Is an MBA Right for Someone Without a Business Degree?

Although there are a variety of wonderful vocational paths an individual could pursue, opting for a career in the field of business can be particularly beneficial. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that pay is competitive and there are opportunities for raises and career advancement. In many cases, individuals opt to formally educate themselves in order to prepare for a career in business. This is a prudent decision considering the fact that individuals who hold degrees tend to earn more than those who don’t. Oftentimes, people who do not hold a business degree are interested in pursuing advanced degrees such as an MBA yet are not certain if this is possible or how to get started. You may even be asking yourself an important question: Is an MBA right for someone without a business degree? By reading the data found below, you can attain the information necessary to attain the type of professional success you desire.

Individuals without a business degree who are interested in attaining an MBA should know that doing so is entirely possible. In fact, you can have almost any undergraduate major and pursue an MBA. In many cases, schools prefer applicants who attained an undergraduate degree in a technical field like engineering or science. Other schools often prefer students who have degrees in liberal arts, such as philosophy, a foreign language, or English. In other cases, MBA schools may be in search of students who opted for a career-building major like journalism, advertising, or consumer merchandising. Also, there are MBA programs who search for candidates who already have professional careers and work experience. Additionally, some universities might not use an applicant’s undergraduate degree as the deciding criteria when they review candidates. Instead, they may examine things such as the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) score and/or performance in business-related internships. While any of the factors listed above can affect a student’s chance to get into an MBA program, it is also the case that having attained a well-rounded, holistic education that engendered the development of analytical and quantitative skills is often what the individuals who review MBA applications are looking for.

If you have decided to pursue an MBA degree, you should gain a basic understanding of how the program works. MBA programs function by implementing an interdisciplinary approach to the field of education. This works through the incorporation of several different kinds of business courses which will enable students to develop the types of skills they will need to utilize in future management positions. The MBA program is designed for individuals who already have professional careers through which they have gained substantive experience. MBA programs are thus career enhancers that offer students the opportunity to acquire the skills and tools that will be applied in almost any vocational path they pursue.

To gain a better understanding of how MBA programs work, consider the fact that they place emphasis on helping the student develop basic or “essential” abilities and skills. The rationale for focusing on essential skill development is rooted in the fact that the acquisition of organizational, leadership, and communication abilities must be coupled with problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in order to qualify a student to work effectively within any given career field. Thus while the acquisition of intellectual knowledge within the MBA program will be useful and important, successful navigation within the business sector will also necessitate the application of basic skills. It may be for this reason that MBA programs accept applicants from a plethora of different educational backgrounds that are seemingly unrelated to the field of business.

Although MBA programs will generally accept students from any educational backgrounds, it is also the case that individuals who have a degree in business have typically completed all of the necessary prerequisites for program entry. On the other hand, students who selected other majors may find that they have to take more classes before they can begin the MBA application process. The prerequisite courses will generally include things such as finance, mathematics, economics, statistics, marketing, management, and accounting.

In addition to considering what prerequisite courses you will need in order to get in the MBA program, you should remember that the application steps will be unique for each school. Since this is the case, you should take the time to research several universities that offer MBA programs and then familiarize yourself with the application process. In many cases, the application process will involve compiling pertinent information such as GPA, GMAT score, completed internships, and more. Some MBA programs may also require that you come in and complete a formal interview. Recognizing the application requirements of the school to which you plan to apply will prepare you to put together the most competitive application possible.

In addition to thinking about what prerequisite courses you may be required to take, you should consider what direction you want your career to take once you complete the MBA program. Many people refer to the MBA program as a versatile degree as a result of the fact that the knowledge you gain within it can help you work proficiently within a plethora of different vocational fields. In short, any job that requires the use of leadership, managerial, and organizational skills will likely be thrilled to hire a qualified student who holds an MBA degree. Moreover, many of these jobs offer lucrative salaries. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 2012 median income for a sales manager was $105,260 per year (or $50.60 per hour). The Bureau also reports that fundraising managers averaged $95,450 per year (or $45.89 per hour) in 2012.

If you are thinking about pursuing an MBA degree, you should know that doing so can be very beneficial for you. Moreover, you do not have to have a business degree to attain the MBA degree. By reviewing the information listed above, you can begin the application process and prepare to pursue a personally and professionally rewarding career that you’ll love.