Master’s in Business Degrees & Programs Guide

Master's Degrees in Business Career Options & Salary

No matter whether you choose a face-to-face program or an online one, if you plan to complete a master’s degree, you will be spending up to the next two years taking classes. You don’t have to hold a BBA to be eligible to enroll in an MBA program, either; as long as you satisfy admission requirements, you will be admitted.

A full MBA program will usually offer you real-world experiences, perhaps in the form of an internship, where you can practice using real world simulations. With this experience, you walk into your first position with knowledge of how you should handle various issues and situations. Not only will you benefit from this experience, but the non-profits and businesses that partner with your MBA program also gain benefits.

Because you already have an undergraduate degree, either in business or another discipline, you don’t have to worry about taking any more general education courses; instead, you’ll take courses only in your MBA and within a concentration (specialization) if you choose to.

Business Degrees & Career Paths


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PROS

An MBA degree is rightfully popular and highly sought. Employers are always seeking qualified MBA applicants who can start their jobs needing little supervision. Some of the benefits of earning a master’s include:

  • Added credibility — You can ask for the opportunity to work on a project that challenges your skills and actually takes you out of your comfort zone. Or start a solopreneur business that forces you to use everything you know.
  • Added self-confidence — With the knowledge and experience you now have, you’ll be able to approach problems and new situations easily. You’ll learn new skill sets that you’ll use often in your position.
  • Skills that transfer — What you learned during your MBA program should easily transfer into various industries. Your MBA should expose you to best practices that will serve you well no matter what industry you end up in, and require you to use and expand leadership skills you may not have known you had.
  • Lifelong curiosity — Earning your MBA will allow you to set your curiosity and questioning nature loose.

CONS

An MBA program is self-limited in that you only learn about general business knowledge. Yes, that knowledge adapts to several disciplines, such as marketing or finance. But, if you want additional specialization, you may need something different or extra, such as a concentration, which could make your education take longer to complete.

  • The MBA allows you to take — a few classes in various disciplines. The reasoning behind this is so you can learn how to see the big picture. If you have already worked professionally in business or an NGO, this will be good for you. But if you are going to be new to the world of business, you need more exposure.
  • A Master of Science — in Business is actually created to be much more specialized. You’ll notice several MS programs in several fields, such as an MS in Marketing or even an MS in Sport Management. Just looking at the degree titles, you can see just how widely you’ll be able to branch out with a master of science in a business discipline.
  • You may need to complete — your master’s at the same time as your bachelor’s, or already have years of experience in business, just to get into a master’s program.

Overview of a Master's in Business


What Business Master’s Degrees are Available?


The Master’s in Business Administration isn’t the only master’s in business that you can earn. It is certainly the best well-known, but there are many others for you to consider, especially if you’re interested in specializing.

  • Master of Science in Finance (MSF) is one of the master’s specializations in the business field. Land a position working as a financial analyst or manager.
  • Master of Accountancy (MAcc) is one way to complete the 150-hour requirement for credentials for your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential.
  • Master in Management (MiM) is a shorter master’s business degree. If you want more specialization than an MBA offers, but you are looking for something to enhance your previous experience, this is a good choice.

Admission Requirements


  • Take your GMAT if you will be majoring in an AMBA or full-time MBA.
  • Write a one-page statement of purpose and include your professional experience, career goals, educational background, etc.
  • Request and send two letters of reference from either academics or professionals in business.
  • Include your current resume.
  • If you will be an international student, submit a TOEFL score of a minimum of 250 computer-based, 100 internet-based, or 600 paper-based.
  • If you are an AMBA applicant, you must be able to demonstrate a minimum of one year of professional work experience. EMBA applicants should have eight years of managerial experience.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Master’s Degree in Business?


The time required varies from program to program. Typically, you’ll spend two years studying before you earn your MBA. If you are staying in school after earning your BBA, or earning your bachelor’s and master’s simultaneously, you may be able to earn your MBA in one additional year.

If you plan to focus on a concentration within business, you’ll take these focused courses as a part of your overall MBA program. This will help you to prepare to earn a certification, if needed, for any advanced positions you are considering. While you may worry about spending up to two more years in school, your effort will be worth it.

Potential Careers in Business with a Master’s Degree


  • Vice President, Human Resources:
    In this position, you’ll be involved with several aspects of HR (contracts, compliance monitoring, creating new policies, and team leading). It will also be your responsibility to lead your HR employees and ensure the proper interpretation of federal labor laws as they pertain to employees and contractors.
    Salary: $137,100
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO):
    In this position you’ll oversee and run the financial operation of your organization. You’ll also be responsible for leadership with both the accounting and finance departments, ensuring they are complying with laws and company policies. You ensure they are operating with efficiency.
    Salary: $133,100
  • Company President:
    As the top executive in the organization, you’ll be responsible for creating and implementing strategic vision, along with your other executives. It’s your role to keep the company accountable to the public, its policies, and its stakeholders.
    Salary: $149,300
  • Chief Marketing Officer:
    Here, you’ll take the lead in creating the marketing and sales group’s visions for marketing and sales campaigns. You’ll need to be able to think ahead and be creative as you help to determine the direction in which sales and marketing will go.
    Salary: $173,600
  • Chief Operating Officer:
    In this position, you’ll rank right below the CEO in your company. It’ll be your job to determine the daily operations within the company, setting standards for the company and its work. You’ll work with middle managers and directors to ensure the company maintains high standards.
    Salary: $142,800

Options to Advance


With your MBA in hand, you’ll just about be at the top of the corporate food chain. However, if you are still looking to add growth to your resume, or your education, there are still a few options to allow you to advance.

