What exactly do MBA graduates do at work after business school?

Before we address this burning question, let’s begin with exploring why MBA…Why do people get into MBA programs? You have applicants coming in from all walks of professions, feeding into MBA programs and coming out, on the other end, many years ahead in securing a cushy executive position. Of course, the requirement for it to be a reputed business school is a given, in this discussion.

Applicants walking into an MBA classroom have qualifications in science, technology, consulting, finance, media and even military. They are adept at taking on challenges that only someone with a detailed knowledge of the field can handle.

But after a few years of burning the midnight oil – or in post Edison world, the office bulb – the challenges seem to dim down, while the career progression seems to gradually flat out. In fact, here are the top few reasons why engineers overwhelmingly favor MBA degrees after a few years of technical work experience (Read Why MBA after Engineering?).

  • Software engineers often suffer a feeling of being lost in the million techies sea, their professional presence unable to rise above the unrecognizable.
  • The rather slow moving career paths make managerial roles, in the non-IT engineering companies, excruciatingly slow. They often rely on the tenure based promotion system, making deserving employees wait 15-20 years before they can see the insides of a corner office.
  • Assuming a managerial role requires business skills, that are thoroughly lacking in our engineering programs. With an MBA, you can combine the already existing analytical skills with the strategic & qualitative training obtained during an MBA. A quality often much appreciated, and rewarded, by employers.
  • MBA also provides a release from the narrow technical application of ones’ knowledge, moving them on to more versatile business skills. It is, thus, an excellent means to not only enhance, but also change ones’ career direction.

 

But how does an MBA training, in the business school, help build your career?

What comes with an MBA is the essential preparation to manage businesses. But besides the various analytical, quantitative, qualitative and strategic training, there are certain skills, that are an integral part of the MBA curriculum, that have become indispensable to any organization. Let’s list them out.

  • Leadership: The course structure is designed for group activities, encouraging students to partake not just as observers, but rather by displaying their leadership qualities when working in teams.
  • Communication – Interpersonal and Public Speaking: MBA is designed to train their students to become gifted in verbal and written business communication. Managers are constantly having to build a bridge between their team and their clients. Business acumen requires the ability to understand and express technical points of view. Even the art pf public speaking, a quality so important for leaders, comes directly from their classroom structure of peer to peer learning, participating in case studies.
  • Problem Solving: Problem solving is second nature to MBA graduates owing to their case study course method. And no employer can dismiss this skill as something they would rarely require. Well trained MBA graduates are masters in taking on each situation, analyzing and developing solutions, something they would have been trained to do everyday in their classrooms.
  • Risk Management: A leader averse to taking risks, in fear of failures, stunts the growth of an organization. A good leader, however, is fearless in taking educated risks while being peerless in securing the health of his organization, and his team, when facing failure. Risk Management is a real thing, training to analytically think of solutions that are cost effective, quality controlled and with minimum fallouts.
  • Business and Technical understanding: MBA students understand the functioning of entire businesses, from production, development, financing, marketing to managing the human resources. They are also aware of the technical face of a business – from business softwares, production tools to equipments that are part of any organization. Their all round omnipotent influence is key to why companies don’t fall apart, an inevitable consequence of an uncoordinated machine.

With these, and additional powers of networking and managing the reigns of a smooth functioning business, MBA graduates go on to save the world taking on the following roles.
 

What work do MBAs do after business school?

Here are some popular job roles taken up by MBA graduates.
 

Banking and Finance

MBAs play the investment gurus working in banks, insurance companies and other financial organizations. However, most investment banking, or private equity, jobs are usually reserved for candidates with banking experience prior to their MBA. Nevertheless, MBA, with finance, does add quite a nice touch in the profile of applicants looking to find a position in corporate development, hedge funds or security firms, bringing the knowledge of investment analysis and portfolio management they have acquired in their courses. Ones’ training in leadership, risk management and problem solving plays in when it comes to creating strategies to make people money, by taking their money. For further insights, read:

 

Venture Capitalist

In the same genre, MBA graduates do find jobs in venture capitals, providing technical advice regarding which start up to invest in. It is quite useful to have prior experience in an industry that venture capitalists are interested in, thus capitalizing on ones’ core knowledge, with the additional acumen of business through ones’ MBA.

