Popular MBA Career Paths

mba career pathsMBA holders have a wide variety of career options before them, with almost no end to the professional heights they can reach. The degree is broad and multifaceted, making it possible to hold positions in a variety of roles in nearly every industry.

Here is a quick glance at some of the many career paths you can pursue with an MBA.

Business management: All kinds of businesses need leaders to manage production, personnel, operations and a host of other necessary functions. There are far too many types of manager to get into, but every industry, from auto manufacturing and offshore mining to pharmaceuticals and database analysis, is a possibility for an employee with the right work experience and the business skills provided by an MBA.

Entrepreneurship: Making your own hours and being your own boss has always been the primary appeal of being an entrepreneur, but there also many challenges that come with the territory. Whether you’re opening a small café or a national shipping firm, knowing how to raise funds, find the right employees and build a brand are all parts of running a business as well. Many MBA holders choose to take on these challenges rather than join an existing company.

Finance: Managing finances is of vital importance to any business. In large companies, entire departments are dedicated to ensuring money is not being wasted, the company is receiving funding, and all regulations are being adhered to. Finance personnel, which can include auditors, bookkeepers, accountants and chief financial officers, have a wide impact on a company’s movements and growth, as many decisions are made according to their advice. MBA holders who enjoy seeing the big picture frequently take this route.

Consulting: From a business standpoint, consulting is broad-level problem solving. MBA holders in this realm work with agencies that help other companies to be more successful, whether they’re giving a fortune 500 firm advice on moving into a particular industry, or helping a chain of restaurants target a certain customer base. Professionals in this field work on teams with many different clients, travelling frequently and meeting new people on a regular basis. Those who enjoy strategy and high-level problem solving would appreciate a consulting role.

Marketing: Building a brand is another major part of business, and a lot of creativity, strategy and out-of-the-box thinking goes into creating an effective marketing plan. MBA holders in marketing work with finance people, managers and production to create the ads, commercials, packaging, and even character and personality of a brand, all considering the target audience, competitors and the market itself.

Human resources: Every business is run by people, and people need management as much as money and products do. MBA holders in human resources are responsible for hiring, training and allocating personnel, as well as mediating when employees have differences with co-workers or management. Professionals in this field tend to enjoy working with people and building relationships.

Government: The government runs similarly to a business, albeit with different regulations and responsibilities, and a much larger budget than most companies. There are as many management, finance, human resources and strategy roles within the government as there are without, and ambitious MBAs who see their work as a mission rather than just a job might enjoy a career along this avenue.

Non-profit: Non-profit organizations work for a cause, attracting MBAs who have the ambition and passion to take on a world problem using fewer resources than are available in the corporate world. These professionals work to solve metropolitan, national and global problems, doing anything from finding ways to help feed underprivileged families in poor neighborhoods, to helping train government project workers in developing nations. MBAs who would trade a higher income for a bigger worldview and the satisfaction of helping those in need would feel at home in non-profit work.