Choosing the Best MBA for You

If you work in management or business, you’ve probably considered completing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at some point. While earning an MBA can often do a lot for your career and earning potential, it’s important to do your research and find a program that fits your needs. Things to think about include the location, focus, reputation and cost of an MBA program. You may also want to consider whether online MBA programs are a good fit for you. By educating yourself about issues such as accreditation, financial options and different types of MBA programs, you’ll be able to find a program that you find enjoyable and that provides maximum return on your investment of time and money.

Why Complete an MBA Program?

An MBA can help prepare you for making decisions in a complex business environment. You can learn sound business theory and techniques from your instructors, as well as your fellow students, which can enhance your job performance. The MBA is also a credential recognized by many businesses: Some employers won’t consider candidates for managerial and executive positions unless they have graduated from one of the top MBA programs. Others may not make holding an MBA an absolute requirement for employment, but those who have graduated from one of the nation’s best MBA programs will certainly have an advantage over those who don’t hold the degree.

Identifying Your Needs

While it’s tempting to just make a list of the so-called “best” MBA programs and then apply to all of them, you are better off first identifying what features these top MBA programs have and make sure that they meet your career and lifestyle needs. For example, the geographical location of a school is often a very important consideration, particularly if you can’t or don’t want to relocate. You should also consider your specific career aspirations: For example, if you want to pursue a career in health care or nonprofit management, you will want to choose from the top MBA programs that offer specializations in those areas. Some MBA programs also offer specialization in specific career roles, such as leadership or executive management, so it makes sense to think long and hard about your career goals. You may also want to ask for feedback from a career counselor or your boss before making a decision.

Researching Top MBA Programs

To find the best MBA programs for you, do some homework. Go online and visit the websites of schools that offer MBA programs. Find out whether these programs are accredited by an agency that is recognized by the US Department of Education, such as a regional accrediting agency or, for even more prestige, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Find out where a school is located and, if you are willing to relocate, read up on the cost of living in the area as well as housing options for students. Pay special attention to a school’s curriculum and course offerings as well, as you will want to make sure that you’ll be able to study the areas of business that most interest you and that will help you achieve your career goals.

Dual Degree MBA Programs

Some schools offer dual degree MBA programs. These programs allow you to earn a graduate degree in another area, such as law, medicine or public administration while also working on your MBA. The advantage to these programs is that you’ll be able to earn multiple educational credentials while applying coursework from one program to another, saving you both time and money over completing the degrees separately. The downside to these programs is that they can take you longer to complete, and cost more money, than just completing a standard MBA program.

Considering Online MBA Programs

If you live in an area where there aren’t many high-quality MBA programs or if your work and family responsibilities keep you from being able to attend classes, look into online MBA programs. These programs let you complete coursework online and earn your degree without disrupting your lifestyle. In fact, some schools now offer students a choice of being able to take classes on campus or online. Online MBA programs aren’t for everyone, though. Some students learn best when in a classroom setting and while interacting in real-time with their professors and fellow students. Many people also find that online learning requires more discipline than taking traditional classes.

MBA Program Costs

Completing an MBA program requires a significant financial investment. While researching programs, ask schools about their financial aid policies. Some may be able to provide you with grants and scholarships. Other options include paying for your education with student loans as well as taking advantage of an employer tuition reimbursement program. If you chose the latter option, contact the benefits department at work to find out how its tuition program works. Schools have different policies on accepting tuition reimbursement funds, so be sure to find out how the school of your choice processes employment tuition payments.

Getting into the Best MBA Programs

An MBA degree is a master’s in business administration degree and has many advantages for those looking to advance, expand, or just begin their careers in business. There are many excellent online MBA programs that people can participate in, as well as several top MBA programs available to students across the country. It is important for people looking to receive their MBA to understand the various requirements and prerequisites that they must meet, as well as to know what to expect when attempting to get their MBA. The core programs within most of the top MBA programs include marketing, accounting, business administration, human resources, and general business management, to name a few. People interested in the inner workings of modern business will find the program engaging and an excellent way to begin an important career in the business world.

Program Requirements

Much like any other degree program, there are certain requirements that all applicants must meet. Some of the top MBA programs not only require certain academic achievements, but also require that the applicant have three to five years of work experience as well. Most of the online MBA programs and on-campus programs require passing the Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT. Some will accept a passing Graduate Record Examination or GRE instead. Many programs want students to have some real life experience in addition to simply passing a test. This can mean community service, internships, or actual employment within certain companies. All of this experience shows a true interest and drive to be successful within business on the students’ part. Working on an internship shows motivation, passion, and dedication to being successful in business.

