For those who aspire to business leadership, earning a Master of Business Administration remains the best way to achieve their career goals. Professionals in MBA programs develop strong leadership skills and business expertise that prepare them for management roles or launching their own business.
The development of online programs has made obtaining an MBA more accessible to more people. An online MBA program gives graduates flexibility with course times, allowing them to earn their graduate degree from wherever they live and while working a full-time job.
Graduate students develop expertise in business theory and its practical application in business strategy, as well as how to use innovative technology and data analysis in the decision-making process.
While an MBA requires a commitment of time and effort, 87% of MBA graduates say the degree made them valuable candidates for employment, according to a survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). And 76% said an MBA prepared them for leadership positions.
How Earning an MBA Changes Your Career
While many people earn a higher salary almost immediately after earning an MBA - often because they qualify for a promotion at their job - some of the benefits of an MBA take time to pay off, according to the Harvard Business Review (HBR).
When considering entering a Master of Business Administration program, it’s important for working professionals to have a clear idea of where they are in their careers, where they want to go, and how the benefits of earning an MBA can help them reach their goals.
Expansion in Career Opportunities
In the GMAC survey, the largest percentage of MBA students (74%) ranked expanding their job opportunities as one of the main benefits of an MBA. Graduating with an MBA opens doors to the top jobs in most industries, equipping students with skill sets applicable in a wide variety of business environments. Every year, organizations compete to hire MBA graduates for leadership or leadership track roles.
Qualifying for a Higher Salary
Getting the most economic benefit from your career is a primary consideration when deciding on graduate school. Data show that those who earn a graduate degree earn more than their peers without graduate degrees. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that professionals with a master’s degree in the United States earn $1,434 a week on average, more than the $1,198 earned by those with a bachelor’s degree. For those with an MBA, HBR reports that the average annual starting salary is about $20,000 a year more than those with an undergraduate business degree.
Expanding Professional Network
An MBA program attracts those who want to connect with like-minded, ambitious people who also want to take their careers to the next level. Graduate students make contact with fellow students, industry professionals and professors, benefitting from their experience and expertise. In many cases, contacts made in school become long-term relationships that provide benefits to both people.
Developing Strong Leadership Skills
MBA students benefit from developing an understanding of how all aspects of a business interlock to create success. They also learn the latest business strategies in a global environment where both the workforce and the marketplace are becoming increasingly diverse. Most MBA candidates aspire to lead an organization or a large department or to become entrepreneurs. The leadership skills learned in an MBA program apply to all these career paths, helping students develop the “soft skills” needed to understand, motivate, mentor and communicate with employees.
Taking On New Challenges
A quality graduate-level program challenges students. High achievers who learn quickly will be attracted to MBA programs. Many may not have felt challenged in their jobs for some time. An MBA program pushes the smartest and most ambitious students to the limits of their abilities and outside their “comfort zone.” It’s the perfect way to forge leaders who can handle whatever the real world of business throws at them.
Learning Transferable Skills
MBA programs offer students both hard business skills and “people” skills that are transferable to any industry. And high-quality managers are in demand: The number of people in management positions will increase nationwide by 9% by 2030, according to the BLS. That translates into more than 906,000 new management jobs nationwide. The number of top executives is expected to increase by 8%.
The SUNY NEW Paltz MBA Program
The MBA at SUNY New Paltz is AACSB Accredited, placing the program in the top 5% of business schools worldwide. New Paltz faculty provide students with knowledge and insights gained from decades of industry experience. They are dedicated to mentoring and providing every MBA student with customized advising.
SUNY New Paltz offers a flexible curriculum with full-time, part-time, night and weekend, and in-person and online options. Most students can complete the degree in as little as 15 months. They also have the option to go at their own pace as they balance their schoolwork with busy work and personal schedules.
Students who meet the admission requirements will enter a highly acclaimed MBA program: The College’s MBA in Accounting track has been named among the best values in New York State, and graduates from the program frequently secure rewarding careers from private practice to the Big Four accounting firms.