 

Business Analyst

At the end of an MBA degree, a student is well aware of what it takes to make businesses run. With a business analytics specialization, they are able to see data as an analytical tool to understand the constantly evolving needs of a business. MBAs usually flourish at this job, establishing their career development by leading business operations, and strategies, based on their data analytical skills. Leadership, technical, business, problem solving and risk management skills play a huge role in accomplishing a successful career as an analyst.

 

Product Manager

While the role may be applicable to products in any industry, in the MBA world dominated by technology professionals, it is a common path chosen by techies to move into a management level in the leading tech companies. It calls for a combination of managerial and technical skills. Read up more in the articles below.

 

Entrepreneur

A no brainer – not the job but the fact that MBAs are a natural aid in starting a business. Besides having a coursework designed as a mini-startup, the MBA course structure also provides an initial back up so missing in the case of non MBA entrepreneurs. College mentorship, technical resources and, in some cases, even recommendations to investors within the college community can help to kick start ones’ start-up venture.

 

Management Consultant

These are the corporate problem solvers. They understand the ins and outs of organizations, providing ideas to resolve issues to improve their performance. Clearly, there is a lot of emphasis on the technical business training and the problem solving skills acquired through the degree.

 

Human Resource

Interpersonal and people skills come in handy in managing people in an organization. Human Resource managers are indispensable when it comes to managing the most important resource of all, people. They are skilled in workforce welfare, without which no amount of financing, or technical expertize, can create a well oiled machine.

– Human Resource Management: HR jobs and Careers – Part 1 & Part 2
 
While professing the goodness of an MBA degree, we cannot leave the discussion without mentioning how subjective the need of the degree is. What’s good for the goose may not be good for the gander who doesn’t want to be involved in the administration aspect of an organization.

Research your options and more importantly, understand your own nature whether your idea of career enhancement favors a purely academic pursuit or a range of opportunities from a business administration role to a combination of your core subject and your business bend. ‘Coz while an MBA may be a right answer for the later, it is certainly not advisable in the former.

An MBA, from a good business school, can only bring out the manager, the banker, or the analytical investor, in you, not create one if your personality prefers to be miles away.

Meanwhile, here’re some links for a quick education.

 
Sources:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8


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Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin
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8 Comments

  1. Apoorba says:

    What is the difference between international full time MBA and Executive MBA

  2. Mohit Singh says:

    Hi sir , can you please guide me what kind of jobs is there in finance with required skills.

  3. Naveen says:

    Could you please say which is best B School in India, UK, US?

  4. Rashid sisodiya says:

    Whatever you wrote it’s good but I believe that to do a MBA from well known college it’s not the only way to make your career in corporate, I mean I am also doing MBA but my college is not well known it doesn’t mean that that I am wasting my time and I can not make my career wthat you think about this?

  5. samta datta says:

    Hi sameer,

    i am 15 years experience professional in advertising and marketing. Currently at a Vice President in a worldwide renowned company. however i want to boost and Reboot my career into Consulting, post a MBA from suitable colleage. Do you recommend this? if so what are the best suited collages in world? i dont want to do an off campus EMBA? pls suggest

  6. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Apoorba: We’ve explained the difference here:
    https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2012/10/04/executive-mba-in-india/

    @Naveen: You’ll find the list of the top bschools across the world here:
    http://www.mbacrystalball.com/business-schools

    @Rashid: Sure, it doesn’t have to be a top school. As long as it’s well-respected in the region you want to work in, and the quality of education is good, you should be able to get enough value from it.

    @Samta: You’ll find several ideas in this post and the stories at the end:
    https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2012/11/13/mba-age-over-30-too-old-for-bschool/

  7. Sibani Saha says:

    Hi. I’m 18 years old . I have just completed class 12th Exam . Now my parents want me to do MBA course . I’m totally a fresher in this topic . So could you please guide me that what course should I do in MBA and what are important things do I need to do MBA and secure my carrier after MBA ?

  8. Ram says:

    Hi This is an advise from me, Before choosing an MBA degree its really important to know in which sector is your strength is eg. Marketing, finance, HR etc.
    I wasted 4 yrs of my life doing different kinds of jobs and not settling in one .
    So its really important that you chose a correct path and follow that stream towards success.
    just shared my experience.
    Thank you.

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