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How an MBA Can Improve Your Promotion and Earning Potential

There’s been a lot of debate about the value of an MBA in recent years. Is it dead? Will microcredentials replace the traditional MBA? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “no.” But that may leave readers wondering what an MBA does offer, especially in terms of a graduate’s career trajectory.


Caryn Beck-Dudley

President and CEO, AACSB International

Recent salary data from AACSB International reveals that over the past five years, the average starting salary for MBA graduates has increased from nearly $77,000 in 2016-17 to over $86,000 2020-21. In that same five-year period, signing bonuses have also climbed, from around $13,000 to $16,600.

But beyond these compelling figures, MBA degrees offer many intangible benefits that can boost graduates’ employability, lead to career advancement, and develop collaborative global leaders. Graduates of MBA programs know the essentials of how to establish a new business, build a board of directors, trade stock, recruit talent, secure office space, access computer networks, source and order materials, manage finances, and market and sell products.

This holistic understanding of business allows employees to move around to different areas of an organization — or even to other industries — more easily than their peers, who might have specialized or have limited education. Thus, their opportunity for upward mobility is increased.

Virtual workspace

Although initially a reaction to the pandemic, hybrid or fully remote work environments are now becoming the norm. Learners must develop the same technological abilities employed in the modern workplace and continue to adapt to rapidly changing expectations. 

Earn your MBA without putting your life on hold. FIU’s fully online program gives you the opportunity to learn from esteemed faculty, as well as network with professionals.

Today’s enhanced MBA programs — with digital processes, remote team projects, and virtual experiences — serve that need. The increasingly flexible MBA formats, some of which can be taken while individuals continue their full-time jobs, enable a more inclusive group of learners to participate. 

Many schools also provide scholarships or other types of support to underrepresented groups to ensure that their MBA cohorts include individuals with a broad range of life experiences. Subsequently, a more diverse set of MBA graduates can enter, or advance within, the workforce, providing the variety of perspectives that businesses seek.

Fostering innovation

When an organization’s employees have very similar backgrounds and demographics — resulting in “group think” — innovation is stunted. Organizations that seek out diverse perspectives in turn get a wider range of ideas, which can lead to more effective problem-solving and greater creativity. Further, organizations can better serve stakeholders when all members of society are represented among their employees.

The MBA degree is changing in exciting ways. Today’s programs are undergoing the kind of transformation demanded by learners, businesses, and an increasingly digitally focused society. At a time when agility and expertise are critical to success, the MBA provides experiential learning opportunities and critical soft skills that prepare learners to be effective leaders.

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