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Your Guide to Getting an MBA Degree

More and more, earning an MBA is a necessity for individuals interested in a career in business. Simply put, an MBA is a master’s degree in Business Administration that provides graduates with the skills they need to hold C-suite positions. You’ll find an MBA degree on the resumes of Fortune 500 executives, high-level finance professionals, and successful managers in a variety of industries. According to a survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council, nine out of ten corporate recruiters expect that the demand for business graduates will increase over the next five years. This should come as no surprise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that employment in business and finance will grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030, adding about 750,800 new jobs to the field. Earning an MBA degree is a great way to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicant pool.

If you are looking to take your career to the next level, or advance your business skills and climb the corporate ladder, you are in the right place. Below we provide all the answers you need to get started on an MBA degree.

How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA?

If you’re already a working professional, your first thought may be, “How long is this going to take?” A full-time MBA degree program is traditionally two years in length. However, some schools offer online, accelerated MBA programs for students who are highly motivated to begin their career as soon as possible. At the University of Bridgeport, students can complete their MBA degree online in as little as one year.

Is an MBA Worth It?
Enrolling in an MBA degree program is an investment of both time and money. However, an MBA is well worth it. High-level and senior roles in business frequently require an MBA or many years of experience. An MBA can help graduates bypass years and years of work and fast-track their careers. For those who already hold a degree in business, the benefits of earning a graduate degree may seem dubious. However, the average starting salary for MBA graduates is $20,000 a year more than those who hold an undergraduate business degree. In addition, MBA programs provide students with the opportunity to study a concentrated area, such as Marketing or Finance. This specialized training prepares graduates for more focused, and frequently higher-paying, careers.

Online MBA Degree Options
An online MBA degree offers students flexibility, affordability, and a high-quality education at a flexible pace. This degree path can be completed in as little as one year and frequently provides students with multiple start-date options, allowing them to begin their education exactly when they’re willing and able. Classes are held in 7-week, online sessions, giving students the opportunity to study where and when they want. Additionally, online programs also offer students the choice of concentrating in an area of specialization, guaranteeing that they don’t miss out on a quality education simply because they’re studying online.

Of course, online degree programs are not for everyone. It is important to consider your needs to determine whether an online, on-campus, or hybrid MBA program works best for you and your learning style. For tips on how to choose an MBA program, click here.

MBA Degree Requirements
While every school is different, generally an MBA program requires students to complete studies in the following subject areas:

  • Organizational Behavior
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Project Management
  • Information Management

Additionally, students are eligible to take additional credits in specialized courses that provide them with in-depth knowledge and skills in a specific business area. These study areas are referred to as “concentrations.”

Students in an MBA degree program are also expected to complete 9 credits of capstone courses as well as an Experiential Course (eg. an internship or thesis). The Experiential Course enables them to gain deeper experience in the world of business.

Possible MBA Concentrations
Students who wish to be even more competitive in the job marketplace should consider pursuing a concentration area. Generally, each concentration requires 9 credits of specialized study, in addition to the core MBA program requirements. Here are some concentration areas you may consider adding to your MBA studies.

MBA with Accounting
An MBA degree with Accounting provides students with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to measure, analyze, interpret, and communicate economic data. In addition to learning accounting principles, students will learn how to integrate their accounting skills with business acumen to make strategic decisions. Courses in this concentration include Auditing, Personal Taxation, Financial Reporting, and International Accounting, among others.

Students who hold an MBA with Accounting will be eligible to pursue careers in finance and upper management. For those interested in becoming a Chief Financial Officer, this degree is essential. Graduates with this concentration can also work as high-level accountants and auditors, if they wish.

MBA with Analytics Intelligence
An MBA with Analytics Intelligence trains students for a career studying big data. Business analysts collect data and analyze it, creating reports for their companies. From these reports, they are able to predict outcomes in business, prescribe remedies for organizational issues, and identify historic trends within their company or organization. Classes in this area of specialization include Enterprise Intelligence, Foundations in Advanced Enterprise Analytics, and Technical Concepts for Analytics Professionals.

Those who hold an MBA with Analytics Intelligence are qualified for careers as data analysts, operations managers, and financial analysts.

MBA with Finance
The Finance concentration provides students with a thorough knowledge of financial concepts. Graduates with an MBA with a Finance concentration are proficient in financial management, international finance, and investing skills. Courses include Investment Analysis, Cases in Finance, and Managerial Economics, among others.

Upon completing an MBA with Finance, graduates will be eligible for a variety of careers in the world of finance. These job titles may include Financial Analyst, Financial Manager, Accounting Manager, Management Consultant, or Corporate Controller.

MBA with Healthcare Management
Students who take a concentration in Healthcare Management are prepared for careers in a wide range of healthcare organizations. This concentration provides students with the knowledge they’ll need to thrive in management positions in the healthcare industry. Courses are in study areas including Epidemiology, Healthcare Administration, and Healthcare Quality, Outcomes, and Evidence-Based Care.

MBA with Healthcare Management graduates are prepared for careers in healthcare such as Hospital CFO, Healthcare Consultant, Health Services Manager, Director of Operations.

MBA with Human Resources Management
The MBA with a Human Resources Management concentration is designed to train future Human Resources professionals. Students in this program are taught how to manage a company’s most important asset: its employees. Classes in this concentration include Human Resources Management, Organizational Development, and Workforce Assessment.

After graduating with an MBA degree in this concentration, students will have the skills necessary to work in positions recruiting, managing, and mentoring people who work in a company or organization. These positions include Human Resources Manager, Vice President of Human Resources, Employee Relations Manager, and Senior Human Resources Consultant.

MBA with Management
Students interested in managing a company as a whole should consider a concentration in Management. This area of specialization trains students in employee motivation and the management of people and organizational systems. In other words, the MBA with Management generally prepares students for careers in leadership positions. Classes in this specialization area include Leadership, Foundations of Product Management, Organizational Development, Conflict and Negotiation, and Human Resources Management.

Positions that graduates with this area of specialization are eligible for include CEO, Human Resources Manager, Marketing Manager, and more.

MBA with Marketing
An MBA with Marketing concentration prepares students to create, promote, distribute, price, and manage products and services. Students in this concentration develop an understanding of human behavior, economic markets, and effective communication. They also become skilled in problem-solving, research, and management. Courses in this area of concentration include Sales Management, Strategy and Advanced Marketing Concepts, Customer Analysis, Data Mining, and more.

This area of specialization prepares graduates for a career as a Marketing Manager, Public Relations Specialist, Market Research Director, Director of Sales, or Marketing Consultant.

Pursue Your Master’s in Business Administration
If your goal is to pursue a top-level career in business, earning an MBA degree is highly recommended. MBA programs help students learn the management, leadership, and problem-solving skills they’ll need to be successful in the business world. Traditional MBA programs provide students the information they’ll need to be successful, in person. Alternatively, online MBA programs provide students with the opportunity to complete their studies quickly and affordably, without missing out on a quality education. Whichever method of study you select, an MBA degree is a worthy investment.

Interested in pursuing an MBA degree? Request more information about University of Bridgeport’s MBA program.