Change Careers or Job Fields With an MBA

Thinking about a new career or even a new field? There may never be a better time than now. As the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, the unemployment rate in the U.S. has returned to historically low levels — 3.7% as of November 2022. Yet millions of jobs remain unfilled, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Of course, switching jobs or changing careers is never an easy proposition. A new profession may not be as fun or financially rewarding as you think. For example, there is an expectation that changing careers means starting at the bottom and working your way up — just like you did in your current position. But that’s not necessarily true. It’s possible to bring your skills and talent to a new type of business without entirely dumping your current career.

This became abundantly clear during what has become known as the “Great Resignation.” According to the World Economic Forum, a record number of people voluntarily left their jobs in 2021, and roughly one in five workers planned on leaving their jobs in 2022. This trend has led to retention challenges for businesses and a contrasting combination of hiring competition and talent acquisition opportunities for human resources departments.

Seventy-one percent of workers leaving their jobs during the Great Resignation cited compensation as the most important factor in their decision. Yet, workers ranked factors that had to do with well-being, meaning and organizational culture — job fulfillment (69%), personal authenticity (66%), team support (60%), creativity (60%) and others — closely behind compensation. And, as pandemic conditions introduced many workers to the remote work experience, continued flexibility to choose when and where to work has also been an essential factor in the job exodus.

Clearly, exploring new career options is on the mind of many. However, a substantial switch may require that you go back to school. This may be easier said than done for young, ambitious business professionals who want to make a change. The high cost of attending a brick-and-mortar institution seems prohibitive when trying to meet basic monthly expenses and the many needs of a growing family. Few can afford to quit their job and take two years out of their life to pursue an advanced degree.

Fortunately, you have alternatives. Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs like the one offered by the University of South Carolina Aiken can be the ticket to a new career or entrance into a different field.

MBA Opens Career Doors

An MBA lays a foundation of fundamental business and management principles, develops effective leadership skills and may qualify you for many jobs in products and services, finance, accounting and tech. You can also achieve success in government, nonprofit, consulting, manufacturing, healthcare, and energy and utilities fields.

So, is an MBA degree worth the time and effort? According to the 2022 Corporate Recruiters Survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the answer is yes.

GMAC’s 2022 survey found that:

  • Of the survey’s 941 respondents from leading global companies, 92% of corporate recruiters and 95% of staffing firms planned to hire new MBA graduates in 2022.
  • The 2022 median starting salary for MBA graduates in the U.S. was $115,000 annually.
  • In the U.S., the 2022 median starting salary for MBA grads was over 50% higher than the median starting salary of bachelor’s degree grads.
  • In terms of hiring projections, demand for MBAs is highest in the healthcare, finance/accounting and manufacturing industries.
  • There is a trend toward including educational assistance in benefits packages, with roughly 32% of recruiters offering school loan repayment assistance in 2022.

Add Flexibility With an MBA

The business world is changing rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down. This development means that today’s working professionals must be able to adapt, whether climbing the career ladder or changing fields entirely.

An online MBA program can provide a solid base in business fundamentals while helping you develop the critical thinking and leadership skills required in all businesses. In addition, today’s growing economy and low unemployment rate make it an optimal time to consider advancing in your profession or seeking a new line of work.

Learn more about USC Aiken’s online MBA General program.

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