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The Value of an MBA in Today's Job Market

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Anyone who has obtained an MBA degree from a reputable school will surely tell you that getting the degree was well worth it.

First introduced in the U.S. in the early 1900s, the value of MBA training from top business schools is recognized worldwide. An MBA degree provides one with multiple career opportunities in various fields. It is especially valuable when it comes to acquiring jobs in high-level managerial or executive positions.

An MBA degree can further your existing career or greatly enhance your employment possibilities if you are seeking a change and starting your career anew. The MBA increases leadership skills because of the intense training involved, and the development of leadership promotes expertise in one's field. Having an MBA can give you an edge in terms of attracting potential employers, and those who can prove their expertise in their chosen fields can gain employment in top positions with greater salaries.

Achieving an MBA degree from a top business school is a costly proposition. It could set you back as much as $100,000 when all of the fees and other required expenses are added up. This is a substantial sum of money to invest in one's future, so it is necessary to evaluate the worth of an MBA before pursuing one. You will need to ascertain the return on investment on the amount spent to see if it is financially viable.

Calculate all of the costs associated with pursuing an MBA and assess the benefits of acquiring the degree in terms of increased salary and better career opportunity. The majority of people who have received MBAs have found they have greatly helped them with achieving their career goals.

A holder of an MBA degree can land a wide variety of top-level positions in various fields. An MBA is considered to be one of the most prestigious postgraduate degrees in the world and opens up vast career opportunities with much better pay to graduates. Careers in marketing and finance are the fields most commonly pursued by MBA graduates, although completing an MBA program does not limit a graduate to jobs in business.

An MBA program provides a student with vast theoretical knowledge and practical marketing skills that can make him or her highly valuable in the world of marketing. Becoming a product manager is one of the most challenging jobs one can get and is one example of the type of employment for which a holder of an MBA is well suited. It's a job that entails the marketing of goods and services for a company and requires a skilled individual who can develop effective marketing techniques. Abilities in finance management are also honed during the course of an MBA program, making the MBA graduate highly sought after by employers in this field.

MBA degrees can be very useful in government-related jobs that require well-thought-out strategies and the ability to be a team player. An MBA graduate can work for nonprofit organizations as well. Involvement in nonprofit organizations can provide both financial and emotional rewards. Nonprofit organizations offer good salaries and work that contributes to a worthy cause. The healthcare industry is another option for those seeking jobs with MBAs. Healthcare was indicated as having an exceptionally strong recruiting presence at postgraduate schools this year.

An MBA degree can also be highly valuable if you want to start your own business. Getting an MBA equips you with extensive knowledge, skills, and abilities to manage your own business and become a successful entrepreneur.

The options discussed above are just a few of the opportunities available to MBA graduates. Additionally, the international job market for MBAs continues to grow. There are more and more job offers and bigger salaries, particularly from employers in the consulting, financial services, and consumer product industries, according to a new survey conducted by the MBA Career Services Council (MBACSC). The MBACSC is the professional association for MBA career-services professionals and corporate professionals who hire MBAs.

The national survey highlights the proliferating job opportunities available to MBAs. One example of this trend has been noted by the MBA program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. "Job acceptances are up more than 11% among Wisconsin MBA students compared to last year at this time," said Blair Sanford, director of MBA career services at the UW-Madison School of Business. "Additionally, we've seen average starting salaries grow 10% to more than $85,000 in the same period of time."

A survey of some 1,019 companies worldwide has shown that the estimated starting salary for an MBA graduate in 2005 was $78,000. The estimated total salary package for a new MBA graduate hired in 2006 was $96,000 and has been increasing in 2007. The Corporate Recruiters Survey conducted in 2006 said that those with MBA degrees who took part in internship programs had good chances of getting hired. In 2006, about one-third of MBA graduates employed had served internships in companies that eventually hired them. This trend was seen in the healthcare, manufacturing, and finance sectors.

Investment banking and management consulting have begun picking up, and starting salaries for all MBA graduates from top-ranking business schools have been increasing in 2007 and will most likely increase in 2008. Although most experts agree that MBAs probably will never again see the highs of the late 90s, many students, recruiters, and administrators at the top schools expect growth to continue well into 2008 and beyond. And that means current MBA candidates can anticipate more job opportunities and higher salaries when they graduate.

Experts expect employment to continue on this path for at least the next few years. Companies like DaimlerChrysler, McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, and others have indicated that they predict strong hiring trends through 2008. Samer Hamadeh, co-founder and CEO of Vault, a New York-based company that provides industry information to job seekers said, "For someone graduating in May 2007, it [will be] a bull market for jobs."

Acquiring an MBA degree can be a pivotal step in your career. It can empower you with skills and training that will prove to be invaluable in the increasingly competitive job market. Holders of MBAs are usually perceived to be people who can translate their knowledge into action with effectiveness and greatly contribute to the success of a company.

During the course of an MBA program, you and your colleagues form bonds that will stay with you for the rest of your lives. This network will prove to be highly valuable as you navigate the vicissitudes of your career. As one recent MBA graduate put it, "I must admit that I have only been able to fully appreciate the advantages of my MBA studies years after my graduation; after various jobs and positions held, I could fully put into practice what I had learned. I also often received help and gave a helping hand to many of my MBA ex-colleagues."
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