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CAREER GUIDE Master of Business Administration

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Career guide: business administration.

Managing organizations and leading people are acquired skills, and if you want to excel in your business career, it's wise to keep them polished and in line with the needs and expectations of today's employers. If you have your sights set on a management-level position at a company, government agency, or nonprofit organization, a master's degree in business administration (MBA) is a great place to start, but with so many from which to choose, it can be intimidating choosing the right school and curriculum. After all, this is an investment in your future, and you need to get it right.

Learning how to plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations is a multi-faceted process. As you consider your options, look for a program that will challenge you to demonstrate your skills, knowledge, and understanding of important concepts through a series of carefully designed assessments. Whether your goal is to work for yourself or to lead a firm with thousands of employees, the more polished your business administration skills are, the greater your chances for success and career satisfaction will be.

Job listing growth 2016–2026.

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Career opportunities.

If you're wondering how an MBA might fit into your future career plans, it's important to understand that leaders are required in every industry. Sound strategic thinking is necessary at every successful organization. And proven executive skills are in demand across today's entire employment landscape. That should indicate to you that your future career opportunities are only limited by your own personal goals and professional aspirations. With the right education and experience, you can drive your executive career in any direction you choose.

Positions in the field.

  • Chief executive officer
  • Executive director
  • Chief financial officer
  • Marketing manager
  • International business development
  • Chief marketing officer
  • Sales manager
  • Operations manager
  • Human resources manager
“It's never too late to learn and grow. I am so glad that I made the decision, at 44 years old, to get my MBA. It's already paying off in my career and will continue to do so for year and years to come.” Victor Perez
Master of Business Administration

Job market forecast.

A strong economy usually forecasts the formation of new organizations and the expansion of existing ones. That creates a need for skilled managers and executives who have acquired the knowledge, skills and experience to lead. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the high pay and prestige associated with these positions will attract many qualified applicants and that chief executives with an advanced degree and extensive managerial experience will have the best job prospects.

Job growth 2016–2026.

Work environment.

Whether it's a small, family-owned workplace or an executive suite in a large, multinational corporation, most careers in business administration take place in an office environment. As a leader of your organization, you can expect to spend long hours behind your desk and might even find yourself working frequent nights and weekends. In fact, in 2012, about half of top executives worked more than 40 hours per week. Frequent travel for meetings and conferences may also be required, especially if you work for a large organization with multiple offices and subsidiaries.

Professional organizations.

Careers in business administration can be pursued in any industry as long as you have the knowledge and experience to plan, direct, and coordinate all necessary operational activities. Here are a few organizations that can help you point your career towards a position of leadership.

Job search resources.

Find out if your business administration resume is up to par with others focused on management level career moves. These links can help you identify current opportunities in the marketplace for top executives.

 


Salary stats.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for chief executives was $183,270 in May 2017, and the top 10 percent earned more than $208,000. Furthermore, total compensation for corporate executives often includes stock options, performance bonuses, and other benefits benefits such as access to expense allowances, use of company-owned aircraft and cars, club memberships, and company-paid insurance premiums.

Average salary of jobs with related titles.


Summary.

It's very common for top executives in large corporations to have an MBA, but it takes more than just credits on a transcript to achieve a successful business administration career. It requires experienced knowledge and sharply polished skills in communication, decision-making, leadership, management, problem solving, and time management to ensure a company meets its goals.

The roles top executives play are critical to the success of their organizations; daily responsibilities require them to make smart decisions about employees, business plans, company policies, budgets, and resources. The trajectory of your career in the business world will be governed by your mastery of the theoretical bases, current knowledge, best practices, and trends related to the practice of management.

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Jul 1

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Your career's next step: Earn a degree.

Ready to jump-start your business career? The next step could be earning your Master of Business Administration. Accredited, competency-based WGU offers this degree online at a surprisingly affordable flat-rate tuition. Flexible enough for a working adult's schedule with the option to accelerate, your degree may be closer than you think!