A business degree is the most popular degree for both bachelor’s and master’s degree students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics1. So what makes business such a popular discipline? For starters, business offers a wide variety of sub-disciplines such as management, finance and marketing that appeal to many types of students. Also, a business career can provide vast opportunity for income and growth, starting from an entry-level job all the way to a senior executive position. Thinking about an MBA or bachelor's in business? Learn about:
So, get started with your business career today. If you need help financing your degree, consider a SunTrust private student loan.
A common question among potential MBA students is “Is an MBA really worth it?” The answer is, “it depends.” If you want to get an advanced degree to get a better job and increase your earnings potential, an MBA could be a great choice. Find out what's involved with getting an MBA.
There are many types of MBA students, from recent grads to seasoned business managers with years of experience. Fortunately, there are a variety of MBA programs to accommodate these different kinds of students.
The following are the main steps to getting an MBA:
Steps to getting an MBA
1. Be sure an MBA is the right choice for you
2. Decide on the MBA program type that fits your lifestyle and background
3. Research programs and learn about the admission requirements
4. Take the GMAT or GRE
5. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
6. Brush up on your essay writing and interview skills
7. Explore funding options
On a salary level, getting a business masters may indeed be worth your while. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that sales, marketing and management professionals who get a master’s degree can see an almost 40-90% salary increase over those with a bachelor’s. Here are selected business occupations in which workers with a master's degree earned a premium over workers with a bachelor's degree.
|Occupation||Median annual wage: bachelor's degree||Median annual wage: master's degree||Wage premium amount5 & percent|
|Securities, commodities and financial services sales agents||$90,000||$170,000||$80,000
|Market research analysts and marketing specialists||$65,000||$90,000||$25,000
|Marketing & sales managers||$80,000||$110,000||$30,000
|Transportation, storage and distribution managers||$62,000||$90,000||$28,000
|Property, real estate and community association managers||$56,000||$76,000||$20,000
An MBA education has a high price tag, which is one reason some people debate if it’s a good investment in their future. The consensus is that it usually is. In a 2017 survey of recent MBA graduates published by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), it showed that 95% of those earning an MBA regarded their degree as a good to outstanding value.6
Business students should first look for scholarships and grants, then federal aid, and finally private student loans.
Here are some of the places you can find these scholarships:
Employer assistance for MBAs
Sometimes employers fund the ongoing education of their employees, particularly in an Executive MBA program, as part of their benefits package. If you are currently working, check with your Human Resources department to see if there are tuition reimbursement programs.
The federal government is one of the best sources of student aid, giving out billions in both need-based and non-need-based student loans and grants. To apply for federal aid, you will need to fill out the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Private Student Loans
If you’ve looked at other financing sources and you still need more money for school, a private student loan could be the way to fill in the gap. SunTrust offers private student loans for undergraduates and graduate students, including those in business programs. Compare our private student loans.
Why do so many undergrads gravitate to business? Along with there being many business jobs in the workforce, perhaps one reason so many students choose business as their major is that right out of undergraduate school, business grads have among the highest starting salaries after Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) degrees, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Link opens a new window.
|Bachelor's Degree||Class of 2016 Median First Year Starting Salary|
Computer and Information Sciences
Mathematics and Statistics
Liberal Arts and Humanities
Visual and Performing Arts
Getting a business major provides training for many different types of positions. Within the field of business, there are a wide range of job types to choose from. So whether you enjoy crunching numbers like an accountant or working directly with people like a training representative, there is probably a business job for you. Not sure which area of business you are interested in? Here are a few of the common non-manager business occupations and brief descriptions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)3:
|Occupation||Brief Job Description|
|Accountants and Auditors||Prepare and examine financial records.|
|Appraisers of Real Estate||Provide a value estimate on land and buildings.|
|Claims Administrators||Evaluate insurance claims.|
|Financial Analysts||Provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions, assessing the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.|
|Fundraisers||Organize events and campaigns to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization.|
|Human Resources Specialists||Recruit, screen, interview, and place workers.|
|Insurance Underwriters||Decide whether to provide insurance, and under what terms.|
|Loan Officers||Evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses.|
|Logisticians||Analyze and coordinate an organization’s supply chain—from supplier to consumer.|
|Market Research Analysts||Study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service.|
|Event Planners||Coordinate all aspects of events and professional meetings.|
|Personal Financial Advisors||Provide advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement to help individuals manage their finances.|
|Purchasing Agents||Buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. Purchasing managers oversee the work of buyers and purchasing agents.|
|Training and Development Specialists||Help plan, conduct, and administer programs that train employees and improve their skills and knowledge.|
Important InformationThis content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
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1 Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Fast Facts: Most Popular Majors (2013-14).
2 Source: National Association of Colleges and EmployersLink opens a new window, Spring 2017 Salary Survey, Bachelor’s Degrees/Starting Salary by Academic Major.
3 Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, Business and Financial Operations.
4 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Should I get a master’s degree? (September 2015).
5 The wage premium represents the wage increase for workers with a master's degree over that for workers with a bachelor's degree in the occupation.
6 Source: Graduate Management Admission Council: 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report.
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