You're mulling a career in business and asking yourself the big question: do I need a Master of Business Administration (MBA)? Whether you're looking to climb the corporate ladder or start your own business, there are compelling reasons to consider graduate-level business study.
An MBA covers all the critical fundamentals—management, finance, operations, marketing, supply chain, communications, human resources, analytics—so students graduate with a solid understanding of business problems and solutions. MBA programs train managers and high-level decision makers to develop a business' vision and forge strategies to realize it.
If you want to get really good at one specific function—whether that be marketing, finance, or analytics—you might want to consider a master's degree in those fields. You'll develop the expertise to oversee critical projects and make fine-bore decisions within your discipline. However, if you want to manage teams, supervise budgets, and contribute to long-term planning of the business as a whole, an MBA may be the better choice.
So, where do you start? We've compiled a resource guide linking to many helpful MBA articles on the Noodle.com site. They represent just the tip of the iceberg in terms of our graduate business content, but they provide a good starting point for anyone considering an MBA program. This resource guide for prospective MBA students points to articles that address:
An MBA requires a significant investment of time, money, and effort. It's not an undertaking to pursue cavalierly. You need to know what you're getting into and whether it's the right choice for you.
These articles help you identify your career goals and determine whether an MBA is the right degree to help you achieve them. Some careers are better suited to academic (as opposed to professional) graduate degrees. Others may benefit from a more narrowly focused professional degree or a certificate program. And some business careers require no graduate degree at all.
Still, there's a reason the MBA is the most popular graduate degree in the United States, one pursued annually by nearly 200,000 students. These articles explain why.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits nearly 500 US business master's programs. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) approves of a similar number. When it comes time to look at MBA programs, you'll have a lot to choose from.
Which program is right for you? That depends on where you live, whether you want to attend in-person or online, what goals you've set for your career, and of course your qualifications for admission. The articles listed below help you inventory your priorities and your assets so you can apply to the right schools, where you're most likely to get in and benefit the most from the program.
Admissions committees are mysterious entities. What are they looking for when they review applications? Is there a magic formula that guarantees admission? Spoiler alert: if there is one, we don't have it (sorry!). What we do have is plenty of insights into how to build the strongest case for yourself in your application. The articles below can help guide you through the process.
The most expensive MBA programs in the United States cost over $200,000. The least expensive programs cost less than one-tenth as much. Across that continuum, students have access to various forms of financial assistance, including employee benefits. The articles listed below explain how to get the most bang for your MBA buck.
Online education was on the ascent throughout the 2010s. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic to push things into an entirely other dimension. Today, everyone who is or recently was a student has experienced online education.
Online MBAs can fit anyone's lifestyle. They're an especially good option for professionals who want to continue working full-time while they earn their degree. The convenience of remote study, coupled with flexible scheduling, means an online program can accommodate needs that a traditional on-campus program simply cannot.
Many excellent schools offer online MBA degrees, including Butler University, Case Western Reserve University, Howard University, University of Tulsa, Southern Methodist University, and Stevens Institute of Technology. These articles describe the online learning process and let you know what to look for in a worthwhile online degree program,
Traditional MBA programs typically seek students with two to five years of post-undergraduate professional experience. Some accept students with no professional experience. Executive MBA programs, in contrast, are designed solely for seasoned professionals, usually with at least ten years under their belts.
Executive MBA (EMBA) programs serve managers and low-level executives looking to ascend to the upper corporate levels; we're talking about aspiring vice presidents and c-suite execs. Executive MBA programs are typically scheduled to suit their students' busy work schedules, with classes held on evenings and/or weekends. More and more are taking their programs online for the same reason.
These articles explain what distinguishes an EMBA program from other MBAs, discusses the benefits and drawbacks of online programs, and helps you figure out how to meet admissions requirements.
You can complete an MBA in general management. In fact, some programs only offer a generalist MBA. Others, however, offer areas of specialization, pursued through elective coursework that you take after you complete required core courses.
Noodle.com has articles on all the most popular specializations and some that aren't quite as popular but should, or soon will, be. Below is a sampling.
If you're interested in a specialized business master's—a Master of Science in Business Analytics or a Master of Health Administration, for example—Noodle.com has plenty of resources on those as well. The search bar at the top of the page will help you find what you're looking for.
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