A Definitive Guide to Post MBA Career Paths

May 4th, 2020

| Last Updated on May 8, 2020

This is not the first time you’ve come across an article that will guide you on MBA career paths. And this is definitely not the first time you’re reading up online to figure out what to do after your MBA program, right?

But here’s what is different about this post – here, we don’t give you just one or two MBA career path options. We give you details of all the career options you can pursue post your MBA.

So, do you want to become a sales manager? Or maybe work as a bank manager? Perhaps, you can get hired as a consultant! But trust me, the options don’t end here. An MBA can be a great career booster for you and once you have a fair idea of the opportunities available, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Literally.

Also read: Top 7 Reasons to Do an MBA

Be it the sales, HR, technology, operations or the finance department, companies are always on the lookout for MBA graduates to fill in for several open positions. If you are keen to know about the vast career options that lay ahead for you, after you complete your MBA, you have come to the right place. This article will give you a clear picture about:

       1. MBA career paths in the technology field

       2. MBA career paths in the sales and marketing fields

       3. MBA career paths in the consulting field

       4. MBA career paths in the operations field

       5. MBA career paths in the finance field

       6. MBA career paths in the entrepreneurial field

So let’s start with career options in the field of technology. Even if you do not have a tech background, there’s no need for you to shy away from this exciting and ever-evolving field. All you need is the passion for technology, basic knowledge, along with sound logic behind your decision to make a career switch.

1. MBA career paths in the technology field

Just like we said earlier if you do not have a tech background, in terms of education or work experience, it is all right. Take this simple real-life example. You were given a mobile phone when you were 15 years old. You never had to put all the pieces of the phone together to use, did you? No. All you had to do was to use it responsibly and recharge it whenever necessary. 

Your career options in the field of technology after your MBA will be like that – you will not have to do the technical work, but ensure the work gets done. 

Now, let us look at the career options that you can pursue in the field of technology.

    i. Project Management

Are you looking for a post-MBA career path that will enable 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 questions, you could definitely excel at project management. As a project manager, you will be given the onus of overseeing a company project right from scratch. Wait, it gets better.

What if you become the project manager of an IT firm? Or what if you get to manage projects in a company like Samsung or Apple? Won’t this be like a dream come true for you? If you think it would be, then you will be a great fit for this role.

Here’s an example of a tool that might come in handy when you become a project manager – You can assign, manage, and overlook the tasks of your team members here.

    ii. Analytics

 Data is king. And big data analytics is indeed big when it comes to the IT sector. Analytics plays a major role in companies these days. The insights gathered from data analytics are used to determine business trends and to make informed business decisions.

In fact, in recent years, the job of a data scientist or big data analyst has seen unprecedented growth and popularity, so much so that organizations are willing to shell out large sums of money to attract experts into the profession.

So, if you are someone who would like to work your brain to analyze data and come up with relevant insights for a company, this is your space.

To learn more about these job opportunities, read Post MBA careers: Technology

B-schools renowned for technology 

– MIT Sloan School of Management

– Tepper School of Business

– University of California, Los Angeles

– Haas School of Business

– Johnson Graduate School of Management

– Boston University

– Krannert School of Management

– Scheller College of Business

– Knight Hall and Bauer Hall, John M. Olin School of Business

– Fisher College of Business

– Indian School of Business

– Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore

Want to know about the tech MBA programs in the world? Here are Top 10 Global Tech Programs for 2020.

2. MBA career paths in the sales and marketing fields

Sales and marketing careers have always been popular among MBA graduates. There are many opportunities in the sales and marketing field and they make for highly fruitful careers.

Are you someone who can talk and convince someone to buy a product or service? Or are you someone who can come up with a plan to increase the sales in your company? If you are, then you will be the perfect fit for roles in the sales or business development departments.

On the other hand, if you have an eye for marketing products or coming up with strategies to reach out to your target market, you will perform well in marketing roles.

Read on to know about the MBA career paths you can choose in the fields of sales and marketing. You are sure to find a career option that will interest you. 

    i. 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 post-MBA career or give it a much-needed makeover.

    ii. Account Management

The function of a salesperson doesn’t end with finding a potential customer. Most companies have a client servicing team in place to interact with customers on a regular basis and resolve issues pertaining to the product or service

However, the gap between a business development team and a client servicing team is often aptly filled in by the account management team. So, what does an account manager do? An account manager is responsible for constantly generating new business from existing clients.

