In a capitalist, free-market world, holding a business degree (and the transferable skills that it provides) is incredibly valuable. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2020-2021, roughly 23% of all the master’s degrees granted in the United States were advanced degrees in business — a higher percentage than any other academic discipline area.
Graduates of the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) gain in-demand skills, career opportunities, salary potential and job flexibility. MBA graduates may pursue various roles, including consultant, business operations manager and chief executive officer (CEO).
What Is an MBA Degree?
An MBA differs from a Master of Science (MS) program because it covers a range of topics across all business sectors, whereas an MS covers one specific business area in depth. An MBA program also offers coursework focusing on high-level business leadership and managerial skills. Courses include topics such as management, strategy, finance, marketing, ethics and communication.
Students can delve deeper into topics of interest with elective courses. For example, students in FGCU’s online MBA program can tailor their degree with electives surrounding big data, organizational development, human resource management and other topics.
Typically, professionals pursuing an MBA degree have one to two years of work experience because they are ready to move into management or leadership positions. The MBA degree opens doors in terms of gaining skills, boosting job opportunities and the ability to achieve career goals.
Why Get an MBA Degree?
Students earn many benefits with an MBA degree. Professionals gain skills modern employers seek, increase employability across industries and potentially receive a high starting salary. According to Indeed, the top skills MBA graduates can gain include:
- Entrepreneurial skills
- Strategic thinking skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Business technical skills
- Leadership and management skills
Additionally, global employers continue to hire MBA graduates compared to candidates with business master’s or bachelor’s degrees, which points to the promising hiring market for MBA graduates. GMAC’s 2023 Corporate Recruiters Survey states that 91% of global employers hired MBA graduates in 2021 and 2022.
The survey also illustrates a high return on investment for MBA graduates. In 2023, the estimated median base U.S. salary for professionals with an MBA degree is $125,000, while those with a business master’s degree earn around $75,000.
5 Jobs for MBA Graduates
MBA graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills to pursue roles in a variety of industries or even start their own businesses. The following five jobs are popular professional outcomes for MBA graduates:
Consultants use their expertise and problem-solving skills in a certain business area to improve an organization. As a consultant, you can pursue a career at a consulting firm or as a freelance consultant. Examples of responsibilities include developing strategic planning with company executives or helping a business improve processes such as increasing employee productivity. The average salary for a consultant is $88,571, with top earners making over $150,000.
- Business operations manager
A business operations manager’s responsibilities vary depending on the nature of a business, but the main duty is overseeing the day-to-day functions of the workplace. They lead the critical task of keeping their organization on track to reach all goals. Communication, strategic planning and project management skills help business operations managers do their job successfully. The average salary for this role is $76,726, with top earners making over $130,000.
- Chief executive officer (CEO)
For some people, securing a C-suite role is a career goal. An MBA degree can give you the skills and experience to achieve such a goal. Common CEO responsibilities include communicating regularly with stakeholders and the board of directors, making major decisions, setting the company’s strategic goals and managing overall operations. According to Indeed, CEOs can earn an average salary of $140,608, with top earners making over $270,000.
- Project manager
Organizations across industries plan, manage, complete and measure the success of multiple projects annually. A project manager oversees a project’s scope, schedule, budget, risk, quality and team. The top skills required for this role include communication, problem-solving, finance and teamwork. The average project manager’s salary is $87,540, with top earners making over $130,000.
- Marketing manager
Almost every business has a marketing department, which means they’ll need a manager to lead the marketing initiatives and employees. Marketing managers estimate demand and identify potential markets for products and services. They develop strategies to reach target audiences, create marketing campaigns and analyze the success of campaigns using data. The average marketing manager’s salary is $74,126, with top earners making over $110,000.
Earn an Online MBA Degree at FGCU
If you’re ready to pursue a top management and leadership career, then earning an online MBA from FGCU may be the right choice for you. Our fully online program provides flexibility to earn your degree from anywhere while working in your current role.
Through FGCU’s online MBA program, you will develop the skills and expertise to thrive in a supervisory, management or executive role.
Learn more about Florida Gulf Coast University’s online MBA program