There are many advantages to earning an MBA. Chief among them is being able to take your pick from a variety of lucrative and rewarding careers. Zero in on a desired career prior to starting your MBA program. That way, you can select a concentration or specialization that will increase your odds of landing your ideal job, according to US News and World Report.
Today’s top five careers for people with MBAs include:
1. IT Manager
If you have a knack for working with computer technology, consider earning an MBA with a concentration in information systems to qualify for work as an IT manager. IT managers plan and maintain businesses’ computer-related activities and technologies. They manage the maintenance and security of computer networks, install and upgrade software and hardware, implement Internet and intranet sites, develop and maintain computer networks and otherwise manage an organization’s IT-related needs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT managers in 2014 earn a median salary of $127,640, and more than 53,000 new jobs will be added between 2014 and 2024.
2. Management Analyst
Also known as high-end management consultants, companies hire these professionals to maintain their competitive edge. Management analysts help organizations in a variety of ways, providing assistance with maximizing profits, keeping costs in check, solving management problems and increasing efficiency and productivity. Companies sometimes also hire them to help them adjust to new business laws and regulations. They typically specialize in specific industries, and they often work closely and directly with CEOS, CFOs, COOs and other high-level executives. According to the BLS, the 2014 median income for a management analyst is $80,880, and the industry is expected to grow by 14 percent from 2014 to 2024.
3. Investment Banker
By earning an MBA with a concentration in finance, you may be able to pursue a career as an investment banker. This is a highly lucrative career, with these professionals earning salaries starting around $100,000 and increasing into the millions of dollars. Much of their salaries come from bonuses, which are earned mostly by helping increase companies’ profits. These professionals help companies, government agencies and other organizations raise money in capital markets, and they also provide guidance regarding major financial transactions like mergers and acquisitions.
4. Marketing Manager
If you’d like to help companies increase their sales and profits through effective marketing, a career as a marketing manager may be right for you. The best way to qualify for such a job is by earning an MBA with a concentration in marketing. Marketing managers help businesses attract new customers, expand to new markets and identify and sustain their competitive advantage. As a marketing manager, you will estimate demand for products and services, research emerging trends and opportunities and develop marketing campaigns and strategies for your employer. According to the BLS, the median 2014 salary for marketing managers is $127,130.
5. Sales Manager
Another career that you can pursue by earning an MBA with a concentration in marketing is sales manager. Sales managers direct companies’ sales teams. They develop new promotions, analyze marketing trends, identify and recommend improvements to sales procedures and policies, develop training programs, evaluate customer needs and establish objectives and quotas for their teams. These professionals typically travel a lot and usually work long hours. According to the BLS, the median salary for a sales manager in 2014 was $110,660.
Related Resource: Top 20 Best Value Online MBA Programs 2015
As you can see from the above list, earning an MBA paves the way for pursuing a variety of lucrative and promising careers. Determine which direction you’d like to go now to select the appropriate concentration or specialization.