An MBA or Distance MBA Degree is a graduate degree in business. It stands for Masters of Business Administration and is highly sought-after by business students worldwide. No matter the economy or industry, an MBA is highly regarded by many companies, as well as business and management professionals throughout the world. An MBA is regarded as an essential degree for those looking to a career in business. Now, more and more MBAs are not solely focused on general business management. There are MBAs available that focus on specific aspects of business, such as management, marketing, accounting, economics, and e-commerce. A distance MBA is an MBA earned through an online study program.
An MBA offers a wide range of benefits to anyone working in any industry, not just business and management. An MBA program gives students all the knowledge they need, both practical and theoretical, to succeed in the world of business and management. Although an MBA program lasts only one or two years, the experiences and knowledge you gain will last a lifetime. An MBA can be completed on campus or online. MBA distance degrees, obtained online, are becoming increasingly popular because they offer many benefits.
No matter whether you study for an MBA on campus or online, the degree offers many benefits. These include:
- Business knowledge: An MBA teaches students business concepts and strategies. An MBA requires an internship so students gain practical experience and learn day-to-day operations of a business.
- Leadership: MBA programs require extensive study. Students work with others to complete group projects. Students also work as individual contributors as they complete assignments, presentations, and reports. These assignments give students the ability to handle real-world business situations.
- Networking: This is often considered the most important benefit. As you work with your classmates, you create lasting friendships and alliances that can help you as you prepare for your career in business and even after you become established in your career.
An MBA is a huge investment, financially and personally. An MBA is very expensive, costing, on average, $75,000. However, you will grow tremendously as a person through all the experiences and knowledge you gain, as well as the relationships you forge with fellow classmates and faculty. An MBA can not only increase your knowledge, but your salary as well. Those with an MBA often earn twice as much as those with only an undergraduate degree.
No matter what your business goals are, an MBA can unveil new opportunities and help those dreams become realities. Whether you want to advance in your current career, work for a well-known business, or even start a business of your own, obtaining a distance MBA or a degree on campus can help you gain the knowledge you need to make that next big step in your career.
Advantages of a Distance MBA Degree
Although obtaining an MBA distance degree can be pricey, the numerous advantages make a distance MBA well worth the price. An MBA program exposes you to classmates with various backgrounds and experiences, but with similar goals. An MBA program provides students with extensive study in the world of business and offers internships and real-world experiences. They get to work with local business leaders and have access to top-quality research programs. Students not only become well-rounded, but they learn to make decisions and face the consequences for their actions.
An MBA distance degree opens new doors. It can help you advance to management roles within your current company or help you start a new career altogether. An MBA degree on your resume shows that you have a broad knowledge of business and management skills that can help you obtain higher-level jobs in leadership. Plus, it makes you competitive, since many employers prefer to hire those with an MBA rather than candidates with just an undergraduate degree. This means that an MBA is often recession-proof; no matter the current economic situation, MBA graduates are always in demand because of their wide range of business knowledge.
If you would rather start your own business, an MBA distance degree gives you the knowledge you need to be a successful entrepreneur. You’ll learn business concepts and day-to-day operations of real companies. From the hands-on training you receive, you’ll learn the ins and outs of running a business and use your degree to work for yourself instead of someone else, if that’s what you desire.
About 85 percent of aspiring distance MBA students look to an MBA as a way to make a career change. Many schools help students with this career change by offering programs and resources geared to their needs. University career counselors can help students understand the career planning process, as well as marketing their strengths, interests, and values. Schools also offer seminars to help students with their persuasive communication, interviewing, and negotiating skills.
The business concepts and management skills learned in business school can definitely help you find a career in a different field. However, there are some things that students should know about using an MBA to make a career change so they can be successful in their new career.
- Before you get too serious about a career change, first do an internship in the field you are considering. You’ll get to see the company’s day-to-day operations and learn new skills that you would need to succeed in that field. Plus, you’ll meet professionals in the field who you can use as contacts should you still want to pursue a career in that field.
- Gather as much information as you can about the new career path you choose. Talk to professionals who currently work in the field. Take courses geared specifically to the new field. Read industry publications. Learn as much as possible about the field.
- Use the skills you obtained from your previous career to your advantage. Although you may want to make a clean break from your past, an employer will not hire you solely based on the fact that you went to business school and got an MBA. You want to sell yourself to them and show them what skills you have and how you can benefit the company. Offer clear examples of how your previous company, background, and skills can be an advantage.
