Earn an MBA Online: Take Charge of Your Career

This guide covers the job outlook for MBA grads and some of the types of jobs available. It also includes salary information and a glimpse at the positive career impact of an MBA degree for Baylor grads.

Nearly eight in 10 employers plan on hiring MBA graduates in 2017, per GMAC’s 2016 year-end poll. And 95 percent of online MBA graduates rated the value of their graduate education as “good,” “excellent,” or “outstanding” in a 2017 GMAC survey.

The nod from employers and grads alike suggests that an MBA is a step in the right direction if your goal is to improve your career prospects by earning a credential employers value.

An online MBA program, like the one offered by Baylor University, gives working professionals the opportunity to earn an MBA with no career gap or loss of income.

What Job Opportunities Are Available?

Pursue management positions with an MBA

MBA grads are more likely to work in the following sectors and job functions, per GMAC’s key 2017 findings.

Sectors: Technology, nonprofit, government, manufacturing, healthcare, energy and utilities.
Functions: Marketing, sales, operations, logistics, and general management.

No matter the sector or function, an MBA degree can help a candidate prepare for and pursue management roles. A data scientist with an MBA can head up a company’s analytics department, for instance. The degree can likewise aid a finance professional’s ascent to the position of CFO. These examples illustrate that adding an MBA to subject matter expertise can help you qualify for management positions and leadership roles.

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A Look at the Career Backgrounds of 4 Recent Online Grads

1. Milt Flinn (2016) serves as a client engagement manager with consumer packaged goods marketing firm Crossmark in Plano, Texas. Prior to earning the MBA, he was a retail operations manager.

2. Kurt Fournier (2016) is the director of finance and accounting at Marriott International in Fort Worth, Texas.

3. Jenna Jackson (2016) was a leadership excellence and development program analyst at Verizon, in Dallas, when she entered the Baylor online MBA program.

4. Quincy Jenkins (2016) is working as a strategist with Google. He earned the degree while working full-time in commercial sales with Sherwin-Williams in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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Some other positions for MBA graduates to fill include marketing manager, computer and information systems manager, IT manager, HR manager, fundraising manager, operations manager and financial advisor.

What Is the Job Outlook for MBA Grads?

The outlook is bright for the entire category of management occupations. The formation of new companies and growth of existing ones will add 505,400 new managerial jobs between 2014 and 2024. The corresponding 6 percent growth rate for management occupations roughly matches the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The two sub-categories that will grow much faster than average are computer and information systems managers and medical and health services (healthcare) managers. The former will grow 15 percent by 2024, adding 53,700 jobs, and the latter will add 56,300 jobs at a 17 percent growth rate.

What Are Some Typical Salaries?

Management occupations command the highest pay of all categories. The BLS placed their median annual salary at $100,790 for 2016. The following table lists median salaries for a few sub-categories within management.

Job Category 2016 Median Annual Salary
Computer and Information Systems Managers $135,800
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $127,560
HR Managers $106,000
Training and Development Managers $105,830
Medical and Health Services (Healthcare) Managers $96,540

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The GMAC 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey offers additional data: median salaries for business school grads range from $75,000 at the entry level to $440,000 in the C-suite.

Will an MBA Help Me Get Promoted?

The average salary for managers is $100,790

Earning an MBA can give mid-career professionals a boost. Take the case of 2016 Baylor grad Milt Flinn who saw his career prospects improve even before graduation. Simply enrolling in the Baylor online MBA program gave him the visibility he needed to pursue a director position.

Kurt Fournier, another 2016 grad, says he could immediately apply what he learned in the communications and negotiations courses to his job as director of finance and accounting at Marriott International in Fort Worth. Improved on-the-job performance from learning online can work in your favor. Your company can benefit from your new insights, and you’re likely to stand out for promotion.

Monster.com’s article How an MBA Can Help You showcases Susan Odegaard Turner, founder of the California-based Turner Healthcare Associates. She was promoted from ER manager to ambulatory care director before she even completed her MBA coursework.

These examples jibe with GMAC data that links an MBA degree with upward mobility: “Seventy percent of alumni who graduated 10 years ago (2007), for example, currently hold senior, executive, or c-suite positions.”

How Can My Career Benefit From a Baylor MBA?

Baylor’s reputation in the region and nationwide helps its MBA graduates differentiate themselves to employers. Its job placement rate bodes well for graduates seeking jobs, and its alumni network provides opportunities for lifelong networking.

  1. Reputation

Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business placed sixth on the Houston Business Journal‘s list of Texas’ best. It also ranked in the top 75 on U.S. News & World Report‘s list of best business schools nationwide.

Earning an MBA from an AACSB-accredited school like Baylor signals the quality of your degree to prospective employers. Some even require the AACSB seal of approval for potential hires.

The Baylor MBA program is also known for its focus on principled leadership. The Ethical Leadership course grooms future leaders to make decisions based not only on research but also on principles. You’ll learn practical techniques for leading with integrity.

  1. Job Placement Rate

Baylor’s corporate alliances can give you a head start on your job search. For job placement after graduation, Baylor ranks 10th out of 129 schools in the United States. Placement data from 2015 notes that 96 percent of graduates found jobs within three months of earning the degree.

  1. Alumni Network

Baylor grads have access to a network of 25,000+ alumni and recruiters across the United States. Business networks in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Seattle and Waco offer “Bear2Bear” networking opportunities at monthly events such as breakfasts and luncheons.

As you evaluate your options, be sure to identify your reasons for earning the degree and consider the impact it could have on your career. You may be looking to gain leadership skills required for nonprofit management. Or you may want to augment your engineering expertise with a business education so you can lead teams of engineers. Subject matter experts may view an MBA as a way to gain the knowledge and skills required to become managers in their domains.

Whatever your motivations, an MBA degree from a well-regarded university can help you advance in your career. You’ll have access to a wider variety of opportunities and enjoy a higher earning potential. A key advantage of online programs is their flexibility: You can continue to work while you earn a career-enhancing degree.

Learn more about the Baylor online MBA program.


Sources:

GMAC: 2016 Year-End Poll of Employers Report

GMAC: 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report

U.S.  Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook: Management Occupations

Monster: How an MBA Can Help You

Houston Business Journal: Texas’ Best Business Schools

U.S. News & World Report on Education: Grad Schools – Baylor University (Hankamer)

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Bloomberg Businessweek: Best Business Schools 2016

Baylor Business Network: Baylor Alumni Network

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This article is third in a three-part series on the Baylor Online MBA. The first article, Give Yourself a Competitive Advantage With an AACSB-Accredited Online MBA, covers the academic aspects of the degree: Gain insight into some of the courses, learn about the support system available to program candidates, and discover what makes Baylor unique.

The second article, Invest in Your Career by Earning an MBA, covers the investment of time and money required for a Baylor Online MBA. It includes information on program and textbook costs, completion time, and options for financing your degree.


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