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Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree Program Overview

Majors Overview May 15, 2015

Get information about Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree programs and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education and certification choices.

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Programs

Students enrolled in a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree program will be able to improve their knowledge of the global economy, finances and management. Students learn about applying planning strategies and skills to everyday business operations. MBA degree programs are usually split up by schools into foundational business courses and electives. Students can use electives for the completion of concentration options, offered in a broad range of areas such as leadership, marketing, finance, and supply chain management. Program coursework often involves participation in hands-on experiences such as group presentations, workshops and internships. Flexible scheduling for full-time or part-time students is often offered, along with online courses as an additional option.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. A basic grasp of statistics, business, computer programs, such as Excel and other quantitative subjects, is an expectation for incoming students by some schools that offer an MBA degree program.


Coursework covers topics of finance and business as they relate to management. Electives vary by program and can range from strategic planning to accounting. Integrative real-world workshops are in some programs aimed at helping students to develop their skills in decision-making, networking, negotiations and international business. Core coursework may commonly include topic areas such as:

•IT management and strategy
•Organizational behavior
•International business
•Operations management
•Managerial strategies

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek careers in a variety of businesses, and choose from various supervisory or management positions. They may choose from popular career options such as:

•Sales manager
•Chief executive officer
•Advertising manager
•Marketing manager
•Public relations manager

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, respective job growth rates of 5%, 12%, 16% and 14% have been predicted for top executives, sales managers, public relations managers, and advertising and marketing managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in average annual wages of $168,140, $105,260, $95,450, $119,480 and $88,590, respectively.

Continuing Education and Certification Choices

Program graduates may seek voluntary professional certification to boost their job and career prospects. Among certifications available to these graduates, the Institute of Certified Professional Managers offers the Certified Manager designation or the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc. offers the Certified Management Consultant credential.

Program graduates may also pursue continued education by earning a Ph.D. in Business Administration wherein coursework typically focuses on seminars related to commerce, business theory and strategic management, apart from extensive research, and dissertation projects. This advanced degree is usually for students aiming for postsecondary level teaching or research careers.

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