What Does MBA Mean?
Last Updated on : 6/24/2014 7:50:00 AM

MBA: Degree Overview

The Master of Business Administration is a graduate degree sought by those looking to hone their skills for a business career. Students applying to MBA programs are required to have earned their bachelor's degree, though not necessarily in a business field. Many MBA students have earned their bachelor's degree in an unrelated field.

MBA core courses introduce students to academic business programs such as accounting, operations management, finance, human resources and management information systems. Additional courses often include organizational management, macroeconomics, business statistics, marketing management and computer information systems. Schools may also offer other more specific courses and electives based on the student's concentration. Concentrations within MBA programs may include business and economic forecasting, public administration, information technology, marketing, hospitality management and international business. 

Types of MBA Programs

There are several basic types of MBA programs. The coursework is similar throughout all programs, but they vary in length and prerequisites.

Full-Time MBA

A full-time MBA program takes two academic years of full-time class work. Many universities offer this program as daytime classes, beginning in late August or early September of the first year and ending in May or June of the second year.

Part-Time MBA

Part-time MBA programs are designed for working professionals. Classes take place during nights and weekends. This program may take three years or more to complete, depending on the workload on which the student decides to take.

Accelerated MBA

Accelerated MBA programs are for students who'd like to get their degree as soon as possible; it can often be completed in just one year. The accelerated programs typically require summer courses and internships, as well as have a shorter break between semesters.

Executive MBA

This MBA program is often meant for individuals with a great deal of work experience in the business world. Coursework is designed to meet the needs of executives and managers and prepare them for senior management positions.

Dual MBA

Dual MBA programs allow students to combine their MBA curriculum with another degree, such as a Master of Science or Master of Public Health. Many schools also offer 5-year combined bachelor's and MBA degree.

Salary and Careers

According to Payscale.com, graduates of a MBA degree program earn an average salary that is $10,000 to $20,000 greater than those with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Payscale.com, also says that the most popular jobs for those who've earned MBA degrees include financial controller, information technology project manager, financial analyst, chief financial officer, chief executive officer and marketing director. MBA graduates can work within private companies, nonprofits, government, schools, hospitals or become self employed. The MBA salary with the highest potential earnings is that of chief executive officer, who make an average of more than $160,000 per year, followed by chief financial officer and marketing director.


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