A Definitive Guide to Post MBA Career Paths

Last updated on February 19th, 2019

Reading Time: 9 minutes

You’re an MBA aspirant, who wants to have a fulfilling career, post graduating from one of the top B-Schools across the globe. You obviously don’t want to spend money on a quality MBA to eventually end up at the same boring job, take home the same meager salary or settle for less than what you deserve.
 
Now, you’re wondering what exactly you can do after an MBA. Sales? Maybe work as a bank manager. Or perhaps get hired as a consultant. But, trust me, the options don’t end there. An MBA can be a great career booster and once you have a fair idea of the opportunities available, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Literally.
 
Be it sales, HR, Technology, Operations or finance, MBA graduates. So let’s start with Technology. Even if you’re not from a tech background, there’s no need for you to shy away. All you need is the passion for and knowledge of technology, along with sound logic behind your decision to make a career switch.
 
 

Career Paths in Technology

 

 
Once you’ve got that stated clearly in your B-School application, here are the technology career options available:
 

1. Project Management:

 
Are you looking for a post-MBA job opportunity that enables you to put your penchant for technology to good use?
Apart from being tech-savvy, do you consider yourself a born manager?
 
If you’re nodding your head in the affirmative to both these question, you could definitely excel at project management, where you would be given the onus of overseeing a company project right from scratch.
 

2. Analytics:

 
Big Data Analytics is indeed big, when it comes to the field of IT. It plays a major role in gathering insights, determining business trends and accordingly making informed business decisions.
 
In fact, in recent years, the job of a big data scientist or analyst has seen an unprecedented growth in popularity, so much so that organizations are willing to shell out large sums of money to attract experts in the profession.
 

B-schools renowned for Technology

 
– MIT Sloan
– Tepper
– UCLA
– Haas
– Cornell Johnson
– Boston University
– Krannert
– Scheller
– Olin
– Fisher
– ISB
– IIMB
 
To learn more about the job opportunities in this field, read Post MBA careers: Technology
 
 

Career Paths in Sales and Marketing

 

 
Sales and Marketing have always been popular with MBA graduates. The options are limitless and make for highly fruitful careers. These are the most popular career choices in this particular field:
 

1. Sales/Business Development:

 
Who do you think is responsible for the large number of new clients acquired by a company? Yes, it is the sales or business development team.
 
To be able to lead such a team with your knowledge and expertise is a coveted career opportunity. Be it delivering that flawless sales pitch or closing a major deal, your skills in sales can make or break an organization.
 
Getting into business development after your MBA can be the perfect way to kick-start your career or give it a much-needed makeover.
 

2. Account Management:

 
The function of sales doesn’t end with lead generation. Most companies have a client servicing team in place to interact with customers on a regular basis and resolve issues pertaining to the present project.
 
However, the gap between a business development manager and a client servicing personnel is often aptly filled in by an account manager. Account management requires special flare for sales, where new business is constantly generated from existing clients.
 
Since this job entails exceptional communication skills and the ability to overlook as well overcome hurdles in the way, account managers are in high demand
 .

3. Brand Management:

 
Brand management is indeed one of the most difficult roles in the field of marketing. If you decide to become a brand manager, you need to be doubly sure that you’ve got excellent communication skills, foresight, creativity and the ability to work with people across various divisions.
 
If you step into this playing field, you will be responsible for increasing your company’s brand awareness and recall. Along with the afore-mentioned skills, if you’re equipped with an MBA from a prestigious college, dive straight in!
 

4. Product Management:

 
Project management doesn’t so much involve clients as much as it involves the product or service itself. Any form of marketing is incomplete if you’ve not got this right. Again, creativity and foresight ranks topmost in the list of prerequisites for this job.
 
After your MBA, if you think you can utilize your knack for designing and describing product features to benefit your company and your future, product management might as well be the career of your choice.
 

5. Product Marketing:

 
The difference between product management and product marketing is often a very fine line.
 
The management bit requires you to envision the selling features of the product. Product marketing on the other hand involves the steps that follow.
 
As a product marketing expert, you will need to shoulder responsibilities such as creating product awareness, educating potential buyers and pricing the product.
 

6. Market Research:

 
Product marketing remains a game of trial and error unless the market research expert steps in. Before launching any product, comprehensive information should be collected about the needs of customers.
 
It is also important to gauge the tactics employed by competitors for similar products. This is especially important if you’re targeting a new demographic profile or an unfamiliar geographical area.
 
If you love studying consumer behavior and are passionate about statistical figures and data, go ahead and specialize in market research after MBA.
 

7. Online Media:

 
This is another field of work that many MBA graduates now find alluring. What with almost all businesses seeking an online presence, an Online Media Specialist is responsible for the company’s SEO needs and marketing.
 
An online media specialist needs to prove his/her mettle in all facets of online marketing, be it web analytics or social media marketing or paid search ads, in order to shine in his career.
 

B-schools renowned for Sales and Marketing

 
– Kellogg
– Harvard
– Stanford
– Booth
– Haas
– Duke
– Ross
– UCLA Anderson
– USC Marshall
 
Thinking of specializing in Marketing and Sales? Check out Post-MBA Careers: Sales and Marketing for more information on the career opportunities available.
 
 

Career Paths in Consulting

 

 
Consultants are in great demand these days, either as a part of a company’s in-house team or as an external advisor. They help companies identify problems and suggest possible solutions to those.
 
