Graduate school may be an option for you if you want to move up the corporate ladder and become a company leader. Master of Business Administration (MBA) or other masters degrees are among the most important qualifications you can have in order to advance your career. In the majority of management positions, including those at the highest levels, a master’s degree is not required. If you’re looking for a leadership position, getting a master’s degree can help you rise above the competition, expand and focus your skills, and boost your resume.
Roles in Business Management Require Different Levels of Education
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a four-year bachelor’s degree is the minimal requirement for the majority of business and finance positions as well as the majority of management positions (BLS). A four-year college degree is technically all that is required to qualify for the majority of business, financial, and management positions. What makes you a good candidate for promotion to mid-level and eventually senior-level positions are the skills and knowledge you gain over time.
A master’s degree may not be required by any external accreditation body, but that does not mean that company leaders will not give preference to applicants who hold one. A master’s degree is now required for many jobs in the management field, according to the BLS.
Graduate degrees are in high demand in positions like financial manager, human resources manager, industrial production manager, public relations manager, and top executive.
The Pros and Cons of Attending Graduate School
Why are MBAs and similar degrees so popular if a master’s degree isn’t required for most management positions? True, graduate school is expensive and time-consuming, with a demanding course of study, but it’s a worthwhile investment. A master’s degree in business administration costs upwards of $75,000 and requires two years of full-time study. However, there are numerous benefits for those who already have successful careers.
An MBA degree program is often used by business professionals to gain or improve their most marketable skills. During their time in business school, students learn a wide range of skills, including leadership abilities. MBA programs also emphasize other soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, that are critical to successful management practices. Specialized skills acquired by students can be applied in a variety of different work settings.
A master’s degree is often pursued for financial reasons. Graduate degrees aren’t required for the majority of management positions, but the BLS found that those with them often get paid more. This raise in pay can be substantial in some professions. As an example, financial managers with a master’s degree earn an average annual salary of $110,000, which is 41% higher than the average annual salary for financial managers with a bachelor’s degree.
When compared to those with only a bachelor’s degree, marketing and sales managers make 38% more on average with a master’s degree. Graduate school can pay off in the form of a higher salary for general managers and operations managers. Many non-management positions, such as accountant, auditor, human resources specialist, market research analyst, marketing specialist, and financial services sales agent, benefit from having a master’s degree. Earning an MBA can pay for itself in just a few years if you see an increase in salary of $20,000, $30,000, or even $80,000.
U.S. News & World Report reports that an MBA can cost upwards of $200,000 at some of the country’s most prestigious business schools, but that there are many ways to cut your tuition costs even at these high-priced institutions.
Business and Finance Graduate Programs
If you decide to continue your education by pursuing a graduate degree, you have several choices. As a general graduate program for business professionals, the MBA is the most common. There are many specializations and concentrations available for MBA students, but the overall scope of the degree is quite broad. Specialized MBA programs, such as the Master of Accounting or the Master of Finance, are available. To earn a traditional MBA, you’ll typically need two years to complete one of these programs.
Graduate certificates are another option for business professionals who want to continue their education. A specialized master’s degree program may require 30 or even 60 college credits, but these programs are much shorter, requiring only four to eight courses instead. Graduate certificate programs are ideal for students who want to quickly acquire specialized new skills as they change career paths or expand into new niches, despite the fact that they don’t award a full degree.
As a result, advancing your education doesn’t require you to devote your entire time and energy to it. Actually, a whopping 58.2% of MBA students are doing their coursework while also holding down full-time jobs and raising families. Three to four years is the typical time frame for part-time MBA students.