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By Education Team | 23 Aug. 2018

What is an MBA?

what is an mba

Graduate school is a great way to either advance your career or change your line of work entirely. There are many programs available depending on your interests, but the most popular and reliable choice is a Masters of Business Administration, commonly referred to as an MBA. An MBA can open your professional world by helping you build a strong network and enhancing your skill set, making you a desirable candidate for many employers.

History of the MBA

The concept of the MBA was invented in the early 1900s in response to a desire for a more analytical and deliberate style of management, spurred by industrialization in the United States. Today, there are many different kinds of MBA programs available with wide applications in both the public and private sectors. Most MBA programs consist of a core curriculum focusing on improving leadership skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Students can usually select a concentration relevant to their professional goals, like economics, accounting, project management, or international business.

How to Choose an MBA Program

When deciding where to attend graduate school, there are many factors to consider. MBA programs typically take two years to complete, though one-year programs are becoming increasingly popular. There are also many part-time or online programs to choose from. These are ideal for those unable to devote themselves to being a full-time student. Selecting a program requires extensive research, and other factors to consider include rank, cost, location, and your long-term goals. School fit is key, but many suggest prioritizing a high-ranking MBA program over a program that offers niche coursework. Attending a well-known institution is a surefire way to get your resume to the top of the pile.

Applying for an MBA Program

To apply to an MBA program, you will need to submit results from either the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), depending on your program requirements. You will also need to submit a strong resume, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Additional essays may be requested. Generally, MBA programs prefer to admit students who have either spent several years in the workforce or who have clear entrepreneurial goals.

Once you have your degree in hand, the world is your oyster. If you’re looking to start your own business, an MBA will give you the skills and knowledge you need to write a business plan, implement your ideas, and manage employees. These concepts are applicable across fields, making an MBA a flexible degree capable of launching you into the future you want. If you prefer to work for an existing business, you can expect a jump in salary regardless of the field. The average salary increase for new MBA holders is $7000, with profits increasing with time and experience. Potential careers for MBA-holders include operations research analyst, accountant, project manager, IT director, sports manager, and executive positions. Government and nonprofit employees also often hold MBAs.

No matter where your expertise lies, you are certain to find an employer who appreciates candidates with strong critical thinking skills and fresh perspectives on effective leadership. An MBA is an investment in building the kind of life you want to live. Whether you’re looking to pivot to a new career or move up the ranks in your current trajectory, attaining an MBA is a great step towards achieving your goals.