Ask just about anyone who has an undergraduate degree, they’ll likely tell you that life as a college student is truly one-of-a-kind. Whether entirely on campus, hybrid, or 100% online, a substantial component of higher learning is the experience itself.
One of the primary reasons why many people attend college is to expand their job prospects, which is likely the case for most of those working to obtain their MBA degree.
From chief marketing manager to chief financial officer, logistics director to supply chain management supervisor, MBA graduates specialize in many business operations, several of which are difficult to master. Earning an MBA makes these hard-to-reach occupations possible because MBA grads have obtained the knowledge and the combination of hard and soft skills to excel in these and other highly prestigious occupations.
If you’re thinking about earning an MBA, but aren’t sure where you’d like to end up once you obtain your graduate degree, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business can help you find your calling. Through a comprehensive scope of classes — from Strategic Management to Information Technology and Business Strategy — the 36-credit-hour online MBA program delves into a wide tapestry of subject matter and what you need to do to make yourself more marketable. In many cases, the fact that you have an MBA degree may be more than enough.
Here are four jobs for MBA graduates that may be worth pursuing as a long-term career after you complete your education at UAB’s online business school. There are of course many more, but these job details serve as a sneak peek into the possibilities that MBA graduates can turn into realities.
Chief Marketing Manager
As detailed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing managers are charged with a variety of responsibilities. Generally speaking, the higher their rank — as in the case of a chief marketing manager — the more that is expected. They include the following:
- Plan, direct, and coordinate marketing policies, programs, and campaigns
- Develop pricing strategies for certain items or services
- Oversee product development
- Monitor trends to identify if new products and services are required
- Organize advertising campaigns by collaborating with other marketing and sales professionals, whether with coworkers or other business operations
A major component of marketing is relevance. In other words, ensuring that whatever product or service being sold remains popular. The best way to do that is by monitoring key performance indicators, the results of which can provide clues into whether introducing a new product, or refining the same one, may be worthwhile. The ability to identify these trends requires a combination of analytical, decision-making, and communication skills. It may also entail monitoring the competition to keep pace and take advantage of opportunities they may be missing.
Like many other MBA jobs, chief marketing manager is performance-oriented; those in this occupation are expected to thrive. They’re typically well compensated for doing so. In 2020, the median pay for marketing managers was $142,170, according to BLS data. In terms of where marketing managers are primarily located, the highest concentration is in California, followed by Illinois, New York, Texas and Massachusetts. The annual mean wage for marketing managers is highest in New York ($194,940).
While an MBA degree is not a prerequisite to become a marketing manager, the MBA specialization more than qualifies applicants for this position, especially when paired with experience in public relations or sales.
Medical and Health Services Manager
When it comes to MBA jobs, the average person may not associate MBA careers with health care. But the medical industry is like any other: It’s a business, and because it represents approximately one-sixth of the economy, it’s a highly important and consequential one at that.
Otherwise known as health care executives or health care administrators, medical and health services managers are responsible for coordinating the wide variety of care needs patients require in a hospital or treatment setting, according to the BLS. Depending on the situation, it’s possible that medical and health services managers oversee an entire facility or a specific department, such as radiology, obstetrics, or pediatric care. Here are a few of the duties medical and health services managers perform:
- Lead quality and efficiency improvements in health care delivery
- Monitor budgets to ensure departments or the facility at large have the appropriate cash flow
- Recruit and train staff members
- Develop goals and objectives for health care professionals
- Coordinate and communicate with medical staff — like physicians and registered nurses — to identify their needs
Because the assignments of medical and health services managers can be highly administrative and technical in nature, employers often prefer applicants with graduate degrees, although not necessarily an MBA degree. It’s also possible that licensure may be required, depending on the facility. Assisted living facilities may be one of them, according to the BLS.
Medical and health services managers tend to be well compensated. In 2020, their median salary was nearly $104,300, according to the BLS. There are over 422,300 medical health services managers nationwide, but their numbers are expected to surge over the next decade, potentially increasing by 32%.
Currently, the greatest concentration of medical and health services managers is in California, home to over 42,200 workers in this occupation. Much like chief marketing managers, however, medical and health services managers earn the most in New York. The annual mean wage there is $156,140, compared to $138,030 in California.
When the average person thinks of common jobs for MBA graduates, financial managers may be what first comes to mind. As their title implies, financial managers are on the front lines of all things related to dollars and cents. From creating reports, directing investment activities, or developing plans to meet profit goals, financial managers serve as the point persons for strengthening their employers’ bottom lines.
While this may be their overarching job function, achieving success is all in the details. Here are a few of their primary responsibilities:
- Helping executives make smart financial decisions by presenting them with the most accurate data possible
- Analyzing market trends to find growth opportunities
- Supervising employees who may be involved in budgeting and financial reporting
- Reviewing tax laws and regulations to maintain compliance in the filing of tax returns
Since every business entails some degree of financial activity, financial managers may tailor their services to a specific area, proficiency, or specialization. For example, insurance managers are financial managers, but their main function is to help insurers manage risks to remain financially solvent. Controllers, meanwhile, are responsible for generating and preparing financial reports so their employers have more visibility into how the company is spending money and how resources are being allocated. In a nutshell, financial managers help executives make informed business decisions.
Relevant work experience is a large component of employability as a financial manager. According to the BLS, in addition to a bachelor’s degree, financial managers typically also need five or more years of experience in a relevant field, such as accounting, sales, or financial analysis. These roles establish the analytical, communication, and organizational skills financial managers need to be successful. MBA programs can provide students with the proper preparation through career resources.
Financial managers are usually paid well. In 2020, their median wage was $134,180. Those who work in professional, scientific, and technical services earned the most ($154,790), while those in government made the least ($117,940).
The highest employment level for financial managers is in California: 92,670 of them work in the state, nearly double that of Texas, which has the second-highest concentration of these business professionals (46,340).
Every industry may not have a logistics director, but what they do all have are supply chains, which chart the processes involved in producing and distributing products and services. Logistics directors specialize in supply chain management.
Few global events so crystallized the importance of a healthy and sustainable supply chain as the COVID-19 pandemic. From toilet paper to cleaning products, a wide variety of grocery store staples were difficult to find throughout the coronavirus crisis, as businesses were presented with staffing and resourcing obstacles. Supply chain disruptions were commonplace throughout the world, with orders taking considerably longer to fulfill.
Although the events surrounding the pandemic were unique, logisticians and logistics directors are tasked with resolving these issues by implementing workarounds and alternative solutions when Plan A fails. Some of the duties and responsibilities of logisticians and logistics directors include:
- Directing the allocation of materials and supplies needed for manufacturers to get products to customers
- Proposing strategies that help to minimize downtime or produce products faster without compromising quality
- Developing, establishing, and nurturing relationships with suppliers and/or retailers
- Mapping the entire lifecycle of a product or service, from acquisition to distribution
Because the supply chain touches virtually every aspect of a business, logisticians and logistics directors must have excellent communication skills and be able to collaborate. Since problems inevitably occur, they must also excel in the ability to think critically and rationally. These skill sets are common among most MBA careers.
The median wage for logisticians in 2020 was $76,270, according to the BLS. Their work experience, position, and industry can all affect their earnings potential; those who work in the government made $88,280. California has the greatest concentration of logisticians; it’s also where they earn the most ($89,690).
These are just a few of the jobs for MBA graduates that are within reach. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge and work options, choose the UAB Collat School of Business. Stop dreaming of career opportunities; make them your reality. With an online MBA degree, you’re well on your way.