What Employers Are Looking For In MBA Grads

Unconventional Career Paths for MBAs

Management consultant. Marketing manager. Investment banker. Financial advisor.

These are the traditional and common sought-after jobs for MBA grads, according to the American Marketing Association.

Yet, the MBA is a versatile degree that can lead to a number of career paths.

Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, recently discussed a few nontraditional jobs that are suitable for MBAs.

Data Analytics

Big data is everything in today’s digital world. And for MBAs, it’s now an option for a potential career path.

Greg Caiola, a Wharton grad and Data Science Consultant at ZS Associates, says securing a job in data analytics is difficult, but possible.

“Unlike other MBA careers, a career in data and analytics will require significant research and networking on your end,” Caiola says in an interview with Wharton. “That being said – the jobs are there and the connections are there, you just have to put in the work to find them.”

For MBAs seeking jobs in data analytics, it may be wise to enroll in courses on predictive modeling, according to US News. Having data-driven decision-making can make you a particularly competitive candidate.

Higher Education Management

Higher education is constantly reinventing how students learn. With a number of institutions experimenting with online learning, MBAs who can measure the effectiveness of nontraditional learning can be attractive candidates to universities.

“Higher education is going through a huge transformation, and I think there is definitely an opportunity for MBAs there,” Kristen Sosulski, a clinical associate professor of information, operations and management sciences at New York University’s Stern School of Business, tells US News. “I think there’s opportunity both on the analytical side and on the marketing and finance side.”

Fashion, Sports, and Entertainment

Like any industry, the fashion, sports, and entertainment industries need workers who can analyze what types of products and services sell.

Cara Withers Shaw, the founder and president of Briteboard Marketing, tells US News that MBAs are highly valuable in the film industry.

Shaw, an MBA grad from Pepperdine who went on to hold marketing jobs with Twentieth Century Fox and Walt Disney, says her MBA was critical in giving her quantitative and qualitative analytical skills needed to determine which movies would most likely become box office hits.

While an MBA can be beneficial to many traditional routes, it doesn’t mean grads are limited to just those career paths.

Be sure to check out the full list of nontraditional MBA jobs at US News.

Sources: US News, Wharton, American Marketing Association.

Comments or questions about this article? Email us.