How an MBA Can Give Your Career a Lift into Management & Beyond

There is plenty of monetary incentive to reach the top of the organizational ladder in business. Earning an MBA, or master’s in business administration, remains one of the most reliable ways to put yourself on that path.

But how does an MBA actually help do that? More on that below.

First, a couple of numbers you might find interesting.

How’s this for incentive? As of May 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chief executives earned an average of $194,350. That’s small potatoes compared to the average salary of the 10 best-paid CEOs in the United States — in 2016, $43.23 million, according to Business Insider.

That’s the highest end, of course, but it’s good to have goals.

Keep in mind that salary potential and employment opportunities can vary depending on factors such as a candidate’s education and work experience, as well as regional market conditions. You should always conduct your own research.

As you conduct that research, you might find this tidbit from the BLS: “Top executives of large corporations often have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).”

You might also discover the Graduate Management Admission Council’s most recent year-end poll of employers, which signaled a “strong employer demand for graduate management talent in 2017.” The poll found that 79% of employers expected to hire MBA graduates in 2017, up 11% from 2016.

What makes an MBA graduate an attractive job candidate? Combined with relevant work experience, a candidate with an MBA can confidently move into a number of management positions because they have learned:

  • How to see the big picture in an organization and an industry
  • How to interpret data, business climate indicators and other factors in decision making
  • How to stay flexible in a shifting business environment
  • How to facilitate communication among all interested parties in an organization and out
  • How to help others understand their roles in respect to the organization
  • How to act in the face of persistent risk

Finally, earning an MBA can put you on a path to career advancement because it will allow you to learn from mistakes. One of the most valuable skills in business is knowing how to build on perceived failures, and the lessons learned while earning an MBA can help you recognize when to stay on course, when to alter your course slightly, and when to pivot in an entirely different direction.

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