What Can You Do With an MBA in Vermont
Once you’ve had some experience in the professional business world, you might see that an advanced degree could potentially open more doors. In fact, graduate degrees are becoming more and more prevalent among leaders in the business world, especially in international organizations. Some say that soon a graduate degree requirement will be equivalent to undergraduate degree requirements in years past.
For that reason, you might consider a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). The MBA is perhaps the most popular and recognized degree designed to prepare students to work within the business community, though there are others. However, just because two people have an MBA doesn’t mean that they have taken the same main classes. In nearly every MBA program you also have options of concentrations you can complete to make your studies more specialized. The concentrations available vary across the U.S. Coursework and exact content will shift from one program to another, though they tend to have similar standards for you to apply and for admission, and the real time it takes to finish may be longer or shorter depending on whether you attend part-time or full-time. It can take one year to 18 months to complete an accelerated or full-time program, but up to three years to finish one while attending part-time, so make sure you search for a program that works for you.
If you live in Vermont and want to take your career to the next level, an MBA is just the ticket. There are a number of online opportunities for Vermonters. You don’t even have to shovel the driveway snow to make it to class.
Why Consider an Online MBA?
Vermont is well-known as a sleepy, mostly rural state. However, there are loads of opportunities for enterprising individuals. In today’s electronic business environment, you might even graduate with an MBA from Vermont but work in any other state. Whether you work in VT or elsewhere in the country, many companies may even be willing to assist you with the cost while you work on the development of skills that will help you in terms of your current work for them. Most MBA skills are immediately applicable if you already work in business.
If you later decide to take a job or even start your own business in Vermont, you will benefit from having a degree from an in-state, or at least New England, school. This is because local colleges or universities will be familiar to your colleagues and will create more of a bond with them than an MBA from, say, California.
It’s also often helpful to attend an online MBA program from a local institution. This is because more and more graduate schools are instituting on-campus events for students. These can be offered as often as once per week or once for the entire program. These in-person meetings can be invaluable, as you’ll be able to meet your fellow students, as long as you are close enough to have access to them. After all, business is nothing if not a series of relationships and your MBA cohort could provide you with the sorts of business relationships that make your career take off. So if you are close enough to attend, be sure not to skip them!
Percentage of Students Enrolled By Distance Education
Typical MBA Concentrations
Your MBA concentration is essentially the same as your college major. As in your undergraduate career, your graduate program will have a series of core courses. Once you have completed honing your basic business skills, and perhaps learning about new areas of business along the way, you’ll start working on your concentration. Your program’s individual character will determine how many specialized electives you are required to take, and you can always take more if you like. Just some of the concentrations offered across the nation include public policy, law and legal studies, strategic planning, operations management, business analytics, project management, sustainable innovation, and more.
If you are coming to your MBA fresh from an analyst position with an investment bank, finance is likely the concentration for you. When you focus your MBA on finance, you can return to the banking world and rise to the level of Associate, which will then put you on track for a Managing Director spot down the road. Note, however, that some finance specialties will steer you towards personal finance and being an individual financial adviser.
Every business relies on solid relationships to thrive. A concentration in communications will prime you to serve in a public relations position, as part of the human resources team, or on a specialized team that generates publications sharing info about your firm’s goods and services. Communications professionals can also help edit and hone technical presentations so that less-tech-savvy investors or customers can grasp the concepts your team is addressing. Since communication is such a vital part of every facet of the business, this concentration will serve you well.
Every business has something to sell and a marketing concentration will position you to be a master of sales. You’ll learn about advertising, market data, and branding. Since today’s advertising environment is so diversified, you may have your hands full selling your products online through viral marketing campaigns. Other marketing whizzes delve deep into the market data to determine what particular demographics need from your firm, or even what is the best time of day to post to social media. Marketing can be extremely analytical, but there’s always a more human side to the art of selling.
