Business graduate programs growing in popularity

  • An MBA can help professionals stand out from their peers.
    An MBA can help professionals stand out from their peers.

    Business graduate programs growing in popularity

    Students might seek an advanced degree to gain necessary skills for their career field. They also may pursue graduate school to network with other professionals and stand out from their peers. In some cases, advanced study is even required for their desired position. Regardless of their reasons for earning a graduate degree, there are certain programs that are more popular than others. A 2013 report from the U.S. Department of Education showed that the MBA is the most popularly pursued advanced degree.

    “The MBA has moved up in the rankings over the years.”

    By the numbers
    While the Master of Education used to hold the title for most popular advanced degree, the MBA has moved up in the rankings over the years. Poets and Quants, an online resource for those seeking information about business school, explained that, for the first time, more people are attending graduate school for business purposes than ever before. In fact, in 2012, 25.4 percent of all graduates who earned master’s degrees were those enrolled in an MBA program.

    “Businesses have grown enormously in complexity and scope, and more than ever, they need ethical, skilled, well-educated, creative leaders who are global in outlook,” Paul Danos, dean of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, told the news source. “Business education in general and the great MBA programs in particular have adapted as these demands have grown, perhaps better than any other form of advanced education.”

    Still, those seeking a Master of Education are a close second, making up 23.6 percent of the pool of graduate degrees. The next most popular is an advanced degree for health professionals that only makes up 11.1 percent of the total.

    What this means
    The previous popularity of the Master of Education could have been due in part to state requirements that call for the advanced degree. In the case of the MBA, however, it’s not necessarily required for a career in business, but can accelerate professional growth and help open doors to management roles. The degree can benefit those in all areas of business, including marketing, finance, healthcare management, human resources and more.

    Specifically, those pursuing a career as a financial manager may be expected to have the advanced degree under their belt. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increasing number of employers are starting to require upper-level finance candidates to have an MBA. The program can help professionals learn certain technical and reporting skills necessary for the changing job requirements of financial management.

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