If you’ve been thinking about returning to college to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, your time may be now.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 8% growth in the management occupations sector between 2016–2026, an increase of approximately 807,300 new jobs. And more good news: In 2017 the median annual salary for management occupations was $102,590, gauged by the BLS as the highest wage among the major occupational categories.1
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A master’s of business administration degree may open new career vistas and lead to higher-paying jobs2—compelling reasons to earn this valuable credential. As you prepare to begin an MBA online, here are five ways to start preparing for business school:
- Establish your career goals.
As you blaze your path to a business administration degree, mold your dreams and ambitions into specific career goals. Monitor job boards to stay current on advertised positions. Talk to leaders and mentors within your company and profession. Consider interviewing and shadowing an executive in the type of job you will seek once you have your MBA degree in hand. Do some research. The BLS website and its Occupational Outlook Handbook are excellent sources for data and insights into professions, earning potential, and career options. If you’re already enrolled in an online university, use the abundant resources of its Career Services Center, or explore possibilities with your enrollment advisor.
- Select an accredited university.
Match your aspirations to an online MBA program that meets professional standards. The best business schools will offer programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). A degree from an ACBSP-accredited program can better prepare you to compete and succeed in the global marketplace. Choose a business school that offers the degree and specialization you seek. (More on that next.) And as a working professional for whom time is the most precious commodity, you’ll want to select an online graduate degree program with a flexible and convenient learning platform. You supply the laptop, the internet connection, and the “classroom”—your kitchen table, a coffee shop, or that comfortable couch.
- Choose your MBA degree program.
Now that you’ve set your career goals and selected a top MBA program, it’s time to chart your academic course. A general program may be the best fit for your future. Look to a specialization if your plans are targeted to a field of concentration like corporate finance, human resource management, or leadership. Walden University offers a top MBA program with a choice of 10 specializations, including a self-designed option for the ultimate in customization.
- Set your time frame.
How long does it take to get an MBA? You can earn your MBA online in less than 2 years. And after completing the first four courses in Walden’s MBA degree program, you’ll obtain a graduate-level certificate to add to the portfolio you’re building for professional advancement. There’s also an MBA option delivered through Tempo Learning®, Walden’s competency-based format. With Tempo Learning, you can pursue a custom-paced online MBA to learn and advance on your schedule. Accomplish your education goals with help from faculty when you need it; your real-life experience and prior knowledge can be used to demonstrate what you already know and accelerate your progress to potentially save time and money.
- Prepare for admission.
You’ll need to round up a few items before getting started with your online education. At Walden, you can begin the admission process with an unofficial transcript, though you’ll need an official transcript once admitted. You’ll also be asked to provide a résumé showing your work history, and information on your employment and educational history. An enrollment advisor will guide you through the process of applying for your online graduate degree program, and once admitted you’ll receive information about ways to fund your education through grants and loans, scholarships, limited-time savings, and tuition-reduction opportunities. In just a short time you can be ready to enroll in your first course.
These five steps can help turn ideas into action and dreams into reality. The late Ruth Handler, co-founder of Mattel Inc., once said, “We didn’t know how to run a business, but we had dreams and talent.”3 Imagine what you can achieve when you combine your dreams and talents with an MBA degree. The wide world of business administration awaits you.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online Master of Business Administration degree program. 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, www.hlcommission.org.
Walden’s BS in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), and PhD in Management programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The MS in Accounting and BS in Accounting programs are also accredited by the ACBSP and have earned the organization’s Specialized Accounting Accreditation.