What career options are available with an online MBA?

Posted on: May 31, 2024

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is the ultimate management qualification. MBAs are globally recognised as markers of exceptional leadership, breadth and depth of industry experience, and dedication to professional development.

Are you preparing to scale the career ladder, grow your own entrepreneurial venture, or break into a new industry? Whatever your goals and ambitions, an MBA could be the perfect option, and can unlock a wealth of new, exciting and highly lucrative career opportunities.

Which business field and MBA specialisation is right for you?

There are numerous options available in terms of MBA specialisation. According to the Princeton Review, some of the most popular MBA concentrations include:

  • general management
  • international management
  • strategy
  • consulting
  • finance leadership
  • entrepreneurship
  • marketing
  • operations management
  • information technology 
  • technology management.

While having the option to select specialisations is useful, it can also make deciding what route or focus to pursue a little trickier. Often, it can depend on factors such as your career ambitions, personal interests, previous education, and current professional experience.

Ask yourself the following questions to help narrow down your search:

  • What industries appeal to me? Your interests and career goals should be closely correlated with your choice of MBA, as you’ll need to pick the most relevant one for your needs. If you have more than one industry in mind, try reviewing job outlooks and salaries for roles in each different industry, and identify which ones interest you and can best serve your needs.
  • What does my current career look like? If you’ve decided to study an online MBA degree to help you progress further in your current career, choosing a programme that centres on developing the specific skills needed to advance is key. If you’re switching careers, take time to understand what your ideal career will involve and research course content that’s in alignment with your development needs.
  • What skills do I already have? It might make sense to identify your individual skills and strengths and develop them further with a focused MBA. Perhaps you’re a talented communicator and human resource management might be an ideal fit, or your natural mathematical ability would lend itself well to finance or accounting?

Of course, if you can’t decide on a particular specialisation, a regular MBA might be the right choice for a well-rounded, holistic grounding across the business management spectrum. Many universities and business schools provide careers services to students to help them get the most out of their learning and help them land their dream roles.

What career options does an online MBA offer?

MBA graduates are found in just about every industry you can think of – including healthcare, technology, financial services, retail and consumer goods, energy, government, manufacturing and logistics. They find roles in companies of all sizes, from start-ups and small-medium enterprises (SMEs) to multinational organisations. As such, career opportunities are as vast as they are varied – which is great news if you’re thinking about studying an online MBA degree.

While online MBA courses prepare you to pursue whatever career path you’re interested in, the most popular industries that graduates enter are technology, finance, and consulting.

Examples of companies that hire the most MBA graduates include:

  • Microsoft, one of the largest employers of MBA graduates, regularly recruiting from top business schools worldwide
  • Accenture, which actively recruits MBA candidates who are interested in working at the intersection between technology and business
  • Deloitte, which hires graduating MBA students to work in its accountancy and consulting arms
  • Google – with tech companies among the largest recruiters of MBA grads, the global giant engages in ‘on-campus recruiting’, encouraging students to indicate interest in future roles and internships
  • Amazon, which hires MBA holders into a wide variety of different roles, and has established the Pathways Leadership Development Program to support new MBA graduates
  • McKinsey, where nearly 50% of the company’s incoming consultants have MBAs, with grads joining at associate level and receiving high salaries and signing bonuses.

In terms of roles, the world really is your oyster – it all depends on the industry you join, where your interests and ambitions lie, and the skills and experience you bring to the role.

For instance, while the exact job opportunities, titles and responsibilities will vary by sector and project, common job roles for MBA graduates often include:

  • consultant
  • project manager
  • senior associate
  • product manager
  • marketing manager
  • human resources manager
  • head of business development
  • business operations manager
  • financial analyst
  • financial manager
  • research analyst
  • chief executive officer.

The scope to progress into more senior positions – with salaries and responsibilities to match – will come with further experience. Generally, the highest-paying positions for traditional and online MBA graduates are executive or upper-level management positions. The eligibility criteria for these roles often includes significant prior leadership experience – which, if you don’t already have, you can acquire over time.

What are the benefits of studying a distance learning MBA?

If you want to progress in your career but don’t have time for traditional, in-person classes and learning set-ups, online MBA programmes offer a fantastic alternative. Plus, by studying alongside working, you can build your skills and knowledge on both fronts – putting you in a strong position to land any number of career opportunities. Whatever your personal situation and reasons for considering online learning, it offers a number of other critical benefits, from cost-efficiency and savings, to learning at a pace that suits you, to removing geographical restrictions, and increasing accessibility and inclusivity.

On a more general note, MBAs present an ideal way to enhance business management and leadership skills, open doors to career advancement and significantly increased earning potential, expand your professional network, and shape you into a versatile asset to any industry.

Ready to start your MBA career, but just need to identify the right online course? Make sure you factor online learning options (including full-time, part-time and flexible learning), course content, specialisations, alignment with career aspirations, entry requirements (including GMAT score, work experience, minimum Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree), tuition fees, and course accreditation and rankings.

Excel in international business, development and growth – whatever your chosen industry

Looking for a global online MBA programme that can unlock high-paid, rewarding and diverse career paths?

Advance your decision-making, strategic thinking and leadership skills – at an institution with a track record for developing business leaders of tomorrow – with the University of Wolverhampton’s online MBA programme. Through problem-based learning, designed with real-world needs and employers in mind, you’ll gain the skills, tools and knowledge necessary for effective, transformational and sustainable leadership. A range of engaging modules will cover core business management concepts including financial planning, economics, entrepreneurship, risk management, operations management, human resources and organisational governance, data science, business analytics, and strategic marketing.

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