Interested in both business and another field? Learn the pros and cons of specialized MBAs and dual-degree programs to discover the right fit for you.
Business school students learn to manage businesses.
Many students study management as an undergraduate major; if you’re headed to college, click here. This area speaks to graduate school programs, the most popular of which is ends with an MBA (Master's in Business Administration).
About 125,000 students get an MBA every year in the U.S. Some study full-time in programs usually lasting two years. Many study part-time, working around their jobs; a shrinking number of these are sponsored by their companies, via Executive MBA programs. A growing percentage of students study online (this is often preferred for part-time students).
Graduates of the most elite schools find that the MBA opens the door to high-level careers, especially in finance and consulting. Others (e.g. stay-at-home moms) use this path to restart careers or switch industries. There are solid programs Almost every good program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Admissions officers at most MBA programs look at your college grades and scores on the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Exam). Most students get some work experience before heading back for their MBA; the longer you’ve been out, the more that admissions offices will focus on your work experience.
Most business programs focus on the management of larger organizations; most startups and small companies just aren’t complex enough to justify two years of classes. Further, B-schools are fiercely aware that they are judged largely by the first year salaries of their graduates, and often push students towards those companies willing to pay more in base comp, rather than equity. There are a growing number of entrepreneurial tracks at business schools, but students seeking that path should look to see the track record of business creation by grads of each program.
A faster and far less expensive alternative to MBA programs are short (1-2 month) programs that focus on core business skills such as basic accounting and communication skills.