Online MBA Salary and Career OutlookPhoto by Nick Morrison

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Interested in getting your MBA online? You’re in good company. Getting an online graduate degree is cost effective, and allows you to learn on your own schedule. Many busy professionals are taking the leap into furthering their education by earning a degree online. Whether you’re already established in your professional career, or you’re straight out of college and want to get more education before making your mark on the business world, going to school online to earn your MBA can help you get ahead.

Both traditional and online MBA programs emphasize business knowledge, finance, leadership, and management techniques.

Many careers that require an MBA involve supervising others. While business expertise is important, leadership is just as much, if not more, of a key to business success. When you’re choosing an MBA program, be sure that the curriculum makes sense for the career path you’d like to pursue.

Let’s talk about some of the careers pursued by people who have earned their MBA online. It’s important to remember that the salaries mentioned here are median. Salaries may be higher or lower depending on cost of living, financial health of the organization, employee experience, and other qualifications specific to each job.

Project Manager

Median Salary $73,000

The position of project manager is an important part of the leadership of large organizations. Project managers oversee specific projects for a predetermined amount of time. These projects are organization specific, and could be anything from a large advertising campaign to a new construction project. While overseeing projects, project managers are in charge of entire departments and the employees involved with the project. This means that as projects change, the groups of people that project managers work with change as well. It’s important for project managers to be able to lead when working with a wide variety of personalities and work styles. Project managers need to have excellent leadership skills. The ability to keep a team on task and knowledge of how to stay within budgetary constraints and still get a project done well is key for success in this role.

While project managers are not considered upper level management in most organizations, they frequently interact with high-level executives. It’s important for project managers to have high-level public speaking and communication skills. Ultimately, project managers are the ones responsible for ensuring that a project is completed on time and under budget. This means that they may need to troubleshoot along the way making adjustments as they learn the skills and strengths of the employees on their team. Problem solving is key for project managers.

Human Resources Manager

Median Salary $65,000

The responsibilities of a human resources manager differ depending on the needs of the organization, but many tasks are common across the board. Human resources managers ensure that employees get paid the correct amount, on time. They’re in charge of making sure that sick days, vacation days, and other paid time off is accounted for. They’re also responsible for issuing and collecting employee contracts.

When employees have a problem with others or with a company policy, they go to human resources. HR managers may help employees work through issues that they’re having at work, by helping them to understand company policy or facilitating mediations with supervisors or other employees. Since human resources managers supervise the HR employees doing this work, it’s often helpful for them to have excellent people skills. Human resources managers work to ensure that employees have a pleasant, productive work experience.

Marketing Manager

Median Salary $64,000

A marketing manager is involved in the creation and execution of advertising and marketing campaigns for their organization. Many marketing managers have an undergraduate degree in advertising or public relations. Some marketing managers work to promote only a single product within the company, while others are in charge of a full product line or brand.

As companies begin to use social media more and more as their main source of advertising, many marketing managers have become social media experts. Advertising is constantly changing, and it’s important for marketing managers to be flexible and keep up with the latest trends. This can be frustrating for managers who have grown accustomed to one type of advertising, and have to make a change.

Marketing managers need to be data analysts as well. It’s important to constantly be informed of whether a campaign is working, finding ways to adjust and improve to get the best results. Marketing managers need to be quick thinkers who have their finger on the pulse of what appeals to their company’s target market.

Financial Analyst

Median Salary $60,000

Enjoy working with numbers? Becoming a financial analyst may be a good fit for you. Financial analysts help companies dig deep into their budgets and daily operations to find ways to become more productive and profitable. Some financial analysts work with a company’s entire budget, while others work with a specific department within an organization.

While it may seem natural to assume that financial analysts spend all their time looking at spreadsheets, they also spend time working with people and giving presentations. Financial analysts need to be able to talk to employees to understand their needs, and help to find ways to meet those needs while staying within budgetary constraints. Many analysts also give presentations to higher level executives on how their department is doing financially. It’s important for financial analysts to be able to explain complicated financial issues in ways that are easily understood by those who do not have finance backgrounds.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Median Salary $159,000

The CEO of a company is the person who is ultimately responsible for the organization’s success or failure. In addition to strong leadership skills, CEOs also need to have solid business sense, and an understanding of finance, economics, workflow, and technology concepts.

CEOs are typically charismatic individuals who have the unique ability to get others to rally behind them. It’s important that CEOs exhibit a positive outlook, are upbeat, and keep employees’ morale high. CEOs often work closely with the board of directors of their organization, and it’s important that they are able to form close bonds with those who have invested their money in the company.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Median Salary $130,000

The CFO of an organization works closely with the CEO to ensure the success of the company. Supervising all financial aspects of the business, it’s important for a CFO to have exceptional leadership skills and the ability to motivate their employees to perform at a high level. Just like a CEO, the CFO of a company spends much of their time giving presentations and forming relationships with people who have invested money in the company.

CFOs are often responsible for making large scale decisions that affect many people within the company. It’s important for CFOs to have a background in finance so that they are able to fully understand the positive and negative effects of their choices for the organization.

If you’re pursuing your MBA online, you’ll find that a number of doors are opened for you as you further your education. Earning your MBA makes you an industry leader with top notch leadership skills and business acumen. Prepare to take the business world by storm!