Globalization and an expanding economy have led to increased employment in business and finance. Individuals interested in pursuing careers in these areas will find that earning a degree in business is not only helpful but one of the most popular degree paths for undergraduate students. But many students don’t know how simply earning a bachelor’s in business versus pursuing the additional degree of an MBA can impact their career outlook. There’s no right or wrong choice, but it is important to know which is right for you.
BS in Business: The First Step to a Business Career
Most jobs in business and finance require a college degree that prepares them for the rigors and unique challenges of these two sectors. Business graduates gain some of the most sought-after skills that employers value, including leadership skills, communication, and adaptability. Outside of the soft skills business majors possess, the curriculum of a BS in Business provides them with hard skills that will lay the foundation for a successful entry-level and mid-level career.
Bachelors degree programs in Business Administration lay a foundation for success for their graduates. One of the best ways a BS can prepare its students is by offering comprehensive courses. Here are some of the core classes students can expect to take during their studies:
- Managerial Accounting
- Managerial Finance
- Business Law
These classes, in conjunction with foundational general education credits, prepare students for a wide variety of careers.
A BS in Business can be leveraged towards a career in a number of areas. Here are just a few that are open to those who hold a bachelor’s degree.
Loan officers use software and a variety of algorithms to help decide whether an individual or institution should be lent money. Loan officers must have good interpersonal skills in order to be successful in their careers. The job also involves interpreting hard data, a skill that can be gained through business studies. On average, loan officers can expect to make $63,960 per year.
Logistics managers, or logisticians, work in nearly every business-related industry. They manage a product’s entire life cycle, from design to delivery. They direct the allocation of materials and develop business relationships with both suppliers and clients. The employment of logisticians is expected to increase by 30% between now and 2030. The median annual pay is $76,270, making this career path an exciting option for graduates who hold a bachelor’s degree.
Advertising Sales Agent
For sales savvy students interested in working in the business world, a career in advertising sales may be just the thing. Advertising sales agents work in a variety of settings including television, radio broadcasting, newspaper publishing, and public relations firms. They work for their employers to identify potential clients and sell them advertising space. They must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be self-motivated. They may be asked to meet with clients outside their office, prepare promotional plans, and present sales contracts. While the median pay for advertising sales agents is $54,940, many companies offer their employees some form of commission.
There are dozens of other career paths associated with a business degree, including those that focus more on hard skills (e.g. data analysts) and those that focus more on soft skills (e.g. marketing and PR coordinators).
The MBA: For Those Looking to Get Ahead
While it’s true that a BS in Business can open doors for students wanting to get a foothold in the business world, acquiring an MBA can open up the possibility of upward growth and even an eventual position in the coveted C-Suite.
The coursework in an MBA prepares students for high level managerial roles in a number of fields including healthcare, human resources, finance, and more. Core coursework expected of MBA students may include:
- Marketing and Branding
- Organizational Behavior
- Information Systems
- Advanced Financial Management
MBA students will take additional courses that allow them to specialize in a specific area of business.
Is an MBA Worth the Investment?
For many students, the idea of continuing their education is less than appealing. After all, many find that they can be successful simply by gaining work experience and climbing the corporate ladder. This begs the question, “Is an MBA worth it?” Only you can decide your educational future however, for many students an MBA is well worth the investment.
One of the most important advantages of earning an MBA is that this degree program offers students the opportunity to gain special skills in high-demand areas. At University of Bridgeport, these areas include Accounting, Analytics Intelligence, Finance, Healthcare Management, Management, Marketing, and Human Resources Management. By taking courses in these sought-after areas of concentration, students can increase their employability and earning potential.
An MBA not only opens up the possibility of upward mobility for graduates, but also increases their compensation offer rates by as much as 20%. In dollars, this can be an increase of between $10,000 and $15,000 in entry salary. However, this figure may be a modest estimate. According to their 2018 report, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, MBA holders can earn up to 38% more annually than their counterparts who hold a bachelor’s degree. This rate compounds every year, meaning that within five years, graduates from MBA programs may see an 80% increase over their entry level compensation rate. For this reason alone, an MBA is worth consideration.
MBA vs. Bachelors
On their surface, there are a number of clear differences between the MBA and bachelor’s degree. First, and most obviously, an MBA is a graduate-level degree and a bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree. An MBA can be pursued directly after earning a bachelor’s degree, although many MBA programs require 2 or more years of prior work experience. A bachelor’s degree is typically four years in length and can be pursued in person or online. Pursuing graduate studies will require additional years of study, though in some cases, an MBA can be completed in one year. As discussed earlier, that single year of additional study can make a big difference in earning potential and skill level. It just depends on the amount of time you’re willing to put into your education and what your career goals are.
For those interested in becoming business professionals, a degree in business is a necessity. While a baccalaureate is a minimum requirement for many jobs, those who are motivated to work their way up to more senior level positions and increase their earning potential should consider earning an MBA. Ultimately, the difference between BA and MBA programs is that they offer their graduates different levels of professional upward mobility. So, when deciding between an MBA vs. Bachelors, you should consider your career goals. Then, make a decision about what educational path is for you!
Interested in pursuing an MBA degree? Request more information about University of Bridgeport’s MBA program here!