Image of professionals standing near each other in an corporate setting

In the last MBA Life blog post, I wrote about the $5250 limit on employee reimbursement plans. Let’s consider what happens after you obtain your MBA. Amazingly, I often get the question – “What can I do with my MBA degree?” not just before someone starts our MBA program, but I also get the question on occasion from students during their first semester. They heard the MBA is a powerful degree, which it is, and now they want to know what they can do with it. In this article; I am going to discuss that question and review some of the excellent options you will have as an MBA.

An MBA program offers advanced course work in areas such as leadership, finance, communications, marketing and strategy and often a focus on a specific concentration as well. In our case, at Lourdes University we offer concentrations in Leadership and Organizational Development, Operations Management and Project Management.  The MBA is a powerful and widely accepted business degree that helps to assure employers you will have the advanced skills to drive the performance of the organization to new levels. By having an MBA degree you are much more likely to enter managerial and leadership roles, no matter your chosen industry. Here are some types of roles you can consider as an MBA.

Marketing Manager: Marketing Managers are involved with sales and marketing to a specific market or region. They are involved with coordinating and executing the various efforts associated with a marketing plan, including developing and optimizing strategy. The can also help manage the branding and positioning of the company’s products and services, They are also often judged on profitability of their products and services, as well as market penetration and growth. These roles can lead to a position as a Vice President of Marketing, or a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer.)

Product Manager: Product Management is similar to being a marketing manager, but more encompassing. Product Managers are responsible for a product or group of products from cradle to grave. You can think of these positions as the hub of a spoked wheel, as you will work with all departments in an organization to ensure the long-term success of your product lines. These positions, for those who are truly driven, are great training to eventually become a senior level executive of an organization.

Operations Manager: Operations Managers are responsible for the overall daily operations of a manufacturing or service organization, including purchasing, planning, inventory, assembly, logistics, quality control and coordination between departments and creation of policy. Responsibilities also include the hiring of employees and negotiating contracts. Many MBAs who work in this position may have specialized in operations management, supply chain management or logistics. This profession is especially growing in demand in recent years because companies’ operations are spread all over the world, and the supply chain must be properly maintained for products to be delivered efficiently.

Human Resource Manager: Human resources managers direct and coordinate the administrative functions of a company or other organization. They are responsible for recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training of staff. They also consult with senior executives on the strategic planning for the organization, succession planning and are a link between management and the regular employees. Human resource managers also work with the company’s top executives about its strategic planning and talent management challenges.

Finance/CFO/Controller: Chief financial officers (CFOs) and Controllers supervise the fiscal operations and activities of an organization or company. To be successful, they must thoroughly understand accounting and finance, and understand how to implement financial policies and practices that benefit the overall fiscal viability of the organization. CFOs and Controllers work with managers in individual departments — like purchasing, pricing, and accounts payable or receivable — to gather financial data, analyze it, and present it to fellow executives and company stakeholders. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, ample experience in the field, and an MBA are often prerequisites for CFO or Controller roles.

Investment Banker: Investment bankers work for financial institutions, providing guidance for corporations, organizations, and government agencies about how best to raise capital. Investment bankers review their clients financial holdings, assess risk and reward, analyze financial data, explain complex financial practices, and make recommendations for how organizations can meet their financial goals. Investment bankers also build financial models, create financial plans, and perform valuation assessments, taking part in all aspects of transactions related to financial and investment decisions. Most investment bankers hold an MBA.

GM/President/CEO: – General Managers, Presidents and CEOs are the top level executive of an organization. It takes years of experience, drive, excellent communications skills, good people skills and often an MBA degree to work your way into “the corner office.” Speaking from personal experience, I am certain I never would have been offered these positions, had I not obtained my MBA, as the MBA degree is often a requirement for these roles. The MBA degree not only shows that you have some of the key skills required to run an organization, such as communications, leadership, finance and strategy, but also demonstrates you have a certain level of drive that is required to be successful in these roles.

Entrepreneur: If you plan to start your own business you will need a wide variety of skills to be successful. The MBA degree is the one degree that can prepare you to handle a wide variety of skills and situations you will need to start and manage a business. From leadership, to accounting, finance, communications, marketing and strategy, you are more likely to be successful if you learn these skills first.

The Wall Street Journal and BizEd offer more insight on the power of a MBA degree.

Though it looks like a tall mountain to climb, enrolling in an MBA program can be one of the best decisions of your life. Whether you want to advance in your current career or change your professional field completely, the MBA degree can help you get there. With its ability to help you achieve your professional and financial dreams, the return on investment may be well beyond what you can imagine. Stay tuned for the next MBA Life blog post. Until then, feel free to email me with any questions about the MBA degree or questions about our MBA program at Lourdes University – asinger@lourdes.edu, Professor Andy Singer.