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Professions that Require an MBA

Traditional MBA programs and online MBA programs provide graduates with an advantage in today’s highly competitive job market. The business industry’s demand for job candidates that have MBAs from top MBA programs is increasing for a variety of reasons. Headhunters and hiring managers are selecting graduates from online MBA programs and traditional MBA programs because they possess the range of knowledge, skills and abilities they gained from their educations. Additionally, online MBA and executive MBA graduates typically have the focus, dedication and leadership capabilities companies and organizations are seeking in order to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace. While some professions encourage an MBA, other careers require it to be considered for employment. Some of the top professions requiring graduates from top MBA programs and executive MBA programs, include accountant/auditor, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief technology officer, financial manager/controller, general/operations manager, healthcare services manager, human resources manager, management consultant/analyst and marketing manager. These positions and their related position descriptions are provided, in addition to their annual median incomes. Annual income data is shown according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May, 2010. Income and salary levels can vary according to the location, region, size and type of the company or organization, as well as level of responsibility and length of service.


Accountants and auditors analyze financial data in order to provide fiscal information to their clients or companies. Accountants create financial statements, such as balance sheets, income statements and statements of cash flows. They analyze budgets, propose fiscal budgets and make financial and investment plans. Auditors typically examine past financial activities, such as revenue, expenses and taxes to ensure accountability measures are adhered to, and laws and regulations are followed. Traditional and online MBA programs provide MBA degrees for accountants and auditors. The annual median income for accountants and auditors is $61,690.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Chief executive officers (CEOs) determine the strategies for companies and organizations based upon the guidelines and initiatives of the board of directors or principal leading body. Based upon key strategies, they create policies in order to coordinate operations and provide direction to the entire organization. CEOs are the highest level of management and utilize top executives to carry out missions, policies and guidelines to ensure goals and objectives are met. An executive MBA should be considered for those endeavoring to pursue careers as CEOs. The annual median income for CEOs is $204,650.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Chief financial officers (CFOs) are top executives that report to CEOs or company presidents, and are responsible for the accuracy of financial activities, as well as financial and budgeting reporting to ensure compliance with policies and guidelines. CFOs strategically manage all financial activities through strategic planning, implementing and controlling on a day-to-day basis. They lead and oversee activities related to financial forecasting, job costing, project analysis and financing, in addition to investor partnerships and negotiations. A conventional, campus-based program, as well as an online MBA is available for those seeking professions as CFOs. The annual median income for CFOs is $134,100.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) examine fresh technologies and evaluate their usefulness for organizations. They develop comprehensive standards regarding technological programs and initiatives, in addition to communicating vital technology-related issues. CTOs organize, initiate and implement new technology programs and monitor their effectiveness with regard to the goals, missions and objectives of companies. They lead IT management teams and develop research initiatives for technology-related projects. The annual median income for CTOs is$155,809.

Financial Manager/Controller

Financial managers create financial and budgetary strategies of companies and organization to ensure the achievement of long-term goals and objectives. They direct the preparation of financial reports, such as balance sheets, income statements and statements of cash flows. Financial managers and controllers use budgets and current financial activities to analyze future expected expenses and revenues in order to forecast financial position of organizations. Typically, they manage accounting and auditing departments. Top MBA programs are available for those seeking careers as financial managers and controllers. The annual median income for financial managers and controllers is $103,910.

General/Operations Manager

General Managers, oftentimes called operations managers, direct and coordinate the overall operations of companies and organizations. They formulate goals, objectives and policies with regard to daily operations planning. General managers/operations managers ensure the effective and efficient use of human resources activities in order to carry out key strategies and initiatives. They manage and lead operations related to materials or intellectual production, purchasing, sales, promotions, advertising and marketing. The annual median income for general and operations managers is $94,400.

Healthcare Services Manager

Due to the growth of the healthcare industry and the need for expert management skills, healthcare services managers with MBAs are widely being sought out. Healthcare services managers direct healthcare-related services to patients by managing facilities and leading doctors, technicians, nurses and administrative staff. They determine the importance and usefulness of new medical technologies and develop the goals and objectives of facilities, while remaining dedicated to preventive care issues. For those pursuing careers as healthcare services managers, both traditional and online MBA programs are available. The annual median income for healthcare services managers is $84,270.

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers ensure the strategic planning initiatives of top-level executives in organizations and companies. They direct departments and human resources staff to ensure continuously changing priorities, plans and policies are followed. Human resources managers use analytical tools to monitor employee productivity and performance, as well as turnover rates. They administer key committees and projects to improve employee job satisfaction and increase morale. In order to ensure the effective and efficient use of employee skills, in addition to reducing employee turnover, they develop training and educational programs. The annual median income for human resources managers is $99,180.

Management Consultant/Analyst

Management consultants, sometimes referred to as management analysts, monitor regional and global industry-related trends to ensure companies and organizations remain relevant and competitive. They analyze activities, projects and policies in order to determine effective strategies related to increasing efficiencies, controlling costs and maximizing profits. Management consultants or analysts guide top-level executives through challenging and complex business decisions, and may specialize in inventory control systems, job/position analysis or comprehensive organizational structures. MBA programs both online and at campus-based institutions are available for those pursuing careers as management consultants or analysts. The annual median income for management consultants or analysts is $130,390.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers carry out the objectives and goals of organizations and companies by formulating and implementing essential marketing plans and projects. They study and research industry trends in order to identify key opportunities and develop key marketing campaigns. Marketing managers identify the competitive advantage of companies by estimating demand, prospective customers, competitors and market viability with regard to services and products offered. They develop pricing strategies and lead product development, and monitor sales and customer trends. The annual median income for marketing managers is $112,800.