The selection of a graduate degree can be a very important choice for students. It is certainly an investment of a tremendous amount of time and money. Among business graduate degrees, the big choice is usually whether to pursue the broad scope Masters of Business Administration with a specialization or a more narrow focus specialty degrees, such us the Masters of Health Administration or the Masters of Real Estate Development.
Either choice leads to greater career opportunities for the student. A number of upper level management positions, especially in large corporations, view that level of education as a prerequisite. While some do not specifically require it, they will give preference to a job candidate who has the degree over one who does not.
The MBA has a number of advantages over other graduate business degrees. The first would be that the Masters of Business Administration has a two part philosophy. The first half of the program, the student studies core subjects that are applicable to all areas of business management. During the remainder, the student goes further in depth as to how business administration is applied to a specialty area, for example human resources or international business. Because of that structure, focusing first on just the skills of managing a business, the MBA is the most versatile of any higher education degree.
Because of the broad approach, it is also the single best degree for entrepreneurialism. No other degree does a better job of preparing someone to start their own business. As small business owners have to wear many hats and adapt to changing business situations, they require a familiarity with all aspects of business where someone in a more traditional corporate job would not. That is to say that an accounting manager at a bank might never need to know anything about marketing.
In terms of income, the MBA can make a big difference. Someone who only has a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with 5-9 years of experience commands a median salary of $51,376 compared to a MBA with 5-9 years of experience who earns a median salary of $68,989. It can even have more impact in specialty areas, like healthcare administration.
There is also an advantage that is not as easy to quantify. Everyone seeking the degree is probably already involved in business management to some extent already with aspirations of advancement. This turns classrooms into great networking opportunities.
After reviewing all the advantages that come with the Masters of Business Administration, it is easy to see why it is the most respected upper level business degree. It has application in any business venture. Plus, it allows the student to move from one business specialty to another without having to get another degree.