If you've ever considered getting an MBA (Master of Business) degree from an accredited college or university, it's important to first understand what an MBA degree is, as well as how you can benefit from it. There are thousands of MBA colleges throughout the United States that offer many benefits and advantages; however, not all of them are created equal. Essentially, the main purpose and intention of an MBA College is to prepare you for a higher management position in business.
The first Master of Business program was established at the Tuck Business School in the early twentieth century. Today, there are over seven thousand MBA colleges and universities offering the program as part of their curriculum. Although most people obtain an MBA with the intention of working in business and management, many students obtain an MBA with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT), while others pursue a degree with an emphasis in Marketing and Sales.
Why Should You Get an MBA?
For most people, a huge pay raise is enough incentive to get an MBA degree. You can expect to earn at least 50 percent more than you earned before obtaining the degree. So, if you were making $50,000 a year, you should expect to make $75,000 after graduation. In 2006, the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that average MBA salaries were $90,000, and those numbers have gone up significantly since then. First-year graduates average between $50,000 and $75,000.
How Do You Earn an MBA Degree?
For decades, the program has been geared toward attending school on a rigorous, full-time basis, but many schools now offer different formats that allow you to attend classes less frequently. For example, many students work their jobs during the day and attend school at night. More recently, learning institutions offer MBA programs online, and you can attend virtual classes using a computer. These courses offer convenient advantages; however, many students prefer one-on-one interaction with others in a classroom environment.
On average, it takes about two years to complete the entire program. European MBA students, on the other hand, attend college for one year only.
What are the Benefits of an MBA Degree?
Overall, MBA graduates obtain higher positions in business and management, especially for those who already hold executive and managerial positions. For example, MBA graduates seek positions as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in major sectors like Health Care, Finance, Consulting, Information, Government, and more.
In both the U.S. and most parts of Europe, an MBA degree from a leading educational institution holds great value and opportunity to those seeking higher education.
What are Some Additional Benefits?
A Master of Business Administration program from a leading college or university offers a wide range of benefits including business knowledge, leadership abilities, and networking.
Not only will you learn about business and its related aspects through case studies, but you'll also obtain critical hands-on knowledge through training and internships.
MBA colleges give you the opportunity to participate in vigorous training, group projects, and research papers. These activities prepare you to handle difficult challenges in a business environment. An MBA program gives you the tools, knowledge, and expertise to handle those situations. All in all, MBA colleges set you apart from those with less experience, making you a leader in your chosen field.
You'll also build long-lasting business relationships and contacts with the individuals in your program. These people become valuable friends and resources during the course of the program, and later on in life.
If you're thinking of applying to one of many MBA Colleges, don't hesitate to do so. With so many long-lasting benefits, valuable relationships, and unmatched expertise, you can't afford to turn down an opportunity of a lifetime. Literally hundreds of people have already reaped the rewards of higher degrees, and hold high paying positions everywhere.
There is one provison: Do your research. With so many MBA Colleges available, you can afford to be selective. The Internet offers plenty of resources, and it's always a good place to start. Simply go to your favorite search engine and enter the applicable keywords. The result will be hundreds of colleges and universities from which you can choose, and once you find one, you can give them a call—counselors and admissions representatives are always glad to help. The first step is to make a call, and keep in mind that you'll always be glad you did!
Undergraduate Degrees Needed for MBA Colleges
An MBA degree requires a Bachelor degree (or a four-year degree) either in business or other related disciplines. It also helps to have management experience within one or more companies or organizations.
Although many people believe they need an undergraduate degree in business to qualify for MBA Colleges, this really isn't the case. As a matter of fact, many top MBA schools don't even offer an undergraduate degree in business. Before studying for an MBA, it's often more preferable to get a degree in one of the sciences or liberal arts. For example, an undergraduate degree in mathematics is very helpful, since many MBA core courses include math-related subjects such as finance and statistics. Also, since you do a lot of writing in class, including case studies, term papers, and, of course, your master's thesis, a degree in communications or English is also very helpful.
The fact that an undergraduate degree in business isn't required for your MBA doesn't mean that you shouldn't study business in order to prepare yourself for future courses. As a result, basic economics and quantitative courses are always a good idea as well.
During the course of your MBA program, you'll learn just about everything you need to know about management, leadership, and business. Today, many employers require that you get into an MBA program before entering into upper management positions.
Although MBA requirements vary from state to state, most colleges ask for transcripts, recommendation letters, GMAT scores, and a resume. Some MBA Colleges may require essay submissions and a formal application. At first, these requirements may seem overwhelming; however, the majority of colleges throughout the country require that you have Bachelor's degree at a minimum. As a result, it's always a good idea to research several colleges and contact the admissions offices before moving forward.