If you’re looking at making a lateral move, you might want to consider earning a post-graduate certificate. These are offered at schools all over the country and many of them are available online. With this, you can make a move into a specialization, even if you didn’t choose one when you were originally earning your master’s degree.

Another good option is professional certification. If you’re looking to add the perfect certification to your resume before you apply for a top job, you might want to consider certification from the CEO Institute. They offer certification for middle management, senior management, and CEOs themselves.

However, if you are looking to move into a completely different field, but you don’t want to start over near the bottom, you may need to earn another master’s degree. For example, if you want to move from a corporation into health services administration, a master’s in healthcare Administration (MHA) may better serve your career goals.

Colleges that Offer a Master’s Degree in Business


  • Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
    Evanston, Illinois

    The full-time MBA program here allows you to earn your degree in the quickest time possible. You’ll find that you have several options that enable you to realize your goals and develop yourself as a person.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Business Administration and Management – Master’s Degree & Postgraduate Certificate
    • Business Administration, Management, and Operations – Master’s Degree & Undergraduate Certificate
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services – Master’s Degree
    • Business/Commerce – Master’s Degree
    • Business/Managerial Economics – Master’s & Doctorate Degrees
    • E-Commerce – Master’s Degree
    • Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies – Master’s Degree
    • Finance, General – Master’s & Doctorate Degrees
    • Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration – Master’s Degree
    • International Business/Trade/Commerce – Master’s Degree
    • Labor and Industrial Relations – Master’s Degree
    • Management Information Systems – Master’s Degree
    • Management Science – Master’s Degree & Postgraduate Certificate
    • Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods – Master’s Degree
    • Marketing/Marketing Management – Master’s & Doctorate Degrees
    • Non-Profit/Public/Organizational Management – Master’s Degree
    • Operations Management and Supervision – Master’s Degree
    • Organizational Behavior Studies – Master’s, Doctorate Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
  • Stanford University Graduate School of Business
    Stanford, California

    This residential, two-year MBA program allows you to a general management degree. If you are seeking a business education that gives you several challenges to help you develop yourself as a leader, then look no further. Join your fellow students as future leaders.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Business Administration and Management – Master’s & Doctorate Degrees
    • Business Administration, Management and Operations – Master’s Degree
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services – Master’s Degree
  • Harvard Business School
    Boston, Massachusetts

    An MBA from Harvard Business school is a full-time, two-year program. You’ll be exposed to general management materials in your curriculum, as well as real-world practice opportunities. Your professors use the case method of instruction, allowing you to think from the mindset of the protagonists in each case.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Business Administration and Management – Master’s, Doctorate Degrees & Postgraduate Certificate
    • Business/Commerce – Master’s Degree
    • Business/Managerial Economics – Master’s & Doctorate Degree
    • Finance, General – Master’s Degree
    • Project Management – Master’s Degree
    • Research and Development Management – Master’s Degree
  • The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
    Chicago, Illinois

    The Booth School of Business offers four MBA program formats. Choose from the full-time MBA, weekend MBA, evening MBA, and the executive MBA, based on how they fit your personal and professional life. You’ll earn the same MBA degree from the same faculty.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Business Administration and Management – Master’s Degree
    • Business/Commerce, General – Master’s & Doctorate Degrees
    • Finance, General – Postgraduate Certificate
    • International Business/Trade/Commerce – Master’s Degree
    • International Finance – Postgraduate Certificate
    • Marketing Research – Postgraduate Certificate
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management
    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Beginning with your first semester, you and your cohort will delve into management theory and its related practice. You’ll also learn that MIT’s motto, “mens et manus” (mind and hand) means that your education will be put to use in practical applications.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Business/Commerce, General – Master’s & Doctorate Degrees
    • Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods – Master’s Degree

Colleges that Offer Online Master’s Degrees in Business


  • University of Florida Warrington College of Business
    Gainesville, Florida

    The University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business offers two MBA options: The online one-year MBA and the online two-year MBA. The online MBA is identical in content to the MBA earned on-campus.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Online One-Year Master of Business Administration (Online MBA)
    • Online Two-Year Master of Business Administration (Online MBA)
  • University of Virginia Darden School of Business
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    In this online MBA program, you’ll learn from top-ranked faculty. The program offers several programs, such as Design Thinking & Innovation, Marketing, Product and Project Management, Accounting, Leadership & Management, and Strategy, Ethics & Entrepreneurship. The business skills you learn are some of the newest offered.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Online Master of Business Administration (Online MBA)
  • University of Minnesota Online
    Twin Cities, Minnesota

    In this online Master of Business Administration, you get both business fundamentals and electives that are specific to several industries. this enables you to tailor your own education to your own goals and career interests. You’ll also be able to expand your skill set and everything takes place online.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Online Master of Business Administration (Online MBA)
  • University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    Kenan-Flagler Business School’s online MBA program is a high-ranked degree program that gives you the chance to develop your own approach to leadership. Using your values and strengths, you’ll set your own path for success.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Online Master of Business Administration (Online MBA)
  • University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Carlson School of Management allows MBA students to choose courses that fit their schedules; if students are working, they can choose evening or weekend classes. The program is structured so that online students are able to complete their degree program in two years.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Online Master of Business Administration (Online MBA)