If you’re a busy professional who is interested in furthering your education, you may be interested in learning more about getting your MBA degree. Luckily, there are a variety of options for earning your MBA, and many of them don’t require you to take time away from the workplace in order to get your degree. An online MBA program, for instance, gives you all the education that you would get from a typical MBA program, without requiring you to take time away from work or spend night after night in a classroom. An online MBA program can be done on your own time, at your own pace. Through discussion boards, you’ll interact with other students in a manner that is similar to how you would interact in a traditional classroom, affording you the benefit of learning from their experiences in business.
Getting an Online MBA: GMAT or No GMAT?
If you’re considering getting your MBA, it’s likely that you’re curious about whether you need to take the GMAT. Most MBA programs do require you to submit GMAT scores as a part of your application, but there are some schools that allow you to enter an online MBA program without GMAT scores. Many schools allow particularly experienced students to apply without submitting GMAT scores, using their professional experience as proof of their business acumen. Some schools do not require additional experience, and they simply allow students to apply with no GMAT scores at all.
Whether you’re applying to a school that requires you to submit GMAT scores or not, it’s important that you be aware of your potential school’s AACSB accreditation. The AACSB is an internationally recognized business school accreditation board. The board is known for holding business schools to a high standard of excellence, and AACSB accreditation is known as the seal of approval for legitimate business schools. If the school you’re looking at isn’t AACSB accredited, it’s a good idea to move on.
Now that you know a little bit about online MBA programs, GMAT requirements, and AACSB accreditation, let’s talk about the potential career paths and median salaries for online MBA program graduates.
MBA Career Paths and Average Salaries
It’s important to note that these salaries are simply averages, and they do not take into account business size, cost of living, experience, or other education outside of an online MBA.
Business Development Director
Average Salary: $144,000
The daily tasks of business development directors vary greatly depending on the type of company for which they work. Their responsibilities are typically company-wide, and a step above those of mid-level managers. Business development directors often answer directly to a company’s CEO, board of directors, and/or shareholders.
A business development director may be responsible for creating and adjusting a company’s business plan to meet the needs of its consumers and shareholders. This can be a high-pressure job, depending on the size and revenue of the company. Business development directors also spend much of their time fine-tuning office tasks. These can range from streamlining financial processes and meeting with employees to devising a plan to improve workplace satisfaction.
The vast majority of business development directors in the United States have advanced business degrees.
Information Technology Manager
Average Salary: $86,000
Professionals who have a love for technology and a love for business often find success and work satisfaction as Information Technology (IT) managers. IT managers are responsible for a variety of different tasks, including managing the workplace technology infrastructure, ensuring that all employees have the technology they need to do their jobs, taking responsibility for workplace network security, ordering new technological equipment when necessary, and helping advertising and marketing teams with digital projects. IT managers often work with a team of technicians that directly assists with these tasks.
Average Salary: $111,000
One of the top priorities of a finance director is to ensure that all reports and financial activities are in compliance with regulations. Finance directors need to have excellent attention to detail and a passion for working with numbers. They also need to be excellent leaders who can motivate their teams to stay on task. In some organizations, human resources managers report to the finance director, so it’s important for finance directors to be well-informed on company personnel policies.
Marketing Communications Manager
Average Salary: $64,000
Marketing communications managers oversee marketing campaigns and focus on brand awareness. Responsibilities for this position differ greatly, depending on the age of the company. For a newer company, a marketing communications manager is likely to focus on simply making the target audience aware that the product exists. For a more established company, a marketing communications manager focuses on analyzing past marketing campaigns and using that information to develop new, more effective campaigns.
Marketing communications managers are likely to give a number of presentations to shareholders and upper-level management, so it’s important for them to have a strong sense of self, confidence and excellent public speaking skills.
Traditional MBA Curriculum
While MBA programs differ slightly from each other, they also tend to offer similar concentrations across the board. MBA programs place great emphasis on leadership, and they often require more than one leadership course. It’s important that MBA graduates feel comfortable and confident leading others, especially if they’ve never been in a leadership role before. Leadership courses help students to understand the team that works for them, and how to lead it to desired outcomes effectively.
MBA programs also require finance courses. Whether you plan to work in the financial sector or not, it’s important to understand budgets, profit and loss, and contract negotiations. Microeconomics and macroeconomics are also a requirement of most MBA programs. While it’s important to understand the inner workings of a company’s financial operations, it’s also important to understand the economy of both the United States and the world.
Ethics courses are another important part of the MBA curriculum. As a business leader, employees look to you to make the moral, ethical call when it comes to difficult decisions. It’s important that you know the ethical codes of business by which you must abide. MBA courses provide room for students to have discourse with each other regarding the grey areas of ethics. Whether you choose to enroll in a traditional classroom MBA program or you pursue an online program, you’ll have the opportunity to debate ethics with other members of your class.
Accounting is another key component of a traditional MBA education. It’s important for MBA graduates to understand the finances of their organizations, and this means understanding what is happening in the accounting office. A professional with an MBA should be able to walk into the accounting office of his or her organization and understand what’s happening at a glance, without having to ask for much explanation.
Statistics is another important part of MBA education. Statistics are necessary for understanding many aspects of any business – from profits and losses to probabilities and more. Without an education in statistics, it’s difficult to accurately understand whether a business is headed in the right direction.
Choosing a Concentration
Many MBA programs allow you to choose a concentration. One of the most popular concentrations is finance. Many people who achieve an MBA degree with a concentration in finance go on to become chief financial officers, financial directors, and operations directors.
Another popular option is an MBA with a concentration in marketing. People with this concentration often go on to become marketing directors, chief marketing officers, and marketing campaign managers. It’s important to note that you don’t have to choose a concentration at the start of your MBA. You’ll have some time to delve into your coursework to see what jumps out at you and sparks your interest.
Whether you choose to get your MBA in a traditional classroom setting, or you prefer a more flexible online approach, you’re making a choice that is going to positively affect your future for years to come. Jobs in the business sector are growing rapidly, and you’re setting yourself up to stay ahead of the competition by furthering your graduate education.