MBA Curriculum

Whether it is enrollment in online MBA programs or participation in regular MBA programs on campus, the course work is intensive and requires a solid knowledge of several different subjects. Mathematics, economics, business law and basic finance are just some of the classes that will be covered. A thorough program will explore all aspects of business including marketing, project management, entrepreneurship, and human resources management. Each one of these topics is essential to understanding how businesses operate and succeed. Covering the full spectrum of business operational procedures will help students to fulfill their goals of working in a business related environment. Courses within MBA programs can be taken online in the comfort of one’s own home, or on a college campus, depending on the student’s individual preferences. With today’s modern developments, online MBA programs from many excellent accredited schools are available.

Career Opportunities

Since MBA programs offer graduates a diverse number of career options, they can choose to work in any number of different sectors. Health care, retail, government, manufacturing, and food sectors are just a few examples. Once a student graduates from the MBA program, the possibilities for careers are endless. Human resources management involves dealing directly with employees and employee benefits, while financially geared positions are more behind the scenes and allow the student to see how businesses operate on a fiscal level. Marketing and advertising are a good choice for those who would like to be able to utilize their more creative side. Operations management is a very good option for those who enjoy participating in the day to day activities that help keep businesses afloat. Because there is always a need for educated, experienced people in the business sector, getting a degree from one of the top MBA programs makes sense.

For more information about the MBA degree and possible career options, please refer to the following websites:

  • The Best Marketing MBA Degree Programs – Read here to discover more about some of the best marketing MBA degree programs available and what to look for in a good program for those interested in the aspect of business marketing and advertising.
  • Does an MBA Guarantee Success? – This article explores the importance of having an MBA degree, and discusses whether or not it is absolutely essential in order to be successful in business.
  • Best Online MBA’s And Careers – Read here to learn more about some of the best online MBA programs as well as some of the careers students can have upon graduating.
  • MBA Q&A – Go here to find out the answers to some of the most common questions regarding the MBA degree.
  • Small Business Administration – This government site is great for people who are running or starting a small business. Lots of resources are made available.
  • Administrative Services Managers – Find out about the career and salary information of an Administrative Services Manager. This is just one of the possible career paths an MBA degree could lead down.

Preparing for the GMAT

The General Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is required for admission into the majority of MBA programs. Although some online MBA programs don’t require it, the majority of accredited online and traditional, campus-based institutions do. MBA degrees provide graduates with the potential for career enhancement and entry into higher-paying professions. Typical MBA degree programs include, general business, management, marketing, international business and healthcare. Preparing for the GMAT is essential to achieving acceptable test scores. The exam measures a prospective student’s comprehensive abilities related to English and grammar usage, writing skills, math and quantitative analysis. It provides academic institutions with a tool that indicates an individual’s ability to become a successful MBA candidate. Therefore, GMAT test scores are generally used to determine admittance into top MBA programs. The exam consists of three sections, which includes the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning.

Test Format and Timing

With the exception of the AWA, the exam is in a multiple choice format. As opposed to a fixed text, the GMAT adjusts to an individual’s ability level, which may either shorten or lengthen the time it takes to complete the test. At the beginning of each multiple choice section, the individual is given a preliminary question of average difficulty. As each question is answered, the computer-adaptive system analyzes the scores as they build in order to format the following questions. Therefore, incorrect responses generate questions with decreased difficulty, while correct responses result in more challenging ones. Taking a GMAT practice test is essential, as having the ability to pace the exam is imperative to completing the test. If an individual is unable to complete the entire exam the individual is penalized, and their score adversely affected.

