Data from the Graduate Management Admission Council's 2020 survey found that MBA graduates earn 115% higher salaries than their colleagues with bachelor's degrees. Professionals who completed undergraduate studies but are considering going back to get their MBA can select from myriad specialties to build advanced, niche knowledge in their chosen field.
Before committing to more studies, however, prospective students should learn about salary outcomes. Keep reading to learn about the highest paying jobs for MBA graduates.
Highest Paying MBA Careers
Also known as information technology managers, these professionals oversee all activities related to computers within their companies. They determine computing needs, create update plans, change out old machinery as needed, and ensure networks remain secure.
In addition to completing a bachelor's degree in computer and information technologies or a related subject, many employers require these professionals to hold an MBA in computer information management.
Given the managerial nature of these positions, most also look for candidates with several years of professional experience in information technology.
Financial managers ensure their companies stay profitable and financially healthy long-term. Typical responsibilities include overseeing investments, creating plans around short- and long-term financial goals, overseeing other financial staff, and creating reports highlighting financial activities.
Becoming a financial manager takes a number of years due to educational and experiential requirements. Students should first complete a bachelor's degree in business, finance, economics, or a related subject. Some positions also look for candidates who hold an MBA in finance.
The majority of employers expect candidates to possess at least five years of experience in a related financial or business role before moving into a financial management position.
Sales managers oversee the sales activities of their organizations, setting goals for sales representatives and ensuring they are met by providing ongoing training and performance reviews. They also work closely with marketing managers to create strategies for increasing sales.
Sales managers come from a variety of academic backgrounds, including business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Most positions require a bachelor's degree, but some larger companies may look for candidates who possess an MBA in sales, business administration, or finance.
Sales managers must possess 3-5 years as a sales representative and/or supervisor before they qualify for a management role.
Situated within the realm of human resources, compensation and benefits managers develop and manage the structures used to set pay rates and administer benefits to employees. They identify vendors to provide benefits, monitor regulations to ensure compliance, and create budgets.
Compensation and benefits managers usually start their careers by pursuing a bachelor's degree in business, human resources, or a similar field. Pursuing an MBA in human resources can provide the specialized training to work in senior-level positions.
Before becoming a manager, these professionals typically work as assistants or specialists for 3-5 years. Those looking to boost their prospects may decide to pursue certification from one of several respected human resources certifiers.
Human resources managers oversee the administration of companies. They handle the hiring and firing of staff, manage training programs, oversee benefits, and consult with departments on human resources issues such as employee discipline, sexual harassment, and other challenges.
The first step to becoming a human resources manager involves completing a bachelor's degree in business, management, human resources, or a related topic.
After gaining a few years of experience, students may decide to return to school and earn an MBA in human resources, business administration, or labor relations. This can help them qualify for high-paying managerial positions.
Training and development managers ensure employees receive the continuing education needed to excel in their roles. In addition to working with outside educational vendors that provide training sessions, these professionals also lead training based on organizational goals and desired outcomes.
Most employers require a mix of education and experience for training and development managers. Students hoping to pursue this path should first complete a bachelor's degree in business administration, education, or human resources.
After working as an educator or training specialist for a time, some students may decide to go back to school and pursue an MBA in organizational development, training and development, or human resources management.
These professionals are responsible for ensuring the name of their company gets in front of potential and current clients. They create marketing plans, book advertising slots across media platforms, develop promotional materials, and work with other professionals to keep the company aligned to marketing goals.
Also known as C-level professionals, these employees may be CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, or other top-level administrators. They oversee others on their team, create departmental budgets, manage strategic planning initiatives, and work with other C-level employees to maintain synergy within the company.
Medical and health services managers work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare settings to oversee administrative functions. They may manage hiring processes and training programs, oversee budgetary matters, and liaise with other managers on staffing needs.
Whether working in-house for a single company or in a consulting role for several clients, management analysts look for ways to improve organizational outcomes. They look for ways to increase profit and reduce costs, address personnel issues, and create new solutions and procedures that make companies run more smoothly.
Highest Paying States for MBA Graduates
Wages can vary substantially based on where you live and how much it costs to live in that place. For instance, an MBA graduate living in Seattle will likely earn more than one living in Omaha, but they will also spend more on things like housing.
What Is The Best MBA Specialization?
While there is objectively no best MBA specialization, there are individual best specializations based on student interests and career aspirations. Carefully consider which option best matches the job you hope to gain after graduating.