4 Ways an MBA Can Help You

CNN and CareerBuilder took a look Wednesday at when having an MBA is important. While there are no easy answers, here are four ways having an MBA on your resume could help you get ahead and why.

1. An MBA could get you hired in a tough economy

The recession has made employers very choosy when it comes to hiring…having hundreds of applicants for an open position naturally has that effect. Candidates need to shine in every possible respect, and having an advanced degree may supply that extra edge.

“A category of jobs that begins to show up more in a recession is one that says MBA desired or preferred versus MBA required,” Dennis Grindle, director of the SMU Cox School of Business MBA Career Management Center in Dallas, tells CNN/CareerBuilder.

“These jobs tend to pay somewhere in between a BBA and an MBA. This allows an MBA to get into what they want to do by taking a step back to hopefully go forward later when economic times get better.”

2. An MBA may get you where you want to go faster

“Having an MBA — as opposed to just a bachelor’s degree in business — is sort of like traveling someplace by plane instead of taking the train. With either business degree, you may eventually wind up at your final ‘destination’ — but the MBA will get you there faster,” says Elizabeth Freedman, author of “The MBA Student’s Job-Seeking Bible” and “Work 101: Learning the Ropes of the Workplace Without Hanging Yourself.”

An MBA degree may jump-start these types of opportunities:

Ӣ Managing larger teams
Ӣ Running meetings
Ӣ Greater interaction with clients
Ӣ More decision-making power
Ӣ Representing the company at events
”¢ “Choicer” projects
Ӣ Responsibility for your own set of clients/projects

3. An MBA is sometimes expected

Certain industries and positions practically require an MBA or advanced degree, and without it your chances of moving up are slim to none. To land the position, employers expect you to bring what Grindle calls “an A+ game” to the table, meaning that you have everything they are looking for and more.

Grindle notes that whether a function requires an MBA or not may vary by company size, industry, state of the economy, and even geographical location. Still, there are fields that commonly utilize MBAs, including:

Ӣ Consumer Brand Marketing
Ӣ Corporation Finance
Ӣ Venture Capital
Ӣ Investment Banking
Ӣ Commercial Banking
Ӣ Production/Operations Management
Ӣ New Product Development
Ӣ Management Consulting
Ӣ Private Equity
Ӣ Strategic Planning/Business Development

4. An MBA can round out an education

If your undergraduate degree is from a field other than business, getting an MBA will fill in the gaps in your education and show commitment to your chosen field.

* * * * *

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