However, consulting can be classified into various kinds, depending on the type of problems it addresses. Here are some of the job opportunities that come under the gamut of consulting:
 

1. Strategy Consulting:

 
You can opt to become a strategy consultant if you have a penchant for making long term plans and devising strategies to help a company grow as a brand.
 
Strategy consultants need to work in tandem with the highest authorities of an organization, such as the President or the Board of Directors. They recommend plans and policies to the decision makers and work during the pre-implementation phase.
 

2. Operations Consulting:

 
What an operations consultant does, differs in its scope from the roles and responsibilities of a strategy consultant.
 
Instead of developing strategies which will help an organization in the long run, an operations consultant addresses current issues that affect the progress of a business.
 
This kind of consulting, unlike strategy consulting, involves working hand-in-hand with the decision makers during the implementation and post-implementation phase.
 

3. Technology Consulting:

 
As the name suggests, this career choice lays emphasis on how technology can be beneficial for a company. This could include IT compliance, data analytics, information security and scalability.
 
Other than having an MBA, it is also essential that a technology consultant is adept in the intricacies of the IT discipline.
 

4. HR Consulting:

 
From recruitment to employee engagement, an HR consultant is considered to be the superhero of any business. As an HR consultant, an MBA degree helps you learn how to frame human resource policies, manage people and address their concerns tactfully.
 
In fact, it is an HR consultant who acts as the bridge between employers and employees.
 

B-schools renowned for Consulting

 
– Kellogg School of Management
– INSEAD
– Tuck School of Business
– Harvard Business School
 
To find out more about Consulting as a career path post-MBA, read our post on Post-MBA Careers: Consulting 101
 
 

Career Paths in Operations

 

 
Just as any business cannot take off without its sales function, it cannot sustain without a strong operations team. The operations function deals with the delivery of a service or product to customers. Check out the job opportunities available within the scope of operations:
 

1. Operations Consulting:

 
An operations consultant finds solutions to questions such as “What are we doing wrong?” and “How can we do things differently and more effectively?”
 
Irrespective of which industry you work for, an operations consultant plays an invaluable role in the growth of a company.
 

2. Operations Management:

 
If you’ve always like keeping a track of trends in supply chain management and logistics, chances are you’ll excel in operations management.
 
Operations management deals with framing and implementation of business practices that help an organization carry out day to day business effectively. Be it optimal utilization of resources or improvement of productivity, an operations manager has to shoulder a wide range of responsibilities, depending on the level at which he works.
 

B-schools that specialize in Operations:

 
– MIT Sloan
– Ross
– Tepper
– Krannert
– McCombs
– UNC Kenan-Flagler
 
To know in detail about a career in operations, read Post-MBA Careers: Operations
 
 

Career Paths in Finance

 

 
Who doesn’t love money? If you eat, sleep and drink money, and if you’re keen on helping a company manage their moolah, you might want to consider a rewarding career in finance. Here are the ample options you can explore in finance after an MBA:
 

1. Corporate Finance:

 
If you were one of those rare students in school who had a love affair with numbers, or if you have an affinity to statistics, you could consider corporate finance as a successful career.
 
In such a role you would be working in the CFO- office of a large company making decisions related to investments, shares, credit, all keeping in mind the company’s budget.
 
From ensuring that your company has adequate finances, to choosing the right source of funds and utilizing them to generate maximum revenue for the firm—a finance manager has to shoulder big responsibilities. This role would also include capital budgeting, hedging funds and making important investment decisions
 

2. Investment Banking:

 
If terms such as “capital markets”, “acquisitions”, “mergers”, “bond financing” and “underwriting of deals” leave you exhilarated instead of flustered, you should undoubtedly think of becoming an investment banker.
 
As an investment bank associate you will be responsible for assisting organizations raise funds for expanding business. You would also have to advise the company based on their financial assets and liabilities.
 

3. Private Equity:

 
A Private Equity Analyst helps companies invest in other firms through various kinds of funding, such as IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) and Equity Financing.
 
This role involves extensive research and analysis using a variety of financial modeling strategies. An expert in private equity manages the investment funds of a company.
 
This career choice involves a thorough knowledge of the different types and sizes of firms. It also necessitates the ability to make informed investment decisions.
 

4. Venture Capital

 
Venture capitalists are responsible for performing due diligence on potential business enterprises that corporate establishments have decided to invest in. Before an investment is finalized, a venture capitalist has to scrutinize financial documents and bank statements of any startup.
 
Based on his/her report, a business’ potential for growth and profit is assessed and informed decisions are taken. Hence, if you are drawn to wherever money is, this could be a coveted job opportunity.
 

B-schools Renowned For Finance

 
– Wharton
– Harvard
– Stanford
– Chicago Booth
– NYU Stern
– Cornell Johnson
– London Business School
– ISB
– IIM A
 
If you need more information, read our blog post on Post MBA Careers: Finance
 
 

Career as an Entrepreneur

 

 
In recent years, the trend of pursuing an MBA with the goal of becoming an entrepreneur, has drastically taken off.
Though starting a business was earlier considered a risky proposition and the “business mentality” was often looked down upon, times have changed.
 
Many working professionals are ready to give up their high-paying jobs and begin a venture of their own—all for the satisfaction of treading a different path.
 

B-schools Renowned for Entrepreneurs

 
– Harvard Business School
– Stanford’s Graduate School of Business
– MIT’s Sloan School of Management
– Chicago Booth School
– Columbia Business School
 
 
So which career path do you want to tread upon after MBA? Tell us in the comments below.
 
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