For many US military veterans finding a new career can be an extremely daunting process. Having to choose an industry sector to work in, creating an appealing CV and preparing for interviews, not to mention the worry of going up against other candidates who you believe to have more experience than you.
Furthermore, record unemployment rates in the United States have hit veterans hard this year, with an estimated 12% of former armed forces members currently out of work.
Fortunately, it is not all doom and gloom. There is a lot of help, support, and advice available for veterans who are looking to launch a new career or even just find a job that fulfills them as much as their previous vocation did.
Plus, you always have the option of undergoing further education to improve your future job prospects and allow you to succeed in your dream role.
For example, did you know that an MBA, currently the most popular professional degree program worldwide, could open more doors for you than you ever thought possible?
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about undertaking an MBA course, including how this degree can help you launch an exciting, lucrative, and long-lasting career.
What is an MBA?
If you are not entirely sure what an MBA degree course entails, then you have come to the right place. An MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is an internationally recognized degree program that is specifically designed to help you develop the skills needed to succeed in business and management.
Not specifically interested in the world of business? That doesn’t mean that an MBA isn’t the right further education option for you. With an MBA degree, you could choose to pursue a career in human resources, using your interpersonal skills, or you could opt for a job in the public sector, with a government agency or in the finance industry.
Really the world is your oyster with an MBA degree.
To complete a course of this stature should take up to two years, but nowadays, you can undertake an online MBA in as little as a year, allowing you to fast track your career and start earning a salary that you deserve sooner rather than later.
What are the benefits of an MBA?
Whether you are unsure about further education or you are not sure if an MBA is the right choice for you and your career aspirations, the below multitude of benefits should help convince you.
Improve your leadership & people management skills
If you feel that you lack people skills or that your leadership technique could do with some fine-tuning, an MBA can help you. This type, of course, will force you out of your comfort zone and require you to delve into the latest international business trends and management techniques.
An MBA is an excellent option if you don’t feel ready or confident in your abilities to change careers as it will teach you the skills needed to adapt to any situation and will ensure that you can survive in today’s somewhat ruthless business world.
Fit your career aspirations
Whether you are not entirely sure what career you want to go into or you have a clear idea of the direction you want to head in, you can find the perfect MBA degree program for you.
Choose from a wide variety of specialties, including:
- General management
- International business
- Strategic management
- Operations Management
- IT Management
- Human Resources
Expand your network
You know what they say, “it’s not what you know, but who you know,” and this couldn’t be truer than when it comes to today’s competitive business environment. Fortunately, an MBA program enables you to make a wide variety of vital connections, including those made with your fellow students, your professors, and potential mentors.
If your current professional network is relatively small or not sufficiently diverse, an MBA is the perfect choice for you.
Earn the big bucks
Although money isn’t everything, it definitely does help. Especially if you have been out of work for some time and have a family that are relying on you to provide for them.
You will be pleased to hear that MBA salaries are some of the highest on the job market, and not just in the United States, but worldwide.
In fact, with an MBA, you can expect to earn up to twice as much as you would with a standard university degree with the average salary for MBA graduates in the US currently standing at $102,100 per annum.
Become an entrepreneur
If you are fed up with working for someone else and are ready for a new challenge, you may want to consider setting up your own business.
Not sure where to even start? An MBA that focuses on entrepreneurship can help teach you how to launch and grow a successful company. Plus, you have the added advantage of having access to MBA professors with years’ experience in starting a business who will be able to help you avoid the most common new business pitfalls and ensure your company kicks off on the right foot.
Access to big brands
If you have always dreamed of working for a large and well-known American corporation with all the fantastic employee perks and exciting opportunities that come with it, then you will be happy to know that many of the top companies in the United States currently hire MBA graduates.
- Goldman Sachs
Arguably the most important benefit if you are currently working but keen to launch a career rather than just stay in a job, an MBA can be carried 100% online. That’s right. Absolutely no physical classes to attend. You can complete every aspect of your course from the comfort of your own home. Plus, most online MBAs are incredibly flexible, meaning you can work them around your current work and family commitments.
In fact, you can complete your degree in as little as a year or around 18 months if you are only able to commit to part-time hours. Plus, online MBA degree programs are considerably cheaper than ones that are completed on-site.
