Five Benefits of Studying an MBA


MBA graduates view their educational experiences in an overwhelmingly positive light. Eighty-seven percent of respondents to a Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) survey reported positive returns on their educational investments. This satisfaction came from improved employability (87%) and preparation for leadership positions (77%).

A fulfilling and challenging experience is one of the many benefits of online MBA programs. Aspiring executives and innovators raise their career ceilings through graduate business education. Let’s focus on five benefits of online MBA programs for your career.


1. Develop Skills for a Changing Global Economy

Professionals answering the question, “What are the benefits of an MBA program?” should start by learning what skