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Business Masters Degree - Masters Degree in Business

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A Masters Degree in Business is commonly referred to as an MBA or a Masters of Business Administration. It is a graduate program that educates the student in all aspects of business. The program is offered at schools worldwide and is highly desirable by employers. The core curriculum for Masters Degree in business is rather consistent from school to school. It includes courses in finance, business regulations, ethics, statistics, human resources, marketing and leadership. Although the core is the similar, MBAs are offered for a number of different fields. For instance, there are MBAs in Accounting, Healthcare, Human Resources, Marketing and many others, which will offer additional courses specific to the respective industry. The Masters Degree in Business serves to diversify a professional’s formal education. Unlike other Masters Degree programs, a wide variety of undergraduate degrees meet the acceptance criteria for most MBA programs. By combining a focused undergraduate degree with a Masters Degree in Business, the student offers employers a well-rounded academic background. For example, the professional with an undergraduate degree in Engineering and a Masters Degree in Business has an understanding of their specific job but also an understanding of the business needs of the company and how one impacts the other. Hiring managers see this as a valuable attribute.
A Masters Degree in business is also invaluable for someone that wants to start their own business. The student learns how a business operates on all levels. In most programs, students are required to build a hypothetical company. This is analogous to the thesis required in other Masters programs. The project is usually done over the duration of the program and often, students work in teams. The team presents the project to a panel of faculty and perhaps industry professionals at the completion of the program.
While a Masters Degree in Business will benefit any resume, the esteem of the degree is directly related to the institution from which it was earned. That is why choosing the school is so important for the MBA candidate. At the very least, the school should be accredited. If the student has the academic background and financial resources to be more selective, then they should be. Often, MBA candidates are already gainfully employed, which may limit options to schools that are geographically convenient. However, more and more schools are offering online MBA programs. This leads to the next choice that a professional contemplating a Masters Degree in Business must make. There are several different formats that schools offer for their MBA programs. The standard part-time program usually meets in the classroom two nights a week for approximately 2 years. Another option is all day Saturday and Sunday, every other weekend, again for about 2 years. Finally is the online option. Not all schools offer this, but it is becoming more common. This is an ideal option for individuals that have family commitments or live far away from the school. These programs usually require (2) one week residencies at or near the campus location at intermittent points during the program. This is usually manageable for those whose schedule or location preclude them from an in-class program.
The admissions requirements for most MBA programs include undergraduate transcripts, GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test), a minimum duration of relevant work experience, letters of recommendation and an essay. Some programs also have an interest in any personal achievements or community service. The cost of MBA programs vary significantly with the average being about $40,000.00. An MBA from one of the top schools such as Harvard or Wharton will cost about $100,000.00. Their admissions criteria will also be much more stringent. Many large employers will offer tuition reimbursement or assistance for an accredited MBA program.
In a time when a Bachelors Degree has become the standard, an advanced degree will offer professionals a competitive advantage in the job market. It is also an opportunity to network and many lifelong relationships form in the team setting of an MBA program. Whether or not it is a worthwhile investment really depends on the individual, but once earned, you have it forever.

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