First the good news: Demand—and salaries—are up for recent MBA grads!
While back in 2010 only 55 percent of companies (a post-recession low) planned to hire MBA degree holders, that number has climbed to 88 percent — and companies plan to pay them more as well.
Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) researchers, who also supplied the statistics above, say that U.S.-based employers plan to offer median salaries of $105,000 to MBA holders this year.
Moreover, individuals with MBAs in certain specialties can expect to exceed that $105,000 figure. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that MBA holders who work in finance can earn a mid-career median pay of $121,000 a year.
When considering an online MBA program such as the one offered at the University of Redlands, you might want to take a closer look at five of the highest paying industries for MBA holders:
1. Accounting — Mid-Career Median Pay: $84,000
While the median pay in this specialty is on the lower end of those on this list, earning an online MBA can open the door to higher-paying career options.
To pursue a career in accounting, look for an online MBA program that offers courses such as Accounting and Finance for Managers and Business Statistics and Economics.
2. Technology Management — Mid-Career Median Pay: $102,000
Some entry-level management jobs don’t require an MBA. However, by earning an online MBA you may gain an advantage on other job candidates. High-paying positions in technology management include vice president of internet technology ($165,000/year) and director of internet technology ($114,000/year).
If you have a passion for computers and computer skills, a specialization in information systems is another great way to achieve an executive-level career in internet technology, with a mid-career median income of $106,000 a year.
If you’re interested in either of the above, look for an online MBA program with courses such as Management and Organizational Behavior and Information and Knowledge Management.
3. Marketing — Mid-Career Median Pay: $113,000
An online MBA can give you a significant advantage when seeking higher-level marketing positions. For example, a marketing director with an MBA can expect to earn a mid-career median pay of $133,000 a year and a business development manager $105,000 a year.
If a career in marketing interests you, look for an online MBA program with courses such as International Business and Marketing and Marketing Management.
4. International Business — Mid-Career Median Pay: $116,000
With accelerating globalization, more businesses need MBA grads with a specialization in international business. In fact, GMAC researchers report that 30 percent of companies plan to send new MBA hires out to “multiple world regions.”
If you’re interested in working in international business, look for an MBA program that offers courses such as International Business and Marketing and Global Environment for Business.
Top jobs in this specialty include sales director ($137,000/year) and operations director ($120,000/year).
5. Finance — Mid-Career Median Pay: $121,000
Even lower-level jobs in finance often require an MBA. By earning a graduate degree, doors can open to higher-level and higher-paying positions. For example, a chief financial officer makes a median income of $168,000 a year and a finance director $151,000 a year.
To further help you map a course for success, here are five specific jobs with a high demand for MBA graduates, according to U.S. News and World Report:
1. Compliance officer – These professionals are responsible for keeping companies in compliance with government agency regulations and are needed in a variety of fields, ranging from healthcare to finance.
2. Business operations manager – Demand for these professionals, who help business departments meet their goals, is expected to grow 7 percent by 2024.
3. Financial manager – Financial managers are responsible for overseeing a company’s finances and producing financial reports and projections. This position is critical to a business’s success and receives an average annual salary $118,000.
4. Medical and health services manager – These individuals keep healthcare organizations operating efficiently. Demand for this position is expected to increase 17 percent by 2024.
5. Accountant – Ideal for hard workers who have their sights set on achieving high-level positions in the finance world. This career path can often lead directly to a chief financial officer position.
The bottom line: There are many lucrative careers available to today’s MBA grads. Those who attend a reputable, high-quality online MBA program are positioning themselves for steady employment and high earnings in the future.
How do you identify a high-quality online MBA program?
Start by looking at the history and reputation of the institution itself. Also make sure the program offers a mix of courses in business foundation knowledge, general business knowledge, and specialized areas such as global business, managerial finance, and marketing management.