Making Your MBA Worth It: Put on Your Strategist Hat

Is an MBA worth it?


Can you lead a promising career in business when the entire world is moving toward tech?


What should you do after graduating as an MBA?


Graduates and aspiring business students often find themselves in a quandary over the highly-sought MBA degree. These predicaments became graver with universities dropping out of full-time MBA market and experts making a death cry for the degree.


The University of Iowa’s shut down its 160-year old Tippie College of Business for full-time MBA offering. University of Illinois, Wake Forest University, Simmons College, Thunderbird School of Global Management, and Virginia Tech, were others to join the list.


Qualms around MBA abound, what we see is not always the truth. Then, what’s the whole story, and how can you make sure the new skills and knowledge gained by you in MBA pay off?


Let’s find out what the numbers say about the MBA hiring landscape.

The demand for MBA graduates is green. Although…

MBA is restructuring itself par with new age demands, with some colleges even offering Tech MBA, MBA with analytics, etc.; and it’s not dying anytime soon, shows GMAC, Corporate Recruiters Survey results 2019.


Companies are hiring the highest in strategy and innovation job functions of MBA – begetting a promising outlook for business strategists


Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019 reports, the newly minted MBAs are scoring impressive beginning salaries compared to new graduates from other disciplines. Companies in the US are offering new MBA hires the highest recorded median annual salary around USD 115,000 – notably higher than that earned by direct-from-industry hires (USD 75,000), and double than what’s scored by bachelor’s degree holders (USD 55,000).


An MBA degree, was and still is considered an automatic entry-pass to high-end jobs, and towering compensation.

Top Job Functions for MBA Graduates

MBA hiring began to strengthen in 2005 and continue to do so in 2019 for new business school graduates. Following are the top job functions for MBA graduates that companies seek the most (in the same order). Employers ranked the need to place business strategists in their companies as the top priority. Here is the tally of the MBA job functions as ranked by companies and employees surveyed by GMAC.

  1. Strategy/Innovation (45%)
  2. Finance (43%)
  3. Business intelligence/Analytics (40%)
  4. Marketing (38%)
  5. Consulting (37%)
  6. General Management (34%)
  7. Business Development/Sales (34%)
  8. Project Management (28%)
  9. Product management (27%)
  10. Operations/Logistics/Supply Chain (26%)

MBA Hiring-scape by Company Size, Industry & Region

Diving deeper into these numbers reveal interesting observations:

By Region

  • For graduates with Master in Management (In Asia Pacific and Europe, consulting is the most common job functions for new MBAs, while in the United States, it is Strategy and Finance.

By Company-Size

  • Big Companies, such as Fortune 100/500, often seek MBAs for strategy jobs.
  • MBA graduates most often fill Business Development and Consulting functions at small companies, while they are sought for strategy roles in larger companies.

By Industry

  • MBA hiring is strongest among companies in the consulting, energy/utilities, health care, and technology.
  • Among Master in Management graduates, the top three job functions for which they are sought include Finance, Consulting and Project Management.
  • Different industries hire MBA talent for different requirements. Overall:
    • Energy & Utility: Strategy & Innovation trumps all other job functions for MBA graduates in Energy/Utility & Technology industries. MBA professionals aiming for these industries must develop a knack for strategizing. Opting for globally recognized best business certifications and learning about practical use-cases and how various industries are integrated, helping graduates gain credibility as strategists.
    • Consulting & Finance: For obvious reasons, the top function of the consulting industry is consulting, and for finance industry is finance. In both the industries, their prime functions are closely followed by MBA graduates being hired for strategy/innovation function.
    • Healthcare, Manufacturing and Product & Services: In healthcare (63%), manufacturing (70%) & Products and Services (57%), marketing is the highest-ranked job functions for MBA hires, followed after with strategy/innovation.
    • Government and NPO: For non-profit and government, the top priority function is general management (40%), with strategy/innovation (38%) function next in order.

Taking Stock: MBAs need to be Business Strategists

No matter how you look at it, the need for MBA graduates to take on the strategist role is becoming paramount across all industries and regions. Albeit the data suggests small companies focus more on operational aspects of the business when hiring MBA graduates, they too eventually look to MBAs to step up as business strategists and innovators.

Coming back to our question, is MBA worth it?

Indeed. As long as you develop the skillsets and strategist mindset. Further, if you come from a top B-School, a lot of things will already be laid out for you. Irrespectively, for new MBA grads, getting certified as a business strategist can unlock profound practical insights into the working of business and economy, and earn them a designation sought by employers.

In MBA, even though the road from admission and internship to recruitment is ridden with facts and business jargons, strategists who can connect business know-how with technological revolutions underway in all industries can be a gamechanger.

So new MBA grads, use these new insights to get hired!


I just find myself happy with the simple things. Appreciating the blessings God gave me.