- Data Science/Analytics
This is a relatively new field for business, and for the world in general. Some even say you must choose between data science and an MBA. However, this specialization in data science will be part of your study of business administration. If you have a background in computer science, IT, statistics, or accounting you should consider a concentration in data science. Be warned, though, this field is red-hot, and you might have to fight off recruiters after you receive your sheepskin.
You’ve got ideas, big ideas. While you work on your MBA you can gain the skills and knowledge you need to assess your entrepreneurial plans, gauge the market, and bring your product to the public. Further, as you study you’re bound to meet new colleagues who have specific talents that you can recruit to your company. For instance, you’ll probably need a marketing person to work on branding and a finance person to help with a private equity investment. Your MBA cohort could end up being the team that takes you across the goal line time and time again.
Accreditation in Vermont
Accreditation is one of the most important items to consider when you seek out an online MBA program. This credential is bestowed on business programs by national or regional accrediting bodies who assess programs based on the strength of faculty, the curriculum, and even student outcomes. In fact, many employers who have tuition reimbursement programs rely on accreditation as a standard for the MBA programs that they will honor.
Accreditation is also vital if you want to be able to transfer your credit hours from one educational program to another or if you think you might need federal financial aid, which is not available to non-accredited schools or programs.
Here are three of the major accreditations you might find in a Vermont online MBA program:
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
The AACSB is often considered the gold standard of business school accreditations. Founded in the early 1900’s, they were the first to institute standards for the very best business schools. They tend to focus on more traditional markers of academia, such as the research and publications of a school’s faculty. They place less emphasis on teaching styles and student experiences. That’s not to say that you won’t receive excellent instruction. If you are seeking out an AACSB school, research their faculty and see what they’ve published. You might find your ideal business school mentor in the pages of an academic journal.
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
Where the AACSB focuses on traditional academic markers, the ACBSP is more concerned with teaching and job outcomes. The ACBSP was formed in the late 1980’s, when MBA programs were mushrooming across the nation. Given their inception date, the ACBSP has approached MBA schools from a point of view that understands that you intend on taking your diploma directly to the job market and that very few contemporary students intend on pursuing a PhD or academic research. This is a program accreditation requiring the institution to be regionally accredited to qualify.
- Regional Accreditation
In Vermont, higher education receives its regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Unsurprisingly, this accreditation only covers the New England states. Though that sounds like a small region, there is a lot of business and commerce that transpires in New England. Boston alone is a financial powerhouse, not to mention its role in shipping, technology, and even entertainment. While a regional accreditation may seem somewhat limited in scope, you will surely find that once you get your foot in the door, the sky is the limit.
Career and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates
Vermont is a small, rural state. However, that does not mean that your degree will be lost on a farm or managing a quaint, snow-covered inn (as nice as that sounds!). There are many great opportunities for MBA students in Vermont. Here are some top employers.
Top Employers in the State by Number of Employees
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||Number of Employees|
|Allearth Renewables||Alternative Energy||Williston||124|
|Against the Grain Gourmet||Food processing||Brattleboro||8|
|MBA Healthgroup||Healthcare administrative services||South Burlington||51-200|
|UVM Medical Center||Healthcare||Burlington||<10,000|
Careers for Vermont MBA Grads
You are planning on studying for an MBA because you want a better career or you want to take your excellent career to the next level. As an MBA graduate, you will find that opportunities open up for you left and right. Once you let it slip that you are a Master of Business Administration graduate, people will start to listen.
Here are some top careers you can pursue with an online MBA in Vermont:
- Financial Planner
Vermont is a great place for a financial planner. So may executives from New York and Boston decide to retire to Vermont. Some even open small businesses like an inn or a fly-fishing outfitter. They won't want to spend much time managing their wealth portfolios, so that can be your job. If you concentrate on personal finance while in your MBA program, you'll be positioned to be a vital part of a person's pathway to wealth and long-term security.
You might think of accountants as CPAs, and you'd be right. However, many CPAs finish out their accounting credits while in an MBA program. Once you've satisfied the Vermont Board of Accountancy with your stellar academic credentials, you can sit for the CPA exam. Once you've passed all parts of that exam, you will be in high demand, as you will not only be able to perform an audit, but you'll have a deep knowledge of business and its various moving parts.