- Also, know what you’re getting into financially. Yes, you hear about all these MBA graduates making $100,000 or more per year, but there are many more who start out making half that amount. So if you’re currently in a high-paying job, you may have to take a pay cut for a few years to gain the on- the-job skills and experience needed to establish your new career.
- Also, be open-minded. You may be set on a specific career or industry before you even apply for business school. However, there are more choices and opportunities now than ever before, so meet with career counselors and attend company open houses while you are in school. You may discover opportunities you never knew existed.
More education generally results in higher pay, and this especially holds true for MBA degrees. This is because those with MBAs are able to obtain executive-level positions, which pay six figures. In fact, the average salary for an MBA graduate is very high. In addition, MBA graduates are in high demand after graduation and are usually offered several jobs, so they are able to command even higher salaries.
Some MBA graduates have high expectations and expect to earn even more than average. This is possible, but there are some things that you need to take into consideration. Several factors that can influence your salary:
- Your school: It’s true. The school you attend makes a big difference in your salary. An MBA distance degree from a well-known school will increase your annual salary and value. You can still get a quality education from a lesser-known school, but it won’t give you any leverage when it’s time to negotiate your salary.
- Your field: MBA graduates who work for consulting firms, investment banks, or in the IT sector earn more than other MBA holders.
- Your ability to network: Sometimes getting ahead and being offered new opportunities do not depend on your education, but who you know. Networking and meeting with other business professionals get your name out there so you can be considered for that high-level position if it becomes available.
- Your location: Demand for MBA graduates is higher in metropolitan areas, which results in higher salaries. Plus, salaries are often based on the cost of living, so if you’re currently living in a rural area, you’ll need to move to a big city to earn the big bucks.
- Work experience: Don’t expect to become an executive fresh out of business school, especially if you started your MBA right after obtaining your undergraduate degree. It may help to take a few years to gain some work experience before enrolling in an MBA program. In fact, entry-level MBA graduates make half as much as executives.
- Go for a specialized MBA. With specialized MBAs becoming more popular, you can choose a specialty in arts administration, real estate, health care, investments, and many other fields. Specialized MBAs make a candidate more valuable than one with a general MBA. So if you know on what area of business you want to focus, go for it.
More Possibilities for Employment
It’s widely known that more education results in more employment opportunities. Each degree you obtain increases your outlook in terms of landing jobs. There are very few jobs that require solely a high school education. Until recently, most jobs required only a bachelor’s degree. Now, more and more companies are looking for candidates with graduate degrees.
Most degrees are obtained for the purpose of getting a higher-paying job. This also holds true for distance MBA degrees. An MBA can be pricey, so you expect a huge return on your investment. MBAs are widely known as the most valuable degree one can obtain. It can create many exciting opportunities, whether they are management-level positions in the same company you currently work for or with a different company. Job opportunities can also exist in another industry, or maybe as your own boss. MBAs open up a whole new world and the possibilities are endless.
Many people believe an MBA is only useful for those who are looking to pursue a career in the business field. However, MBAs are useful when looking for employment in virtually all industries. The following are the most common uses of an MBA:
- Marketing – An MBA gives students theoretical skills as well as basic marketing skills that can help those interested in marketing succeed. Marketing professionals need to be able to create effective strategies and messaging. These types of communication skills can be learned in an MBA program. There are many marketing professionals, including project managers, who have MBAs.
- Finance – The finance courses in an MBA program can help propel the careers of those looking to work in the finance field. Those in finance need to be quick thinkers and have good communication skills. They also need to have good customer service skills and the ability to work well with others, all skills that are taught in MBA programs.
- Government – Government agencies are looking to change their images. In the past, they’ve been known for making promises without any action. Now they are looking to change their reputation by hiring more professionals who can turn talk into action and think critically. They also need people who can work as part of a team. Again, these skills are learned in MBA programs, so government jobs should be considered as a possibility.
- Non-profit Organizations – Many MBA graduates overlook jobs at non-profit organizations because they are viewed as a ‘waste’ of the skills and knowledge they’ve worked so hard to attain. In reality, most non-profits would benefit from having employees with MBAs. As a graduate, working for a non-profit can be personally rewarding because you are using your knowledge to make a difference in the lives of others. Then, you have the opportunity to further your career and earn a paycheck while contributing to a good cause.
