What can you do with a master’s in business administration?


A master’s in business administration (MBA) prepares you for a career in administration management and many related careers. It provides the knowledge and skills for management and administration needed to start a career as a leader in various industries and organizations. Business administration is a broad field that offers many career opportunities within its domain.

For a successful business career, an MBA education is considered the gold standard. It hones business acumen and provides the ability and confidence to make managerial and/or administrative decisions with skills in accounting and finance, marketing, human resources and legal issues. MBA studies cover all aspects of business, and a master’s in business administration degree typically requires core courses in communication, economics and mathematics.

An MBA degree significantly improves earning potential and provides the opportunity to learn critical leadership skills, focusing on a particular area of business of individual interest.

Top career prospects for a master’s in business administration

A master’s in business administration (MBA) degree opens many career opportunities and significantly improves prospects for career advancement into management and leadership roles in organizations.

Whether your interest is in sales, marketing, advertising, finance, analytics, consultancy, international business, human resources, or any of the countless other options, you may also explore areas like organizational management and entrepreneurship. 

Here is a look at some of the careers you can choose with a master’s in business administration.

Business consultant

Rising competition among businesses is driving the need for consultants who provide informed advice on strategies, such as making financial forecasts and other consultations with businesses and organizations for growth and prospects.

This job may involve serving as a business advisor, conducting market research, analyzing needs, providing recommendations and advice, implementing the best solutions, and developing new market strategies.

Human resources manager

In MBA programs, human resources (HR) are one the most popular specializations. An HR manager is responsible not only for developing a good workforce for the company but also for fostering a good work environment.

HR managers are important figures in any organization. They are at the forefront of employee management and the first face of the company for employees. An HR manager’s roles include hiring the right people for the job, making cuts to the workforce as required, and ensuring the best working atmosphere, policies and benefits for employees. They also work on employee-employer relations, employee performance management and appraisal and employee grievances,  

Project manager

A project manager is one of the most common jobs for an MBA. A project manager works to get a project completed from inception to execution by coordinating with all members of a team, keeping the team focused and on-task and managing everything related to the project. The scope of project managers’ responsibilities include decision-making for the project, building and managing the project team, monitoring schedule and project progress, managing project finances, satisfying projects’ stakeholder needs, and regular evaluation of the project’s progress.

Financial advisor or planner

A financial advisor or planner earns a respectable income by managing other people’s money. As an expert in finance, they provide guidance on financial matters such as investments, taxes, insurance, loss-profit, and other financial goals. 

A financial planner’s work involves providing financial advice to people and/or organizations; helping to manage finances; and updating people or companies on financial issues, bank accounts, loans, insurance and other matters.

Financial advisors work for an organization, government agency, bank, brokerage house or independently.

Brand manager

A brand manager is responsible for developing and managing the company’s brand and ensuring that the brand meets the business’s objectives. A brand manager’s job is tough one that requires great dedication to ensure that the brand is kept in high esteem in a cost-effective manner. 

The brand manager may be a member of the marketing team or its leader. They are responsible for defining and communicating the brand’s vision and mission, providing a link between the customer and company in terms of brand initiatives, brand identity, brand elements and marketing communications. 

Market analyst

A market analyst carries out analysis and research on the current trends and behavior of the market, as well as new products and services that are released. They draw conclusions from findings to drive sales and profits. They also design and develop new strategies for the company, overseeing their implementation and feedback.

Other responsibilities include understanding competitors, their products, and business models; planning, organizing, and controlling information gathering; and conducting analysis and taking steps based on their findings. Strong math skills and knowledge of research and analysis tools are required to be a market analyst.

Investment manager

Managing the finances of businesses and investors to attain optimal money flow, returns and growth is the primary domain of an investment manager. Deep knowledge of the financial world, policies and taxation laws is essential for an investment manager. Their job may include keeping a tab on market trends, debt and equity, resources management, financial models, funds and cash management.

There are many different positions an investment banker can occupy, such as trader, investment analyst, portfolio manager, financial lawyer, or compliance manager. All of these roles have one thing in common: managing money and making sure that it flows in the right direction.

IT manager

In the modern information technology (IT) era, an IT manager has the critical role of overseeing the use of the latest information technology devices and tools at a company. They must ensure that the most appropriate IT infrastructure is deployed at the company and is working at the highest possible level. 

An IT manager’s responsibilities include assessing required IT infrastructure and tools; overseeing procurement and deployment of IT tools; training employees on their use; and overseeing the management, control and maintenance of IT assets and services. 