- Human Resources Professional
Every company strives to recruit top talent and then keep them happy with ample benefits packages. In Vermont, you're sure to find a spot, either as an in-house HR professional or working with an HR consultancy. You might work on compensation packages or you might specialize in healthcare benefits. Some HR professionals decide to take the leap into corporate recruiting and rake in plump commissions for placing top-level executives in their dream jobs.
Vermont is a state full of do-it-yourselfers, rugged individualists who prefer to blaze their own trails rather than follow well-worn pathways. The Green Mountain State is also known for its environmental bent. You might choose to exploit these features and form the next alternative energy company, or a startup that helps make emerging technologies more efficient. If you can imagine it, there's no doubt that you can find the talent to work with you in Vermont.
- Communications Expert
If communications is your passion, it will take you a long way in Vermont. Since this is the sort of profession that doesn't necessarily require you to be on-site all the time, you might live in Vermont yet work in New York City or Boston. Vermont has been known to give incentives to telecommuters, so you might find yourself one day crafting press releases for a big-city firm while you look over a small Vermont syrup farm.
Marketing is another profession that you can do in a telecommuting environment. Your expertise can be teleconferenced into New York or Los Angeles from your snowy Vermont chalet, or you might choose a more traditional position at a top firm in Burlington.
Best MBA Programs in Vermont
Vermont is a rather small state. However, it has four unique MBA offerings that you are unlikely to find elsewhere. In the Vermont MBA landscape, you're more likely to find the buzzword sustainable than synergy or disrupting. Given that sustainable technologies and business practices are in fact proliferating nationwide, little Vermont might have something to teach us all.
|University of Vermont||Location
How to Choose & FAQ's
When you make the decision to pursue an MBA in Vermont, you should establish a set of criteria that you will hold all programs accountable to. After all, your MBA will serve as a springboard to your later success in life. There are many things to take into consideration, and there may even be some surprises along the way. However, if you take the following tips and topics into consideration, you’re bound to choose the very best online MBA program in Vermont.
You probably want an online education because it offers you the opportunity to stay in your current job and still meet your obligations at home. Most online programs will facilitate this with no problem. However, there are some that will insist that you log-in for chat room sessions, streaming lectures, or other time-specific events. Some of these programs that have courses with these scheduled events will also let you log-in later to download a recorded lecture or review the transcript from a live chat event.
- On Campus Time
These days, many online MBA programs are including scheduled campus events. While this might seem to contradict the basic premise of online education, consider that one huge part of an MBA experience is the networking opportunities. The new hybrid programs can offer you the best of both worlds: loads of unstructured time to study and learn interspersed with limited real-world interactions.
You want the very best instruction while in your MBA program. However, that will look somewhat different for nearly everyone. Take time to research the faculty at your top choices for an online MBA. You might find that some programs offer a mix of seasoned business professionals and strictly academic instructors. Investigate to see what their successes were in business or seek out any research papers or books that the more academia-oriented professors have written.
Accreditation can be one of the key deciding factors in your choice of an online MBA. You might not think it means that much to you. In fact, Vermont has at least one innovative sustainability-focused MBA that is non-accredited. You might be able to learn a vast amount in such a non-traditional program. On the other hand, if your employer is promising tuition reimbursement, they might insist that your MBA have some sort of accreditation. Federal aid is only available to properly accredited programs, so you need to take that into account.Finally, if you think you might want to pursue a PhD or another master’s degree later, you will probably want to seek a nationally accredited program.
Vermont seems to have cornered the market on sustainability in MBA programs. While this is certainly an intriguing concentration, you need to make sure that it’s the one for you. Also, consider going for a generalized MBA that will prepare you for most anything all at once. Generalists have been known to do just as well as their more specialized peers. After all, you might already have a well-proven track record in, say, marketing. You can take your experience and then add that to a general MBA to show that you are a well-rounded, highly-motivated candidate for the c-suites.