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Why Get an MBA Degree?

By DeVry University

January 04, 2022

10 min read

If you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree or are finishing it soon, you might be considering enrolling in an advanced degree program prior to entering the workforce. But which degree should you choose? While master’s degrees are available with various specialties, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) takes a more generalized approach. So why get an advanced degree? People in many different industries earn their MBA to give them a competitive edge in pursuing career opportunities, expand their professional network or meet a variety of other career objectives. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to earn an MBA, and how an MBA differs from a specialized master’s degree.

What Is an MBA Degree?

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. Many professionals in the field of business strive to earn an MBA as their highest-level degree as it provides an opportunity to hone a deep understanding of business leadership, from finance, to technology, to people management. Because it covers so much ground, an MBA degree can be extremely flexible and its versatility makes it a good option for those who want to pursue management roles.

MBA vs. Specialized Master’s Degree

An MBA is a type of master’s degree, but it is different from other specialized master’s degrees that you can earn. An MBA is primarily a business-oriented degree. You can choose a specialization such as finance or accounting, but most classes in an MBA degree program will focus on broader business concepts.

By contrast, a specialized master’s degree focuses primarily on the subject matter of the degree, along with a few business courses. MBA students who wish to become accountants, for example, may prefer to earn a Master’s Degree in Accounting, while those who want to get into the accounting side of business management may prefer to earn an MBA with an Accounting Specialization. These career paths may not apply to you, but consider following this general rule: If you want to delve deeply into a specific field, you may want to consider a specialized master’s degree. If you are primarily focused on business with a general interest in a certain field, you may be better served by earning an MBA.

MBA Admission Requirements

Every school sets its own admission requirements for an MBA program. Some schools may require a personal interview, letters of reference, a minimum GPA or standardized test scores.

Here at DeVry University and our Keller Graduate School of Management, for example, applicants must meet the following graduate admissions criteria:

    • Bachelor’s degree: All MBA applicants must hold a valid bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution.
    • English proficiency: Applicants whose native language is not English must provide evidence of English-language proficiency.
    • Math and verbal skills proficiency: MBA applicants need either a 2.5 or higher undergraduate GPA on a 4.0 scale or satisfactory scores on either the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), the GMAT (the Graduate Management Admission Test administered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council) or a Keller-administered admission exam.

There may also be prerequisite skills requirements, depending on your chosen program. Program descriptions and complete admissions requirements can be found in our  Graduate Academic Catalog.

How Long Does It Take to Earn an MBA?

Exactly how long it takes to earn an MBA depends on your course load, if you take any breaks while completing the program or whether you attend full-time or part-time. If you have earned an undergraduate degree in a qualifying business or technology field, you may be eligible to waive up to 3 courses1 in our MBA program2 here at DeVry, allowing you to complete your MBA in as little as 10 courses1 or as few as 2 years and 2 months.3

MBA Specializations

An MBA can be a smart choice if you are looking for a well-rounded business degree that hones in on, or specializes in, a particular field. At DeVry, our MBA specializations include:

    • Accounting
    • Business Intelligence and Analytics Management
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Global Supply Chain Management
    • Health Services
    • Human Resources
    • Information Systems Management
    • Marketing
    • Project Management

Why Get an MBA?

Whether you choose a specialization or not, earning an MBA remains a highly flexible choice. But what can you do with an MBA degree? Why is earning an MBA the right choice for many people? Here are several reasons to enroll in an MBA program.

1. Pursuing Higher-Level Opportunities in Your Field

One of the biggest reasons to pursue a graduate degree is to open up the potential for new job opportunities. Perhaps you have your eye on a specific job title, or maybe you want to take on more responsibility for shaping the direction of your current company. An MBA could help you better meet the requirements of employers or corporate recruiters who are looking for candidates with advanced degrees for certain roles.

2. Changing Careers or Working Toward a Role in a Different Industry

If you’ve been in the same industry for a while, you might be ready for a change. But how can you prove to a potential employer in a new field that you have what it takes? Earning an MBA can help you develop new skills to highlight on your resume. Choosing a specialization in your area of interest could be especially beneficial, since you will have the chance to gain insight and learn skills that may be required for that industry. Whether you want to get into marketing, finance or health services, for example, a specialized MBA can help you fill in knowledge gaps about a particular industry.

3. Honing Your Skills in a Niche Area of Your Field

Even if you’re not planning a major career change, you might be interested in advancement or a shift in focus to a new area of your current field. Perhaps you’ve discovered that you have a knack for data analysis, or you might have some ideas on how to improve global supply chain issues within your industry. Earning an MBA can help you sharpen your skills, potentially preparing you to pursue a more niche position.

4. Increasing Your Earning Potential

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that, in general, those with a master's degree tend to earn more than those with only a bachelor’s degree. While there are no guarantees, earning your MBA could help increase your future earning potential.

The BLS also cites that while upper-level professionals typically need a bachelor’s or a master’s in their field of work, they may also have an MBA as well.

5. Gaining Soft Skills

Employers often search for team members who have strong soft skills. These are non-technical skills that make use of an employee’s interpersonal abilities in the workplace.