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section is designed to determine an individual’s communication skills and critical thinking/reasoning abilities. The AWA is the written portion of the test, in which two separate essays are composed. Since one hour is allotted to the AWA, it’s imperative that each take no more than 30 minutes to write. One essay is an analysis of an argumentative claim, while the other analyzes a specific issue. The analysis of an issue portion explains a particular point of view of a complex issue or subject, and therefore, other possible perspectives should be considered while utilizing personal experiences and observations. The analysis of an argument portion requires the individual to examine the reasoning behind an argument and provide a critique of it. While writing the argument analysis essay, factors to consider should include possible alternative explanations, questionable assumptions and other types of evidence that may either strengthen or weaken the argument. (GMAT prep) for the AWA should include testing for the ability to gather thoughts and logic quickly, while effectively presenting them in written form.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GMAT test contains 37 questions designed to test an individual’s knowledge of mathematical concepts, typically learned throughout high school, such as basic arithmetic, algebra, averages, decimals, factoring, fractions and geometry. Having the capability to reason quantitatively, solve mathematical problems/equations and effectively interpret graphically-based data is essential to performing well on this portion of the exam. One portion of the test requires the individual to solve math problems, in which two possible answers are provided. The other section includes data sufficiency questions that require answers related to whether there is sufficient data available in order to effectively answer two separate statements either by itself or as a combination of both. Using a GMAT practice test in which MBA math is offered will enable prospective MBA students to uncover areas they may need to work on prior to taking the test.

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section of the GMAT test contains 41 questions comprised of three parts, and is designed to test an individual’s ability to utilize correct grammar and sentence structure skills, reading comprehension and critical reasoning abilities. This portion of the exam also measures an individual’s ability to evaluate and reason various arguments, effectively comprehend written materials, and apply information and concepts in written form. While no particular familiarity with a specific subject is required, questions correspond to business subjects, such as management, human resources, economics and marketing, in addition to the biological, physical and social sciences. Therefore, having the capability to read, understand and evaluate written passages of 350 words that include moderately complex terms, while drawing upon factual statements and inferences to reach a logical conclusion, is important. Testing measurements for this portion of the exam include correct expression, and evaluation and construction of arguments, as well as having the ability to evaluate and form a plan of action. (GMAT prep) for the Verbal Reasoning portion of the test should include a review of grammar rules and vocabulary.

Study, Practice and Review

Using a GMAT practice test will provide prospective MBA students the ability in order to effectively prepare for the exam, thus ensuring their likelihood of success and entrance into an MBA program of their choice. Prospective MBA applicants should take advantage of online and book-based resources that provide a GMAT practice test. They should study subject areas of weakness and review all portions of the exam prior to the testing day. Individuals should ensure they read each question carefully before answering, while remaining aware of the time so that no questions are left unanswered. Practicing as many times as necessary with a sample GMAT test will ensure the likelihood of completing the test. Rehearsing the capability of reading examples of the essay portions of the exam, while listing specific points to address, and fleshing them out in detail within the paragraphs of the essays using logically, supportive arguments will also help ensure success. Studying and GMAT prep should begin no less than four weeks ahead of the testing date.

Importance of the GMAT Score

Having an acceptable GMAT test score is oftentimes a determining factor for admittance into some of the top MBA programs. Some institutions have a minimum acceptable score, while others use it in combination with the overall application package. The majority of schools consider the GMAT score in combination with other admissions criteria, such as undergraduate GPA, official transcripts, work experience, collegiate and professional recommendations, application essays and personal interviews. Individuals may retake the exam if needed and requests for rescoring of portions or the entirety of the exam can be made within six months of the exam date. However, utilizing GMAT prep resources will ensure respectable GMAT test scores without having to retake the exam.

The Value of Obtaining one of the Best Online MBA’s

An MBA (master’s of business administration) prepares a student with the level of business knowledge he or she will need for a career in management or administration. The information conveyed in MBA programs covers many areas of the business world. Some of those areas include marketing, operations management, finance, and accounting. Effective MBA programs prepare students for the challenges they’ll face in high positions of management. The following delves further into the question of why get an MBA?

First, students participating in online MBA programs or traditional MBA programs gain a certain amount of practical knowledge about the workings of the business world. In essence, not only do MBA programs teach students business theories, they show students how to apply these theories in realistic business situations. Many ambitious MBA students appreciate and benefit from those types of memorable, practical lessons.

MBA Degree Salary

Next, a student who earns an MBA degree has increased his or her chances of earning a higher salary. People who earn an executive MBA are demonstrating their desire to progress in their profession. A person who devotes the time, effort, and money to earning an MBA merits an MBA salary. For example, a person who works as a financial services agent earned an annual median salary of $68,680 in May of 2008 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Financial services agents who graduate from online MBA programs or traditional MBA programs are likely to earn a salary that is above that average. Alternatively, information systems managers earn an average annual median salary of $112,210 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Once again, an information systems manager who attends online MBA programs will have the opportunity to earn an MBA salary and progress in his or her line of work. Furthermore, earning an executive MBA will garner a higher salary for a person working in the business world as well.

