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Mapping Your MBA Journey: Popular Industries and Job Functions for MBA Graduates

Mapping Your MBA Journey: Popular Industries and Job Functions for MBA Graduates

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Pursuing an MBA is a great step to building a successful career, but to get the most out of your business degree, you may want to consider what success looks like for you. That starts with knowing what you want to do with your degree once you’ve earned it. Having an idea of what you want for your career is also important if you want to pursue a specialized MBA.

Read on to learn the benefits of earning an MBA in today’s workplace, as well as some of the top career paths available for MBA graduates.

Benefits of Earning an MBA

Even if you’re still deciding on exactly what you want to do with your degree, there are benefits to earning an MBA. Research shows that college graduates are half as likely to be unemployed as their peers and will make an average of $1.2 million more throughout their lifetime.1 In addition, a master’s degree gives you even more earning potential and advancement opportunities than a bachelor’s degree alone.2

Another benefit is that job prospects for MBA grads are abundant. Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2023 summary report of its annual survey of corporate recruiters highlighted that MBA graduates are the most in-demand by global employers of all the graduate management education (GME) degree programs. In fact, 37% of U.S. employers believe the demand for hiring business graduates will increase until 2028.3

Earning an MBA takes you a step further by equipping you with the skills required to succeed in the business world. Individuals with MBAs are prepared for the challenges of working in a modern business environment. But more than that, MBA holders are better suited for certain careers and industries.

In-Demand Industries for MBA Graduates

There are certain industries that will always be hungry for MBA graduates, like finance and consulting. But have you considered areas like tech, healthcare, manufacturing and consumer packaged goods? Let’s take a closer look at these industries.


While news of tech layoffs may have dominated headlines of late, this is still a clutch industry for MBA holders. As a professional in tech and an MBA holder, you can expect to flourish in roles focused on strategy, business development, sales or product management.4 These roles can also come with some higher salaries. For example, business development managers can earn an average base salary of $80,509 and total salary of $117,097.5 Product managers can earn an average of $146,969 for their total compensation.6 And these are just general averages for all jobs in the U.S. Total salary takes into account elements like bonuses and profit sharing.


MBA grads can play a vital business role in healthcare, working everywhere from hospital systems to pharmaceutical companies. You may find yourself holding a role in healthcare management or as an account manager or marketers. This growing field offers a host of high-salary roles for business professionals. A marketing manager for a pharmaceutical company can expect to earn an average base salary of $97,404. With extras like profit sharing and bonuses, the salary total average is $157,966.7

Consumer Packaged Goods

This is a traditional industry pipeline for MBA grads that offers high salary potential. Roles like marketing and supply chain management are popular for MBA holders in consumer goods businesses.8 Supply chain managers generally can expect a base salary of $91,973 and a total pay of $108,283 on average.9


There are a wide range of jobs for MBA holders in manufacturing. As a key industry that has a direct impact on people’s lives, roles for MBA grads include marketing, management, business development, supply chain and innovation. Graduates from Milwaukee School of Engineering’s MBA program especially enjoy fruitful careers in this industry, with Milwaukee hosting many top manufacturing companies, including Milwaukee Tool, Johnson Controls, Harley-Davidson and Direct Supply, to name a few.

Top Job Functions for Professionals With an MBA

You may have thought about the job title you’re aiming for or the industry you want to work in, but taking a more in depth view, it may be helpful to consider what you’ll be doing in your day-to-day work.

Check out this top list of job functions for MBAs that was curated by RelishCareers and Poets&Quants:10

  • Strategy
  • Consulting
  • Project management
  • Business development
  • Product management
  • Leadership development
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • General management
  • Analytics and data science

Understanding your strengths and interests and the skills you would like to develop in your MBA program can be helpful data points for choosing the best program for your future career path.

Grow Your Business and Technical Expertise With MSOE Online

Earning an MBA is an important first step to solidifying a successful business career. The Milwaukee School of Engineering’s online MBA program provides hands-on business management and leadership experience that you can use to succeed in your chosen career. At MSOE, you can choose from four pathways to earn the MBA that is best for your specific career goals. Choose from the General MBA Track, the MBA in Analytics, the MBA in New Product Management or the MBA in Education Leadership.

Take a closer look at what earning your MBA from MSOE can do for you by visiting our careers page.

Ready to pursue a worthwhile MBA? Get started today. Schedule a call with an admissions outreach advisor, or get started on your application.

Admissions Dates and Deadlines

Priority Deadline
August 1
Fall 2024
Application Deadline
August 12
Fall 2024
Term Start
September 3
Fall 2024

Milwaukee School of Engineering has engaged Everspring, a leading provider of education and technology services, to support select aspects of program delivery.