An MBA program can be an excellent place to develop your soft skills, which can include, but are not necessarily limited to:

    • Communication: Whether you are speaking with coworkers or clients, communication skills form the backbone of workplace relationships. An MBA can help teach you techniques such as active listening, presenting your ideas and giving and receiving feedback.
    • Teamwork: No one is an island, and learning how to collaborate with others at all levels of your company, regardless of job title or area of focus, can be a positive skill to acquire.
    • Leadership: Being a good leader is more than simply telling others what to do. An MBA can teach you leadership skills like leading by example, motivating others and giving feedback that is constructive rather than punitive.
    • Problem solving: The modern office moves quickly, and you’ll need to solve problems as they arise. Good problem-solving skills run the gamut from quickly processing incoming data to looking for clues that may not be obvious.
    • Organization: No matter what industry you’re in, odds are good that you will need to work on a variety of different project types. An MBA program can help you learn organizational skills to help keep your to-do list on track.
    • Time management: Time management is an offshoot of organization. You’ll learn to plan projects, dividing them into achievable milestones. You might also learn how to perform time estimates and manage projects throughout their lifecycle.
    • Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to sort through conflicting data and draw logical conclusions while learning to recognize bias and evaluate sources. Learning how to effectively think through problems and solutions is a helpful skill to have in nearly any role.
    • Decision making: Strong decision-making skills involve much more than a gut feeling. An MBA program can teach you how to balance different factors and opinions and make the most logical decisions with the information you have.
    • Adaptability:  Modern workers need to be flexible, adaptable and able to rapidly pivot. An MBA program may be able to teach you techniques for becoming more agile and better able to think on your feet.
    • Conflict resolution: You’ll work with many different people throughout your career, some of whom may have personalities that clash with your own. An MBA program can help you learn to resolve conflicts rather than avoiding them, and to do so in a healthy way that doesn’t damage workplace relationships.
    • Creativity: Not everyone is born creative. MBA programs provide hands-on scenarios that promote creativity and teach you to trust your own judgment while thinking about problems in different ways.
    • Resourcefulness: Resourcefulness is the ability to get things done, even when challenges arise. Learning how to make things work, even when circumstances are less than ideal, can be very helpful in the workplace.
    • Persuasion: At some point in your career, regardless of your industry or job title, you will need to be able to persuade others to see your point of view. An MBA program can help you learn the basic elements of persuasive communication and how to put them into practice.

While soft skills might not get you a job on their own, they can play an important role in highlighting your capabilities as you compete with other candidates.


6. Personal Satisfaction and Lifelong Learning

Humans are built to grow and evolve as we learn new things. If you’ve been settled in a career for a while, you might feel bored. Or you may simply be curious about topics such as leadership theories, project management or entrepreneurship. Earning an MBA can help you expand your understanding of new concepts and skills, allowing you to become more well-rounded, both as a person and a professional, which can help boost personal satisfaction.

7. Learning the Tools and Technology Used in Your Industry

Technology evolves at an incredible pace. To remain competitive, management professionals need to keep up with the ever-changing needs of their organizations. As you progress through your MBA program, you’ll have the opportunity to work with various technical or analytical tools, if applicable to your field. Getting this type of hands-on experience is a great way to show employers that you’re ready to hit the ground running in your role.

Does an MBA Matter in my Industry?

While earning an MBA may seem like the logical next step on your education journey, you might be wondering “should I get an MBA in my area of interest”? Here are a few examples.

MBAs for Technology Majors

If you’re in tech, there are many reasons to consider earning an MBA. While it is true that some companies might only require a bachelor’s degree for certain positions, an MBA with a Specialization in Information Systems Management, for example, can teach you many useful skills. These include, but are not limited to:

    • Systems analysis
    • Databases
    • Networking applications
    • Negotiation
    • Global perspectives

MBAs for Business Majors

An MBA can be a beneficial degree to have when working in the business sector. If you’re considering starting your own company, a Specialization in Entrepreneurship will help you take a deep dive into what makes companies successful throughout their lifecycle, from conceptualization through implementation. Whether you want to start your own company or simply grow your business skills, this degree can help you prepare to pursue your career goals. Things you’ll learn include:

    • Venture finance
    • Entrepreneurial execution
    • Marketing
    • Management theories
    • Exit strategies

MBAs for Healthcare Majors

As the healthcare industry becomes more complex, data-driven and reliant on technology, it needs forward-thinking leaders who are capable of understanding both the big picture and the finer details. An MBA with a Specialization in Health Services can help you learn how to become a strong, well-rounded leader in this ever-evolving industry. You will also learn more about:

    • Public and private health insurance
    • Healthcare analytics
    • The US healthcare model
    • Ethics
    • Healthcare collaboration

Is It Worth It to Get an MBA?

Like anything else in life, earning your MBA depends on your goals and your reasons for pursuing the degree. Both general and specialized MBAs can help you gain specific skills and knowledge that can help you prepare to pursue goals such as a higher-level role at your current employer, focusing on a more niche area within your field or changing industries entirely.

Earn an MBA in as Few as 10 Courses1

Are you ready to take the next steps in your education? For many people, online learning is the right move.

At DeVry University, we offer 10 MBA Specializations, all of which can be earned 100% online. Student resources, like academic tutoring4 and robust career support, can help you as you take the next steps toward your future. Classes start every 8 weeks.

1Eligibility and application of course waivers varies based on the type of course waiver credit earned, the student’s enrolled location and/or the student’s state of residence. For more information, please refer to the Course Waiver section of the Keller academic catalog.
2Master of Business Administration in Management program in New York
3 Not including breaks. Assumes year-round, full-time enrollment.
4Each student is allotted a set number of hours of tutoring per academic session through (available 24/7). Additional tutoring services are also available through

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