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Types of jobs that benefit from an MBA

12 June 2021

Several years ago, employers were interested in hiring individuals who had a bachelor's degree in their particular field of work. Now the market has moved on. More employers than ever are looking for proven business knowledge to back up an area of specialisation, the sort of knowledge and business confidence that come from a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

It’s not just anecdotal evidence that suggests MBA graduates are in high demand. With a turbulent global economy and challenging trading conditions, employing the very best and experienced people with business acumen has never been more critical. 

Companies need people who are resilient and can work in turbulent times.

The Corporate Recruiters Survey Report 2021, an analysis of responses from 569 corporate recruiters worldwide by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), reveals that 91 per cent of organisations plan to hire MBA graduates in 2021. 

Growth in the technology sector has spurred an increase in jobs for MBA graduates, the research has found. An impressive 96 per cent of tech sector recruiters are looking to hire people with an MBA in 2021, according to the report. In addition, a massive 95 per cent of recruiters in the consulting sector project that they will hire MBA graduates, the report states. 

Equally exciting is that, globally, graduates with MBAs earned a significant salary premium over their colleagues holding Bachelor’s degrees. For example, the research shows that the median MBA salary in US companies for 2021 is projected to recover to pre-pandemic levels. The report lists the median annual salary of MBA graduates in 2021 as $115,000, compared with $65,000 for individuals with bachelor’s degrees.

What types of jobs are we talking about? Unsurprisingly, data analytics roles are in huge demand. However, great opportunities exist across the board.

Here are some examples:

Management consultant

Management Consultant

An external point of view is of enormous value to businesses, whose teams are often bogged down by day-to-day challenges. Someone who can work with a company to identify areas of concern and focus on a recovery plan using expert management skills are in demand globally.

A management consultant gives advice on how a business might be managed more effectively. The role is satisfying because the consultant gains deep knowledge and insight into various types of businesses and industries while assisting with positive change and performance enhancements. Essentially, it’s about helping to craft powerful, big-picture strategies, along with the organisation’s senior management team.

Management consulting is a job that can introduce an MBA graduate to a vast range of industries across a range of specialties, from advertising to healthcare, almost anywhere in the world.

CFO/Financial Manager

There was a time when the chief financial officer (CFO) and financial manager were simply expected to provide stakeholders with historical performance documents: retrospective reports that indicated how the business had been doing in the market. Times have certainly changed.

These days the job is about using data for predictive purposes and providing the organisation – from the board of directors to departments including sales, marketing, human resources (HR) and information technology (IT) – with an image of what the future looks like. 

The specifics of the role include all management of financial procedures, which may involve investment activity, budgets, capital raising, global transactions and automation projects.

It requires a broad understanding of all business functions, not just accounting. Forecasting in today’s world is a challenge, but an MBA will help equip you with in-depth financial skills to create robust planning documents and strategies.

Healthcare Administrator

What does healthcare have to do with business management? Plenty, actually. Healthcare administrators, whether in hospitals, other health systems, or policymaking bodies such as government departments, plan and direct health services. They are responsible for processes and policies, change management and regulatory governance.

The pandemic has changed the way care is delivered in many ways. Technology has increased on a massive scale, and departments changed beyond recognition. Much of the change has been done at speed, but it has set the direction of future travel. Anyone going into healthcare management today will need the expertise an MBA offers, simply because of the complex working environment. Add to that the spiraling cost of care in older people, corporate mergers and the need to do more preventive medicine.  It is easy to see that anyone working in a healthcare environment will need robust managerial skills.

Information Systems Manager

As mentioned, data analytics roles are more important than ever. However, it is no use employing great data analysts if an organisation’s systems have not been designed to serve stakeholders with the right information, in the right format and at the right time. Information systems managers work with leaders in the business to develop strategies around its future needs.

The potential data flow in today’s business environment is so heavy that an important part of the role is figuring out what not to do. Great information systems management is often about identifying the five or 10 pieces of information that are vital to the company’s competitive advantage, and then developing systems that make real-time versions of this data available anytime, anywhere.

As data intelligence has transformed rapidly from a nice-to-have to something essential in the business environment, the importance of professionals who can devise, build and manage information systems has likewise become far greater. These areas are in demand globally, especially as businesses and organisations step up their online presence. Managers also need to think strategically to ensure that any IT systems and developments fit existing and dependent ones, so information can be used collaboratively when appropriate.

HR Manager

HR Manager

As with so many management positions in organisations, HR management has transformed from a functional role to a strategic one. It is now about working as a part of the organisation’s senior management team to develop clear talent maps for the future, and then devising strategies to ensure those future roles and talent profiles are filled.

This means that HR is a role that requires expert knowledge and understanding of the business’ strategic goals and the unique challenges and opportunities in each department. 

This is exactly what an MBA prepares its candidates for: a strong and thorough comprehension of every aspect of a business. An example of the types of jobs you can get with an MBA is majoring in a workforce strategy with global shortages of specialist professionals. Reviewing how an organisation can be creative to meet the recruitment challenges is another example.

Understandably, if you want the right person for a role, you have to first understand the role in the context of the unique business. An MBA-qualified HR specialist is a perfect person for such a challenge. 

An MBA-qualified HR specialist is also ideal to work on a strategy for improving the organisational culture, making it a more productive place to work and one that attracts talented employees.


The pandemic has caused many people to evaluate their lifestyles, reconsider corporate lifestyles and embark on independent pathways to setting up their own businesses. Even here, an MBA-qualified person has an advantage: having the business acumen to set up a company in an effective way and use strategies that are likely to be successful. Skills such as detailed financial management and resilience will be vital for anyone setting up a company solo. This is a growing area in which an MBA will enable people to be creative in developing companies of the future.

Sports Management

This final suggestion is intended to represent many specialist roles, from education to health, and from retail to business-to-business (B2B). However, it’s a prime example of the type of job you can get with an MBA.

Many specialist businesses, such as sports teams, sporting clubs or sports associations, experience growth to a certain point and then plateau, struggling to break through the ceiling. The reason is that they are very good at one thing, but are not business experts.

Those who have earned the comprehensive suite of business knowledge that an MBA offers are able to help such organisations strategise and structure for future growth beyond their apparent limitations. That is an incredible opportunity to combine a love of the sports with a business opportunity. However, it is also an area where the right skills can propel areas such as youth sports and access to sporting activities for disadvantaged people.

Achieve your career goals

As global trends and technologies continue to evolve, the business world needs talented and creative leaders to pave new paths to success. Find out more about advancing your business career by studying for an MBA with SCU Online.