What Can You Do With an MBA?

If you’re wondering "what you can do with an MBA?" the answer may pleasantly surprise you. Because business practices are a part of virtually every industry, an MBA degree may help open up potential career and advancement opportunities as well as help you improve your business acumen, develop leadership skills and prepare to pursue management or higher-level positions.

While an MBA degree can be incredibly versatile, it's helpful to focus on some of its more specific uses. In this article, we'll walk you through some of the things you can work toward with an MBA degree, including careers you can consider and potential MBA benefits in the following sections:

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MBA Careers and Industries

What can you do with an MBA degree? An MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is a graduate-level degree that can help you pursue a wide range of career opportunities. Unlike industry-specific graduate degrees which tend to dig primarily into one field, an MBA program takes a more generalized approach, encompassing a wider range of subjects and disciplines. If you’re still wondering, “What can I do with an MBA?” it’s reassuring to know that an MBA degree can be applied toward many different career options in the business world and beyond.

To further answer the question of what to do with an MBA and help you become more familiar with the careers you may want to pursue, here are some of the fields where an MBA degree can be applied, along with a brief explanation of what each entails.

Business Administration

Business administration is a career path for which MBA degree holders may find themselves readily suited, though it is by no means the only option. This discipline focuses on managing the day-to-day operations within a corporate setting. You may take on a management position to oversee employees, create processes, increase efficiency and help enable businesses to make well-informed decisions that can lead to growth.


Finance focuses on the management of money, particularly through the investment of business funds. A finance professional may be involved in evaluating new investments for a company and play a role in selecting projects and acquisitions that a company should pursue to make a positive return on investment.


Accounting involves tracking money that flows through a business. Accountants and people that work in the accounting departments of businesses not only manage funds, but also make sure that the business’ taxes are being paid properly. They may also perform internal audits that enable them to make recommendations regarding spending adjustments.


Marketing focuses on the branding or image of a company. Industry professionals, such as marketing managers and directors of marketing or advertising, work on creating initiatives that increase the awareness of a brand through strategies like search engine optimization (SEO) and advertising. They may also work on campaigns that are designed to foster greater brand loyalty by helping customers see the benefits of the brand or a product.


Consulting often involves individual consultants who work as advisors to high-level decision makers at companies. Those who work in the consulting field provide advice to executives, often using data to back up their recommendations, and provide insight.

Human Resources (HR)

Human resources focuses on managing the relationship a company has with its employees. HR professionals are also responsible for coordinating employee benefits, interviewing, hiring and running a company’s administrative functions. They are likely to interface regularly with operations managers at their companies.


Healthcare workers rely on business professionals to help keep their hospitals and care facilities running smoothly. Working on the business side of healthcare means making sure that practices are being carried out safely, efficiently and in compliance with state and federal regulatory guidelines, all while providing the highest level of patient care.

Information Systems Management

Information systems managers oversee teams of information technology professionals and help to ensure that the software, networks and computer systems of a business are running smoothly. They are also responsible for identifying when system upgrades are needed to improve business functionality.

Project Management

Project managers oversee teams that work on specific projects and delegate tasks to the appropriate parties. In many cases, they are also in direct contact with the client for whom the project is being performed.

MBA Career Benefits

Because an MBA is a graduate-level degree, it has a number of potential benefits that a bachelor's degree may not offer. In particular, MBA graduates may be able to consider higher-level opportunities when it comes to jobs. In some cases, they may even be able to bypass entry-level jobs when they enter the workforce, depending on the position, employer and specific job requirements.

Other potential MBA benefits that you may experience include:

  • The opportunity to further develop your leadership skills
  • Networking with professionals in your field
  • Getting up-to-date on industry trends and technology

Is Earning an MBA a Good Career Choice?

If you're interested in pursuing a career in the field of business, an MBA degree can not only help you develop interpersonal and leadership skills, but can also help you stay abreast of current industry trends, acquaint you with technology used in the field and teach strategy, negotiation and other important business skills.

What Can You Do with an MBA FAQs

Is demand rising for an MBA?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment in management occupations is projected to grow, on a national level, 8% during the decade ending in 2031.1 This growth rate is faster than the average for all occupations. While this does not speak to MBA holders specifically, it's reasonable to assume that some management-level roles may require or prefer candidates with a master's degree, such as an MBA.

Additionally, an MBA can teach you many useful leadership and interpersonal skills which may allow you to consider management roles at a variety of companies.

What is the time commitment for an MBA?

As a general rule, it takes a little more than two years to earn an MBA degree for students who are enrolled in a full course load each term. Students who choose to study part time will find that it typically takes longer.

Here at DeVry, you can earn your MBA degree in as little as two years and two months, or even more quickly if you have qualifying transfer credits.2

What skills are helpful in earning an MBA?

According to LinkedIn, students looking to succeed in an MBA program should possess these traits:

  • Commitment and Focus
  • Communication Skills
  • Creativity
  • Decision-Making Skills
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Ethics
  • Leadership
  • Logical Analysis

Are there benefits to earning an MBA with a specialization?

An MBA specialization teaches you the foundational business management skills and concepts of a general MBA, with an added emphasis in industry-focused disciplines like accounting, finance, marketing, project management and more.

According to The Princeton Review, a specialized MBA can help MBA students gain more targeted management experience in a specific industry or profession. This can be an advantage for MBA students with a preferred career path.

At DeVry, we offer 10 MBA specializations  to help you tailor your degree to your interests and career aspirations, along with a core curriculum that emphasizes the skills and concepts that businesses may look for in today’s global economy.

What are the steps to earning an MBA?

While each person’s path is unique, here are a few steps to help guide you on your MBA journey:

  1. Earn your bachelor’s degree: Since an MBA is a graduate-level degree, you will not be able to pursue an MBA without first earning a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Choose your next steps: Determine whether you’d like to explore your field of interest by getting some on-the-job experience or dive into your MBA program right away. You may also choose to pursue your MBA degree while working full- or part-time.
  3. Select and apply for your MBA program: Once you’ve chosen the program that’s right for you, connect with an Admissions Representative to understand their admissions process and requirements.
  4. Start your MBA program: Whether attending classes in-person or online, take advantage of student resources like office hours and tutoring to further reinforce your learning experience. 

Earn your MBA Degree at DeVry

Looking to expand your knowledge of the business world by pursuing an MBA degree? At DeVry, we offer a variety of MBA degree MBA degree specializations that can help you focus on your interests and work toward a career you love. Earn your degree on your schedule while balancing work or family by taking classes 100% online. Classes start every 8 weeks.

1Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/home.htm

2Not including breaks. Assumes year-round, full-time enrollment.