What Can I Do with an MBA? 4 In-Demand Career Options
The right MBA program can provide you with the tools you need to excel in business strategy, decision making, and leadership. Thus, earning your MBA can open a variety of career options in a range of functions and fields. Whether you want to be on the cutting edge of new product development, connect with top industry leaders, or help transform your local economy, an MBA gives you the opportunity to build your own future.
Ashford’s IACBE-accredited Master of Business Administration program covers the required skills and attributes you need to solidify a rewarding career. The competencies provided align with those defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and include:
- Critical thinking
- Solving complex business problems
- Career management
- Forward-thinking leadership
- Global awareness
- Applying digital technologies to business goals
- Professionalism and teamwork
With these capabilities mastered, you’re prepared to manage the complexities of many careers. Here, we highlight four paths you can take with your MBA.
1. Become an entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs are the heart and soul of our global economy. Those at the frontier of business challenge the assumptions and reshape the future of their industries, providing new opportunities for workers and consumers alike.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need grit and guts, along with in-depth knowledge of all the steps of starting and sustaining a business. From developing a vision and strategizing methods of product efficacy, to curating a useful analysis of business knowledge, entrepreneurs are the purveyors of new ideas and solutions.
It is important to note, however, that entrepreneurship is not for the risk adverse — you must always take chances when ideating, executing, and creating new ventures. Entrepreneurs must be prepared to not only handle and recover from potential setbacks, but also be able to capitalize on success, which can be even more challenging. Of course, one winning venture can help pave the way for the next.
2. Be a business leader
There are many opportunities for high-achievers and lifelong learners in the managerial or executive levels of business. When you nurture your skills and hone your instincts, you can apply them to the industry or business you're passionate about. Luckily for leaders, their skills apply to an incredible variety of employment fields, which are amassed by public and private companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. With an MBA under your belt, along with passion and perseverance, you have the opportunity to advance in your chosen industry.
However, business leadership roles aren't limited to the C-suite. They also include supervising, coaching, and envisioning. As an accomplished business leader, you can find a station you love or continue advancing in your career, leveraging your experience at the next level.
3. Become a financial manager
In your MBA program, you may discover a particular aptitude for finance — such as attention to detail, analytics, and strong organizational skills — and feel called to aid businesses through your calculative capabilities. As a financial manager, be it a treasurer or perhaps a controller, you can share your expert financial knowledge and experience to provide actionable financial data and concrete steps to help stabilize and grow a business.
Furthermore, the areas of opportunity for financial managers are diverse. Much like becoming a business leader, your financial skills are applicable to many industries. Identifying your skills and your passion can lead you to a career you can take pride in. Some typical duties in a financial role are:
- Overseeing accounts
- Analyzing budget
- Raising capital
- Understanding regulations
- Managing risks
4. Be a management analyst
The work of a business analyst serves in-house technical roles, bridging the gap between business practices and IT. In your MBA program, you may find a particular interest in digital technologies, along with a keen ability to manage and interpret data. If this is the case, the role of an analyst may be the right one for you.
As an analyst, you can identify challenges and develop safe, practical, and efficient processes to address them. From a career perspective, the opportunities for analysts continue to grow, as the evolution of digital technologies requires ever-increasing expertise and understanding.
Choose Your Industry
It’s clear that career paths for MBA graduates are plentiful thanks to the applicability of skills across many industries. In Ashford’s MBA program, the core proficiencies you’ll gain can apply to emerging and institutional industries like digital technology, data sciences, higher education management, and the entertainment industry. These industries – and many more – are in need of the skills and experience that connect passion for the product and business savvy.
Which Career is Right for Me?
How can you decide which career path is right for you? The first step is to understand your own strengths. Work with mentors and peers who know you well and can help you identify and develop your skillset. Then, carefully parse job descriptions for opportunities that are available, in which your skills are in demand. When you apply yourself in pursuit of your MBA, you may be surprised at what jobs you're qualified for and may even discover opportunities you'd never considered.
Ready to get started? The MBA program at Ashford University not only builds your skills, confidence, and character in preparation for a business career, but you can take each six-week course one at a time, from anywhere online. If you’re already pursuing your bachelor’s degree with Ashford and are interested in continuing onto your MBA, learn about how our Smart Track program can help you accelerate your time to degree. Contact an advisor today for more information on the MBA program at Ashford, or to learn about our financial aid resources and scholarship opportunities.
By Ashford University staff