IT managers often earn a higher income than other MBAs, depending on their other qualifications, such as IT certifications, additional IT skills, experience in the field, and many other factors. Typically, IT managers are MBAs with basic qualifications in computer science or IT.

Risk manager

Risk management involves the identification, assessment, monitoring, and preparation to face risks in an organization. All these functions are the responsibility of a risk manager, who is a key person for the organization in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. 

In the risk management process, a risk manager is a crucial stakeholder and plays a central role in the execution of the risk management process.

Logistics manager

In a successful business, logistics are very important. Logistics involves multiple components such as financial management, organizational skills, risks, and leadership, and it connects them together logically. The logistics manager’s role and responsibilities include all these aspects and assuring that there are no clashes between different domains, policies and people working there.

Start a business

A master’s in business administration is an ideal educational qualification for starting a business as an entrepreneur. An MBA provides all the necessary knowledge in marketing, advertising, finances, accounting, taxation, human resources, organizational skills and leadership. Starting and running a company will involve significant risks, legal issues, insurance, and financial resources. To start a business or to be an entrepreneur, you must have a complete understanding of all business processes and administrative skills.

There are many more career opportunities and newer roles and designations for MBAs, such as accounts manager, marketing manager, sales manager, product manager, healthcare manager, and security manager.

Why get an MBA?

The primary reason to get a master’s in business administration is to prepare for a new career or professional growth. The wide array of skills that are acquired through this degree can be helpful in many areas. 

One major reason to earn an MBA is to increase your chances with prospective employers while improving your management skills and leadership abilities, which may lead to a higher salary. 

A bachelor’s degree in management is also very popular, but a master’s transforms a broad undergraduate degree into a highly specialized qualification. A master’s in business administration in your chosen specialization will be relevant in a practically limitless variety of professional settings. 

Program duration

The duration of a master’s in business administration (MBA) is typically two years, or four semesters, depending on the university and mode of education you choose, such as online, classroom or hybrid. 

There are many variants that colleges may offer, such as an accelerated MBA or integrated bachelor’s and master’s in business administration, where you could earn your master’s degree in one continuous five-year program after school. 

Admission requirements for MBA programs

A bachelor’s degree in any discipline from an accredited college or university is the basic requirement for MBA admission. In addition, depending on the university chosen, there may be requirements for minimum grades during bachelor’s degree studies and specific admission tests like the GMAT, along with group discussions, interviews and minimum job experience.

The difference between an online MBA and a traditional MBA

An important decision to make is whether to go for an online MBA or a traditional MBA. An MBA program online from an accredited institution is just as valuable and competitive as a traditional MBA. It is a myth that online MBAs lack credibility. 

An online master’s in business administration offers many benefits over the traditional classroom MBA but also requires certain skills for success. Personal preferences, willingness to learn differently, openness to new challenges, being technologically savvy, and being virtually connected are required characteristics when it comes to an online MBA. 

You can acquire your MBA while you earn money in a job, support a family or both. Many online learning programs are flexible enough to allow you to take classes around your busy schedule yet robust enough to ensure a high-quality education. Some universities combine the best of both worlds by providing face-to-face and online classes for maximum flexibility. The underlying challenge is to change your mindset and/or priorities and embrace time management and self-discipline so that work and family commitments do not clash with your education.

Some students may find engaging online a bit of a challenge depending on individual characteristics. Some online programs are tailored to working professionals and build upon their experience.

Online programs remove geographic barriers to enrollment, thereby giving broad access to the world’s top management schools. Online MBAs also offer more diverse classes, with students from different cultures, beliefs and backgrounds. 

Full-time MBA programs require students to participate in summer internships between their first and second year, while online students may not need internships as they are already working. Some online programs include face-to-face immersions at regular intervals for three-day weekends or long breaks, with opportunities for networking, coaching, discussions and presentations.

Choosing a master’s program in business management

Thousands of different MBA programs are available around the world, and it is difficult to choose the right school, university, country, city and specialization. It is important to compare features, benefits and costs to find the best combination for you.

When choosing the right college, be sure to check the resources available and focus on critical issues such as accreditation, scholarships, financial aid, faculty and infrastructure.

An MBA or its variants, such as a master of management science (MMS), from a prestigious educational institution can be earned through online or in-person study. Regardless of how and where you plan to pursue your MBA, it is essential to ensure that your interests align with the choice you are making.