MBA Degree Advantages

Another answer to why get an MBA is that a professional with this degree is more competitive in today’s job market. The high level of skills and practical knowledge gained in MBA programs allows a graduate to have an advantage over anyone without this advanced degree. Nowadays, there are more people competing for fewer job positions in the field of business. A company that is hiring is going to look for the most qualified, skilled person for an open position. A person with this advanced degree will earn an MBA salary because he or she will be ready to fulfill the obligations of the job position within the company. Both traditional MBA program) and executive MBA programs offer students theoretical as well as practical knowledge that will serve them in a high level position in a company.

One of the most valuable things about an MBA degree is the instruction. Many courses in MBA programs and online MBA programs are taught by people who have experience in the business world. An instructor may own a company or have worked in a management position for a well-known, successful business. Consequently, instructors can incorporate their real life business scenarios into the course. MBA students benefit greatly from receiving instruction from a person who has been in the ‘trenches’ of the business world. In addition, instructors with real life business experience often know other business professionals (with MBAs) who can add value to the course. Business professionals can lead courses and workshops in order to demonstrate particular business theories to the MBA students. Not only do the students benefit from hearing the experiences of various business professionals, but they also may make some meaningful connections that they can use after they graduate. They can get to know leaders in the business world, ask for advice, and maybe even call on the person when it comes time to find a job. Not surprisingly, if the professional remembers the work and attitude of a particular student, he or she may be willing to help the student contact the right people in order to line up a job.

Finally, practical experience, the opportunity for a higher salary, and expert instruction are just a few of the answers to the question of why get an MBA? By investing in advanced education in the form of an MBA degree, an individual is laying the groundwork for a successful, long-term career in the world of business.

For more information on MBAs, please visit:

Best Online MBA’s and the Careers they can Help you Get

Jump starting your career with one of the best online mba programs might be just what you need to reach your goals, and step into a better quality of life with a higher salary. Knowing where to look for the best online mba degrees is the first step to your success. Deciding the best MBA online in order to reach your particular goals, is another.

Best Online MBA Careers

As a Master of Business Administration, or MBA graduate, you will have the opportunity to apply for some of the best-paying positions in the job market. Normally, online MBA graduates enter senior management positions with a specialized field. MBA degrees can be in business, finance, science, or marketing. These positions could be with a corporation, bank, public relations firm, or a research company. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employees with MBA’s are in high demand. While good companies are in search of professionals with MBA degrees, the health science field appears to have the highest percentage of job openings. For information on the nation’s hiring trends, www.bls.gov contains excellent statistics, and employment projections for the coming years.

  •  Some of the top-paying careers that require MBA degrees are most chief executive officer positions (CEO). Starting salaries begin at $167,000 and go up from there, depending on the size of the company.
  • An MBA with a specialization in science can put you into a management position in pharmaceuticals, research, or manufacturing. According to the BLS, starting salaries with these specialties begin at about $127,000 per year.
  • A public relations management job can put you earning just over $100,000 per year, while marketing managers begin careers at about $120,000 per year.
  • Other top management careers for MBA graduates can be found in the fields of consulting, human resources, information systems, project management, healthcare, and finance.

Best Online MBA Majors

Deciding the field to concentrate your major study depends on what holds your interest, and which one can put you into a field of work you enjoy. When you choose where to study for an online MBA, make sure your chosen specialization is offered by an accredited program. The quality of MBA programs vary widely, and they offer vastly different amounts of instruction, ranging from 33 to up to 60 college credit hours. Deciding whether to enroll into an online MBA program with the no GMAT MBA will also be a consideration. Some of the Best Online MBA Programs dont require the GMAT. The GMAT is a standardized test. Some programs do not require that you take the test, while others do. Choosing a field of major study for your MBA is a personal choice, that can lead to a promising career. The most common online MBA majors include, finance, healthcare, and human resources.

What Employers Look For in a Best Online MBA Graduate

The Association of American Colleges and Universities indicates that most employers search for potential employees who are able to work well with teams of other employees, possess critical problem-solving and thinking skills, the ability to analyze problems and derive at solutions, understand numbers and statistics, and possess a strong work ethic. The website, www.aacu.org/leap/students/employerstopten.cfm, lends some useful information for any college or university-level student seeking updated education news, advice, or statistics.

Knowing what you want in the field of education begins with you. Your goals and motivation will drive you to the career you desire. An Best online MBA degree program can open the doors of opportunity for you.