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The Meaning of an MBA

Higher Education Articles June 16, 2015

The Master of Business Administration, commonly referred to as an MBA, covers a wide array of business fields, including accounting, marketing, and management. In this article, we take a look at the requirements and benefits of an MBA degree program.

Degree Overview: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Degree Programs

Students seek the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) graduate degree program to develop skills that would help pursue a business career. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in any field.

MBA core coursework provides an introduction to topic areas in business, such as operations management, accounting, human resources, finance, and management information systems. Coursework often includes classes in areas such as macroeconomics, organizational management, computer information systems, and marketing management.

Electives and additional courses may also be available with students’ concentrations, including public administration, business and economic forecasting, marketing, management information systems, international business, and hospitality management.

MBA Program Types

There are many basic kinds of MBA programs, varying in length and with different admissions criteria. Coursework covers similar topic areas in all programs.

Part-Time MBA

Working professionals would benefit by enrolling in part-time MBA programs that have classes during weekends and nights. Depending on the coursework they choose, students may take three or more years to complete these programs.

Full-Time MBA

Two academic years are typically needed to complete a full-time MBA program. This program is available through many schools in a daytime format; the program begins in late August or early September of the preliminary year and ends in May or June of the latter year.

Accelerated MBA

Students who’d like to get their degree as soon as possible should enroll in an accelerated MBA program. Students can complete the program in about a year. Enrollees may be required to have already completed some business courses. The shorter span entails a heavier workload.

Dual MBA

Students can combine their MBA curriculum with another degree, such as a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) or Master of Science (M.S.) by enrolling in dual MBA programs. Five-year combined bachelor’s and MBA degree programs are also available at many schools.

Executive MBA

Individuals with about ten years of business work experience would benefit by enrolling in this MBA program whose coursework is devised to satisfy the career and career advancement needs of managers and executives.

Job and Wage Outlook

The Job & Salary Trends Report 2013/14 reveals that graduates of the MBA program bring in an annual wage of $82,200. The average wage level rises to $98,300 through the addition of bonus awards. The majority of jobs are available through the industries of financial services and banking, consulting and professional services, recruitment and HR services, and IT and computer services (QS Report). There is also a high rate of job growth in the law and pharmaceutical industries.

MBA graduates can seek occupations within nonprofits, private companies, schools, government, or hospitals. MBA holders enjoy good job prospects in the United States, but the degree can also lead to overseas employment.

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