A master of business administration (MBA) program prepares graduate students for leadership roles in business and industry. Featuring courses in accounting, finance, organizational behavior, business strategy, and corporate accountability, MBAs deliver cross-functional knowledge and training.
These programs produce graduates who understand all facets of business and can leverage their education for career advancement.
Many prospective students put off earning their master’s degrees to fulfill family and career obligations. Earning an MBA online provides students with flexibility, allowing them to tackle other responsibilities while earning their degree.
Online MBA programs follow the same curricula as on-campus programs, but they allow students to complete work at their own pace. With new accredited online MBA programs introduced every year, now is an excellent time to earn an MBA online.
Expected Starting Salaries
In 2019, the projected median starting salary for U.S. MBA talent reached new heights. Projected earnings for MBAs in consulting reached $135,000, with the finance and accounting industry offering a median annual salary of $125,000.
New hires with MBA degrees can expect to earn base salaries doubling those of their direct-from industry and bachelor’s graduate counterparts. With an MBA, new hires in consulting earned the highest salaries, closely followed by those in finance and accounting. In products and services, MBA talent was expected to earn an annual median salary of $105,000, while individuals with bachelor’s degrees were poised for starting salaries of $55,000.
Salaries depend heavily on company size and geographic location. Large, for-profit corporations offered median base salaries of $115,000, while those with fewer than 10,000 employees paid $105,500. This figure declined to $95,000 among businesses employing fewer than 1,000 people.
Hiring Trends for MBAs
In 2019, energy and utility companies, the healthcare industry, and consulting firms ranked among the strongest sectors for MBA talent. Each area exceeded 2018 hiring numbers with their projected 2019 MBA hiring practices.
Among employers in the United States, companies in the Northeast offer the highest starting median salaries for MBA talent at $125,000. The Midwest and West tie for second, paying new hires a median annual salary of $115,000. MBAs earn top wages in consulting and finance, with the healthcare and technology industries offering lucrative options, as well.
Within many MBA programs, learners can specialize in a subset of business. In 2019, employers planned to hire MBAs with advanced knowledge in information technology, supply chain management, and marketing. In Asia and the Pacific, marketing and economics topped the list of desired specializations.
The latter was expected to dominate hiring demand in Europe, with information technology ranking No. 1 among U.S. employers.
Job Functions of MBA Graduates
Job functions for MBA graduates vary by industry, but across the board, 45% of employers planned to engage MBAs in strategy and innovation duties in 2019. Energy and utility companies and technology businesses listed strategy as the top function for MBA talent.
The energy and utility industry also demonstrates a strong need for MBAs in general management and financial roles. The technology sector seeks MBAs to carry out project management and business intelligence job functions, as well.
Within the healthcare, manufacturing, and products and services industries, employers sought to use MBAs in marketing efforts. Healthcare and manufacturing also indicated high demand for MBAs in financial and strategy roles.
At large companies, MBAs most often fill strategy jobs, but at smaller startups, they tend to work in business development and sales. As company sizes increase, demand for MBA talent in sales and business development decreases.