You are never too old
If you think that you are too old to study for an MBA or undertake any further education, then you couldn’t be more wrong. There is absolutely no age limit in the admission process. In fact, as experience is crucial, older candidates often fare better as they have been on the job market for longer.
As long as you have taken the time to think about what you want from a future career and you can explain why it is you want to take an MBA, there is no reason why your age should hold you back in any way.
Even if you are not 100% sure that you want to embark on a new career, which doesn’t necessarily mean that an MBA degree program cannot help you. An MBA degree offers a fantastic opportunity for personal growth, helping you to increase your confidence levels and feel assertive enough to lead others.
An MBA will also help to improve your time management skills and help you to maintain discipline, something that military veterans know a thing or two about.
What potential careers can an MBA graduate go into?
As an MBA graduate, you can expect to command a six-figure salary in many industry sectors, including marketing and finance, with particular MBA’s allowing you to work in specialized and growing sectors such as technology and healthcare.
Some of the most attractive jobs for MBA graduates are:
There is a huge demand for marketing managers in the United States as every business has its own product or service that it wants to sell. Plus, the unemployment rate for this role is very low (2.6% in 2018).
Average salary: $134,290
If you are passionate about budgeting, financing, forecasting, and all things number-related, then this could be the MBA graduate career for you. With an unemployment rate of only 1.4%, you are highly likely to find a suitable role for yourself if you choose this particular career path.
Average salary: $127,990
Business Operations Manager
Are you interested in helping a company manage deadlines and enforce quality control? If yes, this could be the job for you. Demand for this position is set to rise by 6.9% between 2018 and 2028, with an unemployment rate of only 1.8%.
Average salary: $100,930
Big data is the future, yet many businesses are entirely overwhelmed by vast amounts of information and don’t know how to effectively analyze or utilize it. This is where the role of a database administrator comes in. You would be responsible for making sure this data is kept secure and for organizing it appropriately.
Average salary: $90,070
Other career possibilities:
- Health Service Manager
- Computer & Information Systems Manager
- Investment Fund Manager
- Chief Technology Officer
- Information Technology Director
- Human Resources Manager
- Business Consultant
Why choose to study online rather than in a classroom
Of course, it is completely up to you whether you decide to undertake an MBA degree program online or in a traditional classroom. That being said, there are many advantages to choosing an online course.
Not only are the fees for an online MBA often significantly lower than at a university, but you will also save even more money by not having to travel to and from class, by being able to work simultaneously and by not needing to arrange any childcare.
If you are worried about committing to a course of this magnitude, you will be pleased to know that an online MBA can easily be carried out around your current family and work responsibilities.
As long as you complete the set work within the timeframes agreed, you can pretty much carry out the work whenever and wherever you wish.
Access to a supportive community
When you undertake an online MBA program, you will instantly be rewarded with a vast online community of support, both in terms of your fellow students and in the form of your professors and mentors. This support can be invaluable for ensuring you remain motivated and on course, to succeed. Plus, all connections can be useful when it comes time for you to actually start applying for new jobs.
You can go full or part-time
Although you may want to complete your studies as quickly as possible so that you can launch your new career sooner rather than later, you do have the option of choosing a full-time or part-time course. Full-time online MBAs can usually be completed within a year, whereas part-time ones make take between 18 months to 2 years.
If you are under the misconception that online degree programs are seen as less attractive by potential employers, then you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, the opposite is true. People who choose to study online have to be:
- Able to work alone
- Able to work with others
As long as you obtain a degree from a reputable university and you demonstrate your desire and passion for learning new skills and improving upon yourself, an MBA obtained either online or in a classroom will enable you to go far in your professional life.
If you are still unsure about whether an MBA degree program is the right choice for you at this exact moment in your life, ask yourself the below questions:
Do you want a professional edge over other job candidates?
Do you want excellent job prospects, a high salary, and a low risk of unemployment?
Do you want to be able to easily change careers if you so wish?
And most importantly, are you ready to make this happen?
If you have answered yes to all of the above, then you should, at the very least, start looking into applying for an MBA.
What have you got to lose?