate management degree by comparing b-school programs using the SchoolFinder tool!

[1] GMAC. 2014 Year-End Poll of Employers.

[2] GMAC. 2014 Year-End Poll of Employers.

[3] GMAC. 2014 Global Management Education Graduate Survey.

[4] GMAC. 2014 Year-End Poll of Employers.

[5] GMAC. Class of 2014 Alumni Poll.  

[6] GMAC. 2014 Global Management Education Graduate Survey.