Master of Business Administration (MBA): Degree Overview

Oct 20, 2021

Essential Information

Students in MBA programs learn to apply planning skills and strategies to everyday business operations. These programs are usually split up into foundational business courses and electives. Electives can be used to complete concentration options, which are available in a broad range of areas, including finance, supply chain management, marketing and leadership. Students in these graduate degree programs often participate in hands-on experiences such as internships, workshops and group presentations. Many programs are flexible in terms of scheduling for part-time or full-time students, and online courses are often an option.

Typically, universities and colleges require applicants to an MBA degree program to have a bachelor's degree. Some universities encourage applicants to have a basic understanding of business, statistics, computer programs like Excel and other quantitative subjects in order to succeed at an MBA degree program.

Master of Business Administration

An MBA degree program incorporates topics of business and finance as they relate to management. Some programs provide integrative real-world workshops that help students develop their skills in international business, negotiations, networking and decision-making. Some common courses may include:

  • Economics and International Business
  • Marketing
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Managerial strategies
  • Operations and organizational management
  • IT management and strategy

Popular Career Options

Since the skills and knowledge acquired in an MBA degree program can apply to various businesses, graduates may find jobs in a wide variety of management and supervisory positions. Some popular careers may include:

  • Marketing manager
  • Advertising manager
  • Sales manager
  • Public relations manager
  • Chief executive officer

Career Outlook and Salary Information

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projected employment growth for top executives is 4%, sales managers 4%, public relations managers 9% and advertising and marketing managers 6%, all during the 2019-2029 decade ( The BLS also shows that as of May 2018, the median annual salary for chief executives was $185,950, sales managers $132,290, public relations managers $118,430, marketing managers $142,170 and advertising managers $133,460.

Continuing Education Information

A professional holding an MBA may pursue certification for advancement opportunities. Certification is voluntary, but it can be useful when seeking employment. Some certification options may include the Certified Manager designation, available through the Institute of Certified Professional Managers, and the Certified Management Consultant credential, offered by the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc.

Beyond the master's degree level, students may pursue a Ph.D. in business administration. The courses in these programs typically focus on extensive research, dissertation projects and seminars related to strategic management, business theory and commerce. Students usually pursue this advanced degree in order to teach business at the postsecondary level or to become researchers in this field.

Whether you want to pursue a high-level management position or go on to more advanced studies, an MBA can prepare you with the comprehensive business training you need for success.

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