What is Career Pathing and How Can It Guide Your MBA Plans?

career pathing

Whether you are a career switcher or looking to accelerate progression in your current industry, an MBA is a powerful tool to accomplish those objectives. To determine whether business school is right for you—and if so, when—use career pathing as your guide.

Think of career pathing as a roadmap to your medium or long-term professional goals. Taking a broader view of your overall career path provides clarity about the development opportunities that will help you get there. Career pathing can be particularly valuable for MBA students and prospective students as it can provide guidance and direction in shaping their academic and professional pursuits.

Curious about your chances of getting into a top B-school? Contact us to talk strategy with a free 15-minute advising session with an SBC Principal Consultant.

Begin by evaluating your past and current work experience. What skills have you gained? What areas need shoring up? Which roles or duties have you liked best? Or hated? Upon this reflection, you should better understand where you need to grow and what position or industry sparks your passion.

Will an MBA provide the knowledge you need to fill in the gaps in your toolkit? If so, what does your post-MBA career goal look like? Business schools offer various specializations and courses, and career pathing can help you identify which ones align best with your goals.

If you aren’t sure what you want to do, think hard about what kind of career would make you happy. Also, consider whether your dream career is realistic based on your skills and achievements (combined with what you’ll learn at business school). The MBA is a flexible degree that allows you to explore many different industries.

Even so, business schools want to know that you have a specific and attainable position or industry in mind. Think about WHY you want to do what you want to do and how you’ll get there. That way, you can maximize your time and the vast resources available in business school.

Career Pathing Pit Stops in B-School

Once you have a clear career path in mind, you can choose an MBA program that aligns with your goals. Consider factors like program reputation, curriculum, faculty expertise, location, and the strength of the alumni network. The right program will help you gain the knowledge and skills required for your chosen field.

MBA aspirants know that top programs have many resources to ensure they will stay at the forefront of industry developments. During business school, you will have opportunities galore for career exploration and professional and personal growth.

From network building with current classmates and alums to club and affinity group leadership and social experiences to case competitions and conferences, you’ll have plenty of chances to extend your career pathing ventures.

The MBA degree is a bridge between your current career and your future. Once you have decided you need an MBA, the next steps are to consider your school options and develop your overall application strategy.

Remember, career pathing is an ongoing process—not set in stone. It should be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances and evolving goals. As you progress in your career and complete your MBA program, be open to adjusting your path if necessary.


Stacy Blackman Consulting offers multiple services to meet your MBA application needs. From our All-In Partnership to interview prep, essay editing, resume review, and much more, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for a free 15-minute advising session to talk strategy with a Principal SBC consultant. 

Here’s a snapshot of the caliber of expertise on our SBC team.

SBC’s star-studded consultant team is unparalleled. Our clients benefit from current intelligence that we receive from the former MBA Admissions Officers from LBS, Columbia CBS and every elite business program in the US and Europe.  These MBA Admissions Officers have chosen to work exclusively with SBC.

Meet Susan, just one of the many superstars on the SBC team. Susan was the Director of Recruitment and Admissions at London Business School LBS and also the Director of the Executive MBA program at Columbia Business School CBS.

Tap into this inside knowledge for your MBA applications by requesting a consultation.


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