Since this job entails exceptional communication skills, the ability to overlook the work done by the team members as well as one’s own and the urge to overcome hurdles in the way, account managers are always on high demand.

    iii. Brand Management

Brand management is one of the most difficult segments 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. You also need to be continuously updating yourself with the market trends.

If you step into this playing field, you will be responsible for increasing your company’s brand awareness and recall.

Remember how we all rushed out to buy Dettol hand sanitizers when the Coronavirus situation started becoming grave? A lot of us wouldn’t have even asked for hand sanitizers, we would have asked the shopkeeper to hand us Dettol. That’s an example of brand awareness and recall for you. That is the impact the brand has on its consumers.

    iv. Product Management

Product 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. 

    v. Product Marketing

There is a very fine line between product management and product marketing.

While the management bit requires you to envision the selling features of the product, marketing requires you to know what needs to be done once the product is ready.

As a product marketing expert, you will need to shoulder responsibilities such as creating product awareness, educating potential buyers and pricing the product.

You must have seen the Burger King advertisement, where the brand emphasizes on not using any artificial preservatives while making their burgers. This is a fine example of product marketing.

You need to know about all the marketing opportunities that you can utilize.

If you are interested in product marketing, here’s another career option that you might find exciting – What to Do After MBA: Here’s How You Can Become a Marketing Manager

We had a student at CrackVerbal, Rahul Chowdhury, who went ahead and pursued his MBA from Kellogg School of Management in 2012. He is now the Director, Marketing at RB in New York and he takes care of Go-to-market Digital Innovation, Communication and Activation initiatives across all Home and Hygiene brands (Lysol, Finish, Airwick, etc.) in the e-commerce space.

Now, this is one of the best career examples in the marketing field post an MBA.

Made up your mind to do an MBA? Here’s how you can select the right MBA program.

    vi. 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.

Here is an online tool that will help you conduct your market research efficiently.

If you love studying consumer behavior and are passionate about statistical figures and data, go ahead and join the market research team in a company!

    vii. Online Media

This is another field of work that many MBA graduates now find alluring. With almost all businesses seeking an online presence, an online media specialist is responsible for the company’s online marketing and SEO needs.

An online media specialist needs to prove their mettle in all facets of online marketing, be it web analytics or social media marketing or paid search ads, in order to shine in their career. 

Thinking of specializing in Marketing and Sales? Check out Post-MBA Careers: Sales and Marketing for more information on the career opportunities available.

B-schools renowned for Sales and Marketing 

– Kellogg School of Management

– Harvard Business School

– Stanford Graduate School of Business

– Booth School of Business

– Haas School of Business

– Duke University

– Ross School of Business

– UCLA Anderson School of Management

– Marshall Business School, USC

Want to know about the best one-year MBA programs in the US? Here are the Top 10 One-Year MBA Programs in the US.

3. MBA career paths in the consulting field

Consultants are in great demand these days. They can either be a part of a company’s in-house team or they can be an external advisor. Their main responsibility is to help companies identify problems and suggest possible solutions to those.

However, there are close to four types of consulting based on the area of the problem that they deal with. Here are some of the job opportunities that come under the gamut of consulting:

    i. 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 in an organization, such as the President or the Board of Directors or the CEO. As a strategy consultant, you will have to recommend plans and policies to these decision-makers and work during the pre-implementation phase.

If someone wants to build a billion-dollar company, you could be the person strategizing it. You will have to come up with plans that will ensure that the company achieves its goal.

    ii. Operations Consulting

The scope of an operations consultant is different from the roles and responsibilities of a strategy consultant.

Instead of developing strategies that will help an organization in the long run, an operations consultant addresses current issues that affect the progress of a business.

Remember when the chicken crossed the road, but not to the KFC outlets. That’s a catastrophe that an operational consultant can help companies avoid.

