An MBA is an advanced degree that will definitely open some doors for you! While a Bachelor's Degree in business administration (or even business courses taken through continuing education) is a great resume builder, an MBA tells potential employers that you've taken the extra time and effort to learn as much as possible. Many really great jobs are available only to MBA graduates.
However, there's another side to the story: some of the most interesting jobs (which certainly wouldn't be considered the most economically lucrative) might be unavailable to you once you've received an MBA. As is found with many graduate degrees, employers assume that an MBA student won't be interested in anything less than top level positions. You may also find yourself discriminated against because employers assume you'll be looking for a lot of money because of your degree.
What Can You do With an MBA?
After you've completed your MBA you are, of course, qualified for any of the positions you may have achieved with studies in business administration. These may range from consultant to top executive, depending on the area you focused your studies in and your experience. However, many upper level opportunities are more easily accessible to MBAs, and are available at an earlier point in their careers.
What's it Worth?
So, if there's a likely chance that you'll end up in a job you could have had without an MBA, you may be wondering, where's the logic in continuing your education? Graduate degrees are expensive and time consuming, so you want to be sure that you're getting some true value for your efforts. The reason you might want to consider continuing with an MBA is the extra opportunities and wages that may be available to you:
First and foremost, the contacts you make throughout your education will be of great benefit to you when you start looking for a job. If you're able to offer the top names in business as people you've worked with and studied under, other leaders in the industry will take notice. You may even be sought out while you're still studying, simply because of the reputation you developed as a student.
Secondly, there's a noticeable wage difference between a business administration degree and an MBA. Many MBAs are able to find work quickly following graduation, and their starting salaries are significantly higher (sometimes upward of $90 000 a year) than you'd find without a graduate degree (generally found in the $20 000 to $30 000 a year range).
The Final Word
While there are many shared opportunities for graduates from both business administration studies and MBA programs, if you're looking for a quicker way to the top it's certainly worth the time and effort required to attain a graduate degree.