It might be time to set your sights on an MBA degree.
In the past, some people have thought that it isn't necessary for those interested in business to get a graduate degree. Others argued that getting an MBA can help get them a better role in their company or help them earn more money. Getting an advanced degree has always been optional, until now.
According to a recent report from the Graduate Management Admission Council, going on to get a master's degree in business may now be a must if business majors are looking to further their career. The report revealed that while students with just an undergraduate degree in business aren't doomed, having that extra education may help turn more hiring managers' heads.
The report shows that while 80 percent of employers plan on hiring candidates with a bachelor's degree in business, 75 percent plan on hiring a candidate with a master's in business. Nearly 60 percent of employers plan to hire a candidate with a master's degree in some other area, and another 34 percent plan to hire those with a master's degree in either accounting or business management.
"80% of all candidates hired have a bachelor's degree in business."
A few bonuses
Earning an MBA can help you get hired quicker, and it can also lead to a higher salary. For instance, people with an MBA who are looking for a job in 2016 will be paid 24 percent more than hires from 2015, whereas those with a bachelor's degree will only be paid 14 percent more than last year's graduates. Getting a master's in accounting could also help you out — the report revealed that hires with this degree are getting paid 23 percent more than last year's competition.
So why are hiring managers suddenly valuing this type of degree so much?
Mainly because of the experience and knowledge that comes with it. Students who gain two more years of business education often have an easier time applying themselves successfully in the real world based on their in-school experiences, according to Dr. Neil Trotta, dean of the Fisher College School of Graduate Studies.
"Undergraduate business majors need a graduate degree in business now more than ever to gain a competitive advantage in the workforce," Trotta told the publication GoodCall,. "An undergraduate degree just scratches the surface; a graduate degree in business provides an education where the students are learning from the end-users' perspectives."
Because of this perspective, students have an easier time dealing with real-world decisions upon graduation. These hands-on skills can make them look a little better to hiring managers when they're compared with candidates who don't have a master's degree.
It's also important to note that many companies are stepping up to compensate employees who are interested in furthering their education. So if people feel discouraged about going back to school because they don't want to deal with loans, they shouldn't worry. Hiring managers are more interested in people who have master's degrees, but are also interested in those who have a few years of real-world experience under their belts. When candidates have both, they're immediate hires.
The MBA has also become a more versatile degree, as business begins to overlap with tech fields. One example is business analytics, an industry that has boomed in the past few years because data has become so important in almost every facet of business and marketing. Because of this, several tech companies are beginning to embed business analytics into their products. As these two industries continue to overlap, having an MBA could be more lucrative at a larger set of companies, not just finance- or accounting-based ones.
While getting a master's degree in business isn't a must for tech fields, it's certainly becoming more and more common.