The current economic downturn and sky-rocketing unemployment rates have professionals seeking out new avenues to get a leg up on the competition. Many of these professionals are finding this advantage by furthering their education and getting advanced degrees. One of the most versatile and widely respected degrees is a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). MBA programs can be intense and time consuming, but the rewards often include career advancement, higher salaries (our article on MBA salaries), and improved job placement (which is especially helpful in today’s job market).
For those that can’t afford to take 2 years off work to complete a traditional MBA program, online mba programs are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative. Online MBA Programs from accredited online universities are often highly respected and offer a flexible learning structure to accommodate working professionals or other demanding life situations, as well as a variety of customized mba programs.
As the completion date for an online MBA program grows closer, many students look for the areas of top job placement from online MBA programs. Despite negative turns in the world of business, there are positive projections for new opportunities for graduating MBA students.
How Strong is Job Growth in the Online MBA Sector?
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, between the years of 2008 and 2018, substantial job growth is expected in the areas of
Management, business, financial, and professional sectors. Management, business, and financial sectors are expecting a job growth of 11% while other professional sectors can look forward to job growth of 18%. Growth in the employment sector overall for people with an MBA is expected to reach 18%1 as well. So, where are graduates of online MBA programs most likely to be placed after graduation?
Wind Energy and Alternative Energy
About 70% of states in the United States are currently producing electricity via wind energy. In 2009, jobs in the wind energy field were 21% manufacturing, 11% construction, 5% operation and maintenance, and 63% other jobs.2 These other jobs include financial, consulting services, and logistics all areas that often require an MBA.
Management, Business, and Finance
Not all management positions are projected to see growth in the ten year period between 2008 and 2018, but two are looking to drive the 11% projected increase. The highest area of growth is expected in the accounting and auditing areas of business management, with total new jobs reaching 279,400. Management analyst positions should add 178,300 jobs over the 10 years. This number does not take into account the replacement jobs due to retirement and job loss,1 which will make these figures only better.
Professional and Related Occupations
The professional sector of the employment population typically includes medical and social services, accounting for a large percentage of job growth. Specialized online MBA programs in areas such as Healthcare Management, Project Management, Operations, and Human Resources are all highly sought after in these growing industries. Between 2008 and 2018, graduates from an online MBA program may also find a few changes in the definition of professional services, giving them access to more than 1.3 million new jobs. Professionals now include the fields of education, training, and library occupations. With job growth of 14% in these three areas alone, the professional MBA can also find growing opportunities in the education industry or as a training consultant.1
Opportunities from an aging workforce.
The labor force is changing with a significant shift in ages of working professionals. By 2018, 23.9% of the job force is expected to fall in the 55 and up age bracket. That means almost 40 million people in the workforce will be at or very close to the retirement age; these older professionals occupy a major part of what is considered “upper management” positions, positions that often require an MBA. As they retire, these positions will need to be filled with qualified professionals. Just more than 41% of the job force will be between the ages of 35 and 543.
With age comes experience, but employers want both experience and education. Many professionals choose to take job placement by the horns and complete an online MBA program to set themselves apart from the rest of the workforce. Even if a job competitor has 20 years of experience in a given field, that MBA could be the piece of the puzzle that lands you the job.