Qualities That Make a Good MBA Student
If you’re considering an MBA degree, you need to be aware that the majority of business schools offering higher education look for some basic qualities and skills from their students. Depending on the program you choose, MBA Colleges typically have very rigorous schedules and curriculum. Additionally, these schools also take in a lower number of applicants, and as a result, the competition is stiff. For example, the Harvard Business School accepts about 12 percent of the 9,000 students (or a total of 1080 students) who apply each year. If you exhibit some of the qualities of a worthy MBA student, your chances of being accepted into one of the top MBA Colleges are much greater.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, you should already possess the following qualities:
- ability to be a team player
- interest in current events
- detail oriented
- good communication skills
- good analytical skills
The Ability to be a Team Player
The ability to work effectively as part of a team is critical to your success as an MBA student. For the most part, business schools design curriculum to revolve around a team environment. Since you’ll work as a team member through the majority of your program, you need to have team spirit and get along well with your associates. People form long-lasting business relationships during and after business school.
Interest in Current Events
Since the economy is global, what happens in other parts of the world certainly impacts the U.S. economy in a big way. As an MBA student, it’s essential for you to stay abreast of events across the world in order to broaden your perspective and share your thoughts and ideas with your associates. The key to your success as a student will be largely based on your knowledge of global events.
Attention to detail is an important attribute for those wishing to succeed in an MBA program. As a student, you’ll be required to perform case studies, do extensive research, and write several reports and papers based on your findings. The more attention you pay to the details of your work, the more successful you’ll become as a graduate student of business.
Both written and verbal communication skills are of the utmost importance in MBA Colleges. In addition to a thesis paper, you’ll be required to do a lot of writing while you’re in school. You’ll also be required to do verbal presentations throughout the course of your program. The top schools look for people who have an excellent command of the English language.
It’s important to have interpersonal skills and to communicate well with your peers, fellow students, and teachers throughout your program. As a graduate, you’ll also be able to take full advantage of the communication skills you learn in college as you start to climb the corporate ladder.
As an applicant to an MBA program, you may be required to take the GMAT exam. On the exam, you’ll need to answer a series of questions that test your analytical and mathematical skills. During this time, the mathematical skills you’ve learned in high school and college will definitely come in handy. When you begin your program as an MBA student, you’ll also be required to produce documents, tables, and graphs as part of your class presentations. As a result, any analytical/mathematical skills you already possess can be a big plus.
While many admissions committees at MBA Colleges look at your GMAT scores, all of the above-mentioned qualities will certainly contribute to your acceptance into the college of your choice.
What Type of Bachelor’s Degree Do You Need for an MBA?
If you are setting your sights for an MBA, an undergraduate degree in business is definitely worth your consideration. However, more students are discovering that a degree in the sciences and liberal arts is more valuable. Yet many business majors still feel that a business major is the first step along the road to an MBA degree.
On the contrary, Business Week reported that only 19% of the students in the magazine’s top ten MBA programs studied business. Business Week also said a non-business major can be viewed as an advantage when applying to top MBA programs. The problem with an undergraduate or bachelor’s degree in business (as a stepping stone to the MBA) is that it duplicates a lot of the courses you’ll encounter later on in graduate school.
If you plan to get an MBA in the near future, bear in mind that a specific undergraduate major isn’t required for an MBA program; however some majors such as business, finance, accounting, statistics, and math will definitely help you along the way. Regardless of your background—whether it is communications, art, or science, you can always go back to school for an MBA.
Many students feel that they need to study business or economics as undergraduates. The truth of the matter is that business majors don't make up the majority of MBA students.
GPA, GMAT, and Other Considerations
When it comes to admissions, MBA Colleges focus on several different areas.
In addition to your undergraduate degree, your GPA (grade point average) is very important, along with work experience, GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, interviews, and more.
For the most part, GPA requirements vary from school to school and major to major, and it’s difficult to determine the GPA needed to enter the top MBA colleges. At Yale, for instance, the average GPA for MBA admissions is 3.52, with 80% falling between 3.12 and 3.95.
GMAT scores are also important, and the median GMAT score at Wharton School of Business is 720. Most schools accept a wide range of GMAT scores, so don’t worry if your score falls below the average.
Other factors such as letters of recommendation and strong work experience are also taken under consideration at admissions departments.
Overall, college students pursuing an MBA degree come from many different backgrounds and businesses. In fact, an MBA can be useful in many different professions—ranging from accounting to engineering and computer science.
Whether you have an undergraduate degree in the humanities, social sciences, or art, MBA Colleges across the country accept business majors from different disciplines and walks of life.
If you aspire to get an MBA degree in the near future, keep in mind that MBA schools are looking for a very diversified class of individuals. As far as admissions are concerned, those who decide to major in business, accounting, and finance hold the advantage over other majors, but your chances of entering an MBA program are still very high, regardless of your field or major.
Whether you’re an undergraduate, graduate, or just out of high school, consider the path that works best for you. For some, it may include a background in business, while others pursue economics or finance. With a little patience and a lot of drive, you’ll reach your goal in the end.