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Do I Really Need an MBA?

An MBA degree can help you advance a career in multiple industries.

Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can make a huge impact on your career success and financial rewards. Many factors determine your compensation after graduation, including school reputation, job title, location, cost of living, pre-MBA experience, undergraduate major, and the industry you’re in. In some fields, such as management, an MBA is practically required to advance. Here are several fields in which holding an MBA can help you earn a six-figure salary.


Finance is an MBA-heavy field. Most financial analysts and portfolio managers already have an MBA or are earning one. Although some finance jobs don’t require an MBA, having yours will help you stay competitive. In fact, becoming a financial manager—a position that typically requires an MBA—is considered by U.S. News & World Report to be one of the hottest jobs for MBA graduates, offering “robust job growth, generous salaries, and low unemployment rates.”1 Chief financial officers (CFOs) and financial directors can also earn handsome six-figure salaries.

Do I Really Need an MBA?

International Business

Increasing globalization is driving up demand for professionals who are well-versed in conducting business worldwide, which is a specialized skillset that can come with an MBA. Salaries vary by industry but are typically on the higher end of the pay scale. Jobs that you could consider include sales director, operations director, and IT project manager for a global corporation. According to, IT project managers at the I level average $83,944 annually,2 an indication that someone with an MBA and international business expertise in this field has the potential to make well over six figures.


While many marketing career paths do not require an MBA, having one has become common in the industry. Lucrative jobs in this field include marketing director, business development manager, and marketing manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), advertising, promotions, and marketing managers currently average $132,620 per year.3 Depending on your experience, your MBA could also position you for a senior management role such as vice president of marketing or chief marketing officer.


Several flourishing careers in healthcare typically require an MBA. One of these is hospital administrator, a career centered on working behind-the-scenes to make sure a hospital is running as efficiently as possible. According to PayScale, the average salary for a hospital administrator is $87,062,4 although, as The New York Times pointed out in 2014, many hospital administrators earn more than doctors.5 Other healthcare industry careers that often require an MBA and typically earn six-figure salaries include insurance chief executive officer and hospital chief executive officer.

Information Technology

An MBA can pave the way to an executive-level career in IT. Typical jobs for MBAs include IT director, IT project manager, and IT manager. However, the best job in IT is software development, according to U.S. News & World Report.6 While a master’s degree isn’t necessary to work in this field, it is often necessary if you want to advance into a managerial role. According to BLS, software developers average $105,590 annually, with the career field expected to grow by 21% between 2018 and 2028—a rate that’s much faster than the average for all occupations.7

Management Analyst

Job opportunities for MBA graduates in business management are all but limitless. According to U.S. News & World Report, one of the hottest six-figure jobs in this industry is business operations manager.1 The career is quite multifaceted, requiring excellent communication, organization, and negotiation skills—all of which you can gain in an MBA program. According to BLS, general and operations managers average $123,880 annually and work in a wide range of industries.8

Best Way To Earn an MBA

Not all six-figure jobs require an MBA, and most require a certain amount of experience, but it’s clear that an MBA can help to increase your career options and salary potential. The question is: How can you make earning an MBA a real possibility? For many, the answer is to earn their MBA online.

Nowadays, many of the best business schools and top MBA programs offer online learning options. What’s the advantage to learning online? For one, an online degree program allows you to complete a master’s from home, meaning you don’t have to move anywhere or even drive to night classes. You can attend online MBA classes at whatever time of day works best for you. It’s a level of flexibility you can’t typically find in campus-based MBA programs—and it’s why so many working adults choose online education.

An MBA degree can open a lot of opportunities to earn a six-figure salary. Thanks to online degree programs, those opportunities can be yours.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Business Administration degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.









Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,