How To Use An MBA For A Career Switch


Tips on Using an MBA for a Career Switch

An MBA can be especially beneficial if you’re looking to make a career change.

“Switching industries, functions, or both is one of the most common reasons students will decide to pursue an MBA,” Stephen Rakas, executive director of the Masters Career Center at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business in Pennsylvania, tells US News. “It’s a broad-based, well-known credential.”

Shruti Parashar, an MBA admissions consultant at GOALisB and contributor at Forbes, recently offered a few practical tips for professionals looking to jump careers while pursuing an MBA.


Before you even start business school, it’s important to identify what you want out of your career and clearly identify your professional goals.

“Even if you are joining an MBA program it is important to not wait for things to happen but to take charge of achieving your career transition goals,” Parashar says. “Most MBA programs have a rigorous schedule; therefore it is important to consciously allocate ample time to determine the essential skills, knowledge and experience that are required to accomplish your objectives.

Here are a few questions from Parashar to help you identify your goals:

  • Have I identified specific career positions over a three- to five-year period and not generic long-term plans?
  • What are the necessary skills and experience that I must obtain to attain this objective?
  • What industries and job roles interest me?


When considering a new career, Parashar says students should undertake extensive research on the job market as well as emerging industry trends.

“This will help you to tailor your MBA program to meet the needs of the job market,” Parashar says. “If you have a clear researched plan in sight you can select your electives and customize your MBA experience to achieve your goals.”


Mentorship can be especially valuable when you’re starting a new career. Parashar recommends looking for mentors who can “offer valuable insights and assist you in navigating the job market and staying informed about industry trends.”

Here are a few ways Parashar recommends finding mentors:

  • Who are the experienced professionals in my desired industry that I can learn from?
  • What advice do they have for achieving my career goals?
  • How can I establish a mentor-mentee relationship with them?

Sources: Forbes, US News

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