This kind of consulting, unlike strategy consulting, involves working hand-in-hand with the decision-makers during the implementation and post-implementation phase. As an operations consultant, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the business needs function smoothly. 

    iii. Technology Consulting

 A technology consultant’s duty is to inform companies about technologies that they can use to achieve the company objectives. This includes work on IT compliance of the company, data analytics, information security and scalability.

Other than having an MBA, a technology consultant should be adept in the intricacies of the IT discipline.

    iv. 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 to learn how to frame human resource policies, manage people and address their concerns tactfully.

As an HR consultant, you will also have to advise the management on the administration of human resources policies and procedures.

You will have to constantly help the company to develop, revise and implement HR policies in a company.

An HR consultant would ideally help companies avoid such headlines by making sure that the policies and procedures stay intact. 

B-schools renowned for Consulting

– Kellogg School of Management

– INSEAD

– Tuck School of Business

– Harvard Business School

To find out more about Consulting as an MBA career path, read our post on Post-MBA Careers: Consulting 101

4. MBA career paths in the operations field

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. As long as a firm has processors, suppliers and customers, there is an opportunity for the operations team. In short, every company will have an operations team.

If you are interested to pursue a career in operations post your MBA, check out the job opportunities available within the scope of operations here:

    i. Operations Management

If you’ve always liked keeping 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.

    ii. Supply Chain Management

Any company that produces products needs a supply chain manager to ensure that there is someone to manage the storage and use of raw materials of the product and to manage the inventory of the company.

A supply chain manager is responsible for the logistics of the raw materials to the company, utilization of it to make the products and in maintaining the inventory of the company. They also need to maintain the delivery time of products as well.

If you think that this job interests you, you can definitely look to becoming a supply chain manager in a company like Amazon, L’Oreal, etc. 

B-schools that specialize in Operations:

– MIT Sloan School of Management

– Ross School of Business

– Tepper School of Business

– Krannert School of Management

– McCombs School of Business

– UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

To know in detail about a career in operations, read Post-MBA Careers: Operations

5. MBA career paths in the finance field

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.

But, you might want to note that unlike making money, it might be a lot harder to manage a company’s finances for them.

Here are the ample career options you can explore in the field of finance after an MBA:

    i. 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 option.

In such a role you will be working in the Chief Finance Officer’s office of a large company and making decisions related to investments, shares and credits, 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

    ii. 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 consider becoming an investment banker.

As an investment bank associate, you will be responsible for assisting organizations to raise funds for expanding their business. You would also have to advise the company based on its financial assets and liabilities.

    iii. 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 modelling 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.

    iv. 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.

If you have been interested in finance and investments, you would have definitely watched the show “Shark Tank”. Most of the so-called “Sharks” in the show are Venture Capitalists or VCs.

So, if you become a venture capitalist, a business’s potential for growth and profit will be assessed and informed decisions will be taken based on your report. Hence, if you are drawn to wherever money is, this could be a coveted job opportunity.

B-schools Renowned For Finance 

– Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

– Harvard Business School

– Stanford Graduate School of Business

– Chicago Booth School

– NYU Stern School of Business

– Johnson Graduate School of Management

– London Business School

– Indian School of Business

– Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad

If you need more information, read our blog post on Post MBA Careers: Finance

6. MBA career paths in the entrepreneurial field

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 option and the “business mentality” was often looked down upon, times have now 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.

So, if you think you have it in you to become an entrepreneur, you should definitely go for it.

B-schools Renowned for Entrepreneurs

– Harvard Business School

– Stanford’s Graduate School of Business

– MIT Sloan School of Management

– Chicago Booth School

– Columbia Business School

We know that choosing a career path is not an easy task. You need to not only understand industry trends but also know which role you can fit right in.

Now that we have listed out all the MBA career paths for you, it should be easy for you to plan your work life after the MBA. And if you would like to know about any other post-MBA career options other than the ones that we have listed here, do let us know in the comments below.

If you are going to apply for an MBA, you might want to get your profile evaluated. You can talk to an expert and see if your profile is good enough for your MBA application.

And in case, you are someone who has not even begun your GMAT preparation, you can now enroll in our Live at Home Mastery Program. Now you don’t even have to move out of your home to attend CrackVerbal’s GMAT sessions!