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The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.



How Can an MBA Help You?

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There is little question that earning a college degree is beneficial to individuals in terms of future employment prospects and earning potential. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has shown time and again that earning a simple undergraduate Bachelor’s degree not only increases an individual’s median weekly salary, but also cuts the unemployment rate in half. But what about degrees like the Master of Business Administration (MBA)? How can an MBA help bolster careers?

As with lesser degrees, the U.S. BLS has shown that earning advanced degrees such as an MBA provides an even greater boost to career potential. Before even considering the benefits to career advancement or strong employment prospects, it is vital to look at the raw statistics of what an MBA can do.

According to the BLS, individuals with a Master’s degree have an unemployment rate (as of 2011) that is over one percentage point lower than those with a Bachelor’s degree, half that of Associate’s degree holders, and one-third the rate of those with only a high school diploma. Master’s degree holders had an unemployment rate of just 3.6% compared to 4.9% for Bachelor’s holders, 6.8% for Associate’s holders, and 9.4% for those with only a high school diploma.

On top of a much lower rate of unemployment, Master’s degrees like an MBA bring with them greater salary potential. The BLS shows that in 2011, Master’s degree holders at the national level had a median weekly salary that was twice that of those with just a high school diploma and earn 20% more than those with a Bachelor’s degree.

Lower chances of unemployment and higher salary potential aren’t the only things an MBA can do for someone’s career.

Not All Degrees Are Created Equal!

While an MBA can help you for effective leadership in today’s fast-paced business world, not all of the MBA degree programs out there are the same. When examining any MBA program, make sure the program is accredited by an accrediting body, such as The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). ACBSP accreditation certifies that the teaching and learning processes of these programs within a business school meet rigorous educational standards. ACBSP is a leading specialized accreditation association for business education supporting, celebrating, and rewarding teaching excellence. Established in 1988, ACBSP is the only business accrediting organization for all associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degree programs.

A degree in an accredited MBA program can be the differentiator in today’s competitive job market, so be sure to ask questions about accreditation when talking to any college or university.

An MBA Provides a Competitive Edge

According to Yahoo! Education, the MBA was ranked third on a list of degrees that provide workers with a competitive edge in the workplace. The MBA ranked highly on the list because of the versatility of the degree. An MBA offers such a broad and multifaceted business program that it assists those that do not work directly in the field of business. Additionally, MBAs can often be used in specialty areas beyond business including health care, education, and sports administration.

Complements Workers with Experience

Robert Wendt, a career counselor at California State University-Long Beach points out that “you’re never too old to learn new tricks.” Employees that already possess years of on the job experience and a Bachelor’s degree can complement their career with an MBA. How does this help?

An MBA program, according to Yahoo! Education, helps individuals bring out and enhance current skills as well as providing a wider knowledge base that prepares them for a position in the highest levels of business. An MBA can also help workers go after a specific career in the world of business, even if it isn’t one in which they have spent the majority of their career.

There is a lot than an MBA can do for an individual’s career. Between lowering the risk for unemployment and potentially increasing median weekly salaries, earning an MBA is a great way to boost a worker’s competitive edge while complementing the time they’ve spent working in the business field.

Sources:
http://education.yahoo.net/articles/degrees_for_adult_students.htm?wid=1004&svkid=EZPJ&usid=b51e9a9a-eafb-4791-8ecf-40f104e4353b
http://education.yahoo.net/articles/five_degrees_for_adults.htm?wid=1004&svkid=EZPJ&usid=b51e9a9a-eafb-4791-8ecf-40f104e4353b
http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

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