5 Hot Jobs for MBA Graduates | Best Graduate Schools

Willard Rich

A graduate degree is not required for most business positions, but it is advantageous – especially for employees looking to climb the corporate ladder, earn a higher salary or sharpen leadership skills.

However, the current job market is competitive, says Liz Chilla, senior director of full-time programs in the MBA Career Management Center at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Georgia.

MBA graduates “cannot underestimate the importance of networking in getting selected and preparing for interviews,” she wrote in an email. Those “that engage with their network effectively are more likely to stand out among other talented applicants.”

Higher-salary business industry jobs like consulting and tech, for instance, are currently experiencing hiring freezes and layoffs, says Lisa Shatz, assistant dean and director for MBA programs at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Naveen Jindal School of Management. For MBA graduates who want to go into consulting, she suggests “finding opportunities out there in consulting when consulting firms aren’t hiring. So that means possibly targeting smaller firms that have a specific area that’s still growing,” like health care consulting.

“As students are looking at MBA programs and thinking, ‘I want to get into some of these industries that aren’t hiring so it’s a bad time,’ I would argue it’s actually the best time,” Shatz says. “They’ll be in school while the economy is coming around.”

She adds that “especially in the consulting world as capital becomes expensive, these companies are holding back on their projects. That’s why consulting firms don’t have projects and are laying people off. But there tends to be a really quick recovery. As soon as capital becomes less expensive and the economy comes back, every company is going to want to put those projects back out there.”

Experts urge business school alumni in the job market to highlight especially marketable skills they possess, such as training in artificial intelligence, business analytics, project management or supply chain management.

“Jobs definitely still exist, but MBA students should be widening their search to think about new industries, companies and geographies in order to increase their opportunities,” Rebecca Cook, executive director of career services at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, wrote in an email. “They should also make sure to highlight any technical skills, experiential opportunities and really anything that helps showcase that they have developed some of the skills that the potential employer is looking for.”

Here are five career paths where an MBA is advantageous and salaries are generally on the higher end. Most of these positions excelled in the U.S. News Best Jobs rankings, which evaluates jobs using compensation statistics, unemployment figures, job growth forecasts and measurements of on-the-job stress and work-life balance.

Hot Jobs for MBA Graduates

  • Human resources manager
  • Information technology, or IT, manager
  • Medical and health services manager
  • Operations research analyst
  • Personal financial advisor

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers oversee employee benefit programs and the overall hiring process of a company or organization. Other job responsibilities often include mediating disputes in the workplace and advising other managers on issues such as equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment.

The median annual pay for a human resources manager in the U.S. was $130,000 in May 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2032, the number of jobs for these professionals is expected to be 5% higher – slightly above the average job growth estimate for all U.S. occupations, which is 3%.

Information Technology, or IT, Manager

The software and technology sectors continue to expand rapidly, especially as they relate to AI, and companies in other industries are increasingly relying on programming and automation.

A company’s secured network has also become one of its most important assets and must be protected against hackers.

IT managers, or computer and information systems managers, are responsible for ensuring that a company’s technical tools work well and that the firm relies on best-in-class technology. Their median annual U.S. salary was $164,070 in May 2022, according to the BLS, which predicts that employment in this field will be 15% higher in 2032 than it was in 2022.

Medical and Health Services Manager

Health care organizations face tremendous logistical challenges – worsened by the coronavirus pandemic – and continue to need skilled managers to meet them.

Medical and health services managers run various types of health care facilities, and their jobs involve maximizing quality while minimizing cost. They must maintain meticulous records and help make sure their organization complies with many regulations.

The median annual salary among these professionals was $104,830 as of May 2022, according to the BLS, which predicts that employment in this field will be 28% higher in 2032 than it was 10 years prior.

Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts help identify and solve problems within an organization, which typically involves collecting data and interviewing clients or employees.

The median annual pay for U.S. operations research analysts in May 2022 was $85,720, according to the BLS, and the number of jobs will likely be 23% higher in 2032 than it was in 2022.

Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors offer advice on investments, taxes, retirement, insurance, mortgages and estate planning to help clients determine their short- and long-term financial goals. Many are licensed to buy and sell financial products, such as insurance policies, stocks and bonds.

The median annual wage among U.S. personal financial advisors in May 2022 was $95,390, according to the BLS, and the number of jobs will likely be 13% higher in 2032 than it was in 2022.

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