A Master of Business Administration (MBA) has long been the standard for business hopefuls dreaming of a high-powered management career. For savvy professionals who want to tailor their education in a more focused way — one that complements their background and helps reach future goals — a specialized area of study may be the right solution. It’s an option that allows you to master general business knowledge while honing your skills in a specific industry.
An MBA in Finance is an increasingly popular choice for candidates looking to expand their career options within this niche industry. As with any decision, it’s important to assess the benefits. After all, choosing your MBA specialization is a lot like analyzing a financial investment — you have to weigh the risks and the potential return on investment, and evaluate the short- and long-term advantages.
So, why study finance? Here are four solid reasons why an MBA in Finance may be your smartest investment yet.
- Diversification of Skills
An MBA in finance arms you with an in-depth understanding of the financial world, and gives you a competitive edge in an industry rich with employment opportunities. You can gain a comprehensive understanding of investment principles, financial markets and international monetary systems, as well as budget management for both the public and private sectors. Graduates emerge well-positioned to pursue a variety of job opportunities in various environments, such as corporate finance, financial and strategic planning and investment banking.
- Fast Job Growth
Roles in the finance industry are consistently ranked among the fastest-growing, most in-demand jobs in the U.S. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for financial managers is projected at 9 percent between 2012 and 2022, and as of May 2014, financial managers earned a median annual wage of $115,320.
Likewise, the job growth for financial analysts within the same timeframe is projected at 16 percent, with a median annual wage of $78,620. The trajectory for personal financial advisors looks even more promising, with a growth projection of 27 percent.1 There’s also a very high demand for candidates who have the ability to analyze data — and go a step further by having the business know-how to properly understand how it impacts the bigger picture.2 An MBA in Finance can help land professionals in this highly coveted of candidates.
- High Returns on Your Educational Investment
Of all the MBA advantages associated with an MBA in finance, none may be more clear-cut than the projected return on investment (ROI). According to the Forte Foundation, MBA graduates can expect pay increases between 35-40 percent of their pre-MBA salary after graduation, pay gains of 55-65 percent within five years of graduation, and a lifetime earning potential of over $3 million.3
- Development of Professional Network
With today’s innovative technologies, online MBA programs allow face-to-face interaction and networking like never before. Throughout the course of earning your MBA, you’re likely to establish lifelong friendships with smart, talented individuals, many of whom will go on to accomplish great things throughout their business career. Your peers and faculty will become part of your business network, and many will serve as invaluable contacts over the years, whether you are seeking advice, mentorship or a future job or partnership opportunity.
As potential students evaluate their options, it’s smart to keep in mind that a successful investment is one that helps you meet your current needs and your future goals. Pursuing an online MBA in Finance is a unique option that allows you to stay in your existing role and apply what you learn the very next day. At the same time, you’re learning invaluable skills to help advance your future career.