An online MBA in professional studies is a versatile graduate program that teaches students about the business sector of a particular industry such as health care, engineering, humanities or law.
What Does an MBA in Professional Studies Cover?
An online Professional Studies MBA focuses on the managerial, financial and legal issues associated with a particular industry or field. It should take about two to three years to complete an online Professional Studies MBA degree. Some online Professional Studies MBA schools offer accelerated programs that can shorten the time it takes to earn the degree.
In the beginning of the program, students will take fundamental courses in accounting, marketing, finance, leadership and strategy. In the second year they will be able to choose a concentration in a particular industry including human resources management, paralegal management, educational policy, environmental management, health care management, information technology and homeland security. Near the end of the program, students will complete a capstone project pertaining to their concentration/specialty.
Getting Into a Professional Studies MBA Program
Those interested in pursuing a Professional Studies MBA program will need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. This degree does not need to have been earned in business, but students who majored in something else should take a few basic business courses before applying to an MBA program. All applicants should have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.75, though some schools may have different requirements. Some programs also have GMAT restrictions, such as Strayer University, which mandates that only those applicants with a minimum cumulative score of 450 will be considered. Most colleges also require that letters of recommendation, essays of program intent and resumes be submitted.
Why Should I Get an AACSB Accredited Professional Studies MBA?
Make sure that the school you select is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This nonprofit organization is in charge of monitoring and ensuring that most undergraduate, master and doctoral business programs meet a certain educational standard. Online Professional Studies MBA degrees earned from schools accredited by the AACSB will be viewed more favorably by employers than those from programs that haven’t earned that distinction.
Who Should Pursue an Online Professional Studies MBA?
An MBA in professional studies should be undertaken by only those who already have some work experience. This is because both online Professional Studies MBA programs and traditional ones require applicants to have three to five years of employment history. Thus most online Professional Studies MBA applicants use their bachelor degrees in accounting, finance, business management or marketing to get hired as general managers, operation managers or sales managers before they begin their advanced degrees.
What Jobs Can an Online Professional Studies MBA Get Me?
- Financial Manager: These professionals are generally responsible for overseeing the preparation of a company’s financial reports, investments, cash management strategies and budgets. They also create plans and strategies to implement immediate and long-term goals. It is very important for financial managers to be trained and keep up to date on technological advancements. They must also be knowledgeable about tax laws and regulations that may affect their strategies and business.
- Computer and Information Systems Manager: Computer and information systems managers play an important role in implementing and administering technology within their organizations. They oversee most technological aspects of their organizations by evaluating departments and sectors and implementing technology to meet the goals of those areas. This can include software development, network security and Internet operations. Their job responsibilities also commonly include upgrading software and hardware, implementing computer networks, programming and designing systems, and development of Internet sites.
- Medical and Health Care Service Manager: These professionals plan, coordinate and supervise the services and delivery of health care. They can be responsible for a specific department or clinic or manage a general facility or system. Their job responsibilities typically include improving the efficiency and quality of care. They must be ready to deal with a number of challenges in the field including technological innovations, the integration of health care delivery systems and an increasingly complex regulatory environment.
Top Earning Industries for Jobs
- Information Technology Services: $76,000-$142,000
- Manufacturing and Distributing: $58,958-$105,142
- Retail: $67,407-$102,498
- Health Care: $66,149-$95,339
- Health Care: $44,126-$74,737
- Medical Services: $42,645-$85,200
How Do I Find Online Professional Studies MBA Programs?
Here are some good places to start your search:
- The Economist
- U.S. News & World Report. This business and higher education-centric source lists rankings of the top schools in the nation.
- Online Education Database. This source considers quality of the program, retention rate and cost when describing the best online schools in the nation.