- Entrepreneurship – Once you receive your MBA, you may think that maybe the best place to work for may be yourself. Since you’re familiar with the ins and outs of the corporate business world, you may decide that you’re now ready to start your own business. Plus, with your newfound business knowledge, you will no doubt know what makes a good business and be able to find a product or service you can specialize in as your niche.
Most students are interested in pursuing a distance MBA not only for the sake of having an MBA, but also for personal reasons. Some students like to have a sense of accomplishment, plus they may be interested in honing their leadership and professional abilities. Many schools offer career seminars, speakers, and networking events so that students have many opportunities to see what is available to them in terms of careers and what kind of personal and professional development they need to achieve those goals.
- An MBA is an investment in one’s future. Success in the business field is now often obtained by utilizing skills that are not usually taught in undergraduate programs.
- Although many skills are learned through work experience and on-the-job training, graduate courses can stimulate creativity, expose you to classmates with different experiences and backgrounds, and increase your contributions and overall value to the workplace.
- Although some people may say obtaining an MBA is all about the money, it should be about professional development and learning new skills.
An MBA degree can help build leadership and teamwork skills, skills needed in all areas of employment. The classes involve group assignments, projects, and presentations that help you acquire skills that will be needed to deal with real-life business scenarios. You’ll learn to lead teams, work together, share team successes and failures, and communicate effectively. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to build relationships with teachers and fellow classmates. If you plan to become an entrepreneur, having an MBA will be an advantage to your business. You’ll gain extensive knowledge of the business world.
Probably one of the biggest reasons to obtain an MBA would be to advance to an executive-level position. It is very rare that this is done without an MBA or some kind of advanced degree. An MBA can help you obtain the skills needed to get a promotion, whether it be at your current company, a different company, or in a whole new field altogether. This educational achievement is highly regarded by companies worldwide, giving you a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and increased self-worth. Even in tough economic times, those with an MBA will be hired for positions before those with less college education or none at all. The demand for those with an MBA degree is expected to increase even more in the next several years. So if you’re burned out in your current job and looking for increased professional development and bigger challenges, then you may want to consider pursuing an MBA to see where it takes your career.
Versatile – Wide Range of Industries
MBAs are versatile. No matter what company or industry you work for, all of them can benefit from someone with an MBA. Add to that MBA a focus in a specific area and you have a degree that is sought-after by numerous companies. Major companies even send recruiters to business school campuses to find future employees.
Contrary to what many believe, an MBA distance degree is not for those only interested in business. All MBA programs teach core competencies such as leadership, communication skills, business knowledge, and teamwork. Most programs also teach accounting, analysis, marketing, economics, and organizational behavior. However, MBAs are becoming more specialized and now include a variety of industries besides business. You will still learn business concepts and skills, but you will also learn practical and commercial applications that pertain more to your area of interest.
Specialized MBAs are just starting to gain popularity. Many students are attracted to them because they focus on industries besides business. Specialized MBAs offer exhaustive instruction in a specific area of business. These MBA’s programs tend to be smaller and take about 12 months to complete.
Specialized MBAs can be obtained in a variety of fields, and the number of specialties continues to grow based on business trends. Below are just some examples of specialty MBAs you may want to consider:
- Arts Administration
- Business Management
- Electronic Commerce
- Environment and Resources
- Global Management
- Health Care
- Human Resources
- Information Systems
- International Business
- Luxury Brand Management
- Nonprofit Management
- Operations Management
- Pharmaceutical Management
- Real Estate
- Service Management and Consulting
- Science and Technology
- Sports Management
- Strategic/Risk Management
- Technology Management
Despite the various degree options, most graduates opt for the general MBA because it keeps their career options wide open. Students are not limited to a specific focus should they change their mind in the future. Even for those who do choose a concentration, there are many employment options available.
Although there are many possibilities when it comes to choosing an industry as a focus for your MBA, the trick is to not narrow your concentration too much. Industry trends tend to change. What is in high demand today might not be by the time you graduate with your MBA. You don’t want to limit yourself too much, or your MBA may not give you the career and salary you hoped it would.
Online MBA Technology
If you’re interested in a distance MBA degree, you’ll need to be familiar with the technical requirements and specific technology that you will use in your online classes. Although tutorials are provided, and the software is fairly easy to use, you still need to have a general knowledge of computers and how to navigate the Internet. Requirements vary by institution, so it’s important to read those carefully before committing to a program and realizing that you don’t have the correct software that you need.