Back to Resources >>

Five Career Paths and Job Opportunities for MBA Graduates

What can you do with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree once you’ve graduated? A lot. An MBA is extremely versatile and valuable, and will allow you to pivot in many different directions depending on your career aspirations, skills, and interests. Let’s take a look at just a few of the career paths and job opportunities open to you following graduation—and what you can expect from them.

MBA Career Paths

1. Management Consultant

 

A management consultant’s job is to advise companies on their management practices and identify problems within the organization that may be holding the company back from reaching their goals. Many management consultants are self-employed, while others work for large firms. According to the Institute of Management Consultants, about 27% of consultants are self-employed. This is an ideal arrangement for many MBAs: a flexible career path with high earning potential.

Required Skills:

  • Management Techniques
  • Salesmanship
  • Public Relations
  • Analysis

Approximate Salary:

Most MBAs enter the field at a high starting salary (much higher than an applicant with an undergraduate degree), typically earning between $100,000 and $140,000 initially. Salaries can grow to more than $1 million per year at the most senior level (10+ years of experience).

Growth Outlook:
14% growth expected from 2014-2024

2. Marketing Manager

 

Marketing managers oversee the planning and execution of a multifaceted marketing plan to help their companies grow. They set budgets, plan marketing campaigns, and manage staff on the marketing team to conduct market research, launch marketing campaigns, and analyze the data collected from each campaign to make improvements. Their goal is to create more brand awareness and bring in sales. Marketing managers must be knowledgeable about many different types of marketing approaches and also be skilled at leading a diverse team.

Required Skills:

  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Management
  • Communications
  • Analysis

Approximate Salary:
Marketing managers can be offered a wide range of salary ranges, but the median wage for a marketing manager is about $140,000.

Growth Outlook:
9% growth expected from 2014-2024

3. Investment Banker

 

Investment bankers help companies invest and grow their capital through shrewd purchasing of equity and debt. They also provide advice and assistance during financial transitions such as acquisitions and mergers. Bankers are responsible for ensuring all pertinent paperwork is in order and that all government regulations are followed during all transactions.

Required Skills:

  • Finance
  • Communications
  • Sales
  • Analysis

Approximate Salary:

The median pay for this industry in 2015 was just over $71,000, but talented investment bankers can increase their compensation significantly within a few years. With experience, it is not uncommon for investment bankers to earn over $200,000 per year.

Growth Outlook:
10% growth expected from 2014-2024

4. Operations Manager

 

An operations manager is sort of a company’s jack-of-all-trades. He or she oversees daily operations, purchasing, inventory, coordination between departments, and policy creation. Responsibilities may also include hiring employees and negotiating contracts. However, this job will vary depending on the organization and expectations of the CEO. Therefore, this position requires a great deal of flexibility and multitasking.

Required Skills:

  • Management
  • Communications

Approximate Salary:

Because they are a key player in an organization, operations managers can make around $97,000 annually at the median level. More experienced managers can expect up to $187,000 per year.

Growth Outlook:
7% growth expected from 2012-2022

5. Financial Advisor

 

Financial advisors cater to the individual rather than businesses, and play a key role in helping families plan for retirement, invest in their children’s education, and build individual wealth. A financial advisor looks out for their clients’ best interests by suggesting good investment opportunities and creating realistic long-term plans. This is an excellent career path for MBAs who have a desire to help others become financially savvy.

Required Skills:

  • Finance
  • Communications
  • Sales
  • Analysis


Approximate Salary:

Average salaries for financial advisors start out lower than some other MBA career opportunities, at around $55,000 per year. However, later in their career, many financial advisors make well over $100,000 per year, generally up to $145,000. Since most financial advisors earn much of their money on commission, the earning potential is quite high.

Growth Outlook:
30% growth expected from 2014-2024

Which Path Is for You?

 

Now that you have an idea of a few of the possibilities available to you, it’s a good time to consider which skills you’ll need to develop to land the position that interests you most. And there are many other career opportunities for new MBAs than these five. Consider the fields and positions work best with your skill set, and you’re sure to find great companies looking for a talented new graduate!

Learn More

 

If you’re a working professional who’s ready to develop the critical thinking skills and practical managerial expertise that drive the world’s top companies, the online MBA program from the prestigious Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management is a great way to get started. Discover a values-centered, collaborative, and experience-driven online MBA program specifically designed for working professionals.

Sources:

http://www.imcusa.org/?page=ABOUTCONSULTING

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm

http://marketing-made-simple.com/articles/marketing-manager-role.htm

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes112021.htm

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/179958

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/securities-commodities-and-financial-services-sales-agents.htm

https://managementconsulted.com/consulting-salaries/2016-management-consulting-salaries-undergraduate-mba-interns/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2013/03/13/how-much-do-wall-streeters-really-earn/#30f002687f08

http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/business-operations-manager

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2016-03-21/discover-6-hot-jobs-for-mba-graduates?int=97e108

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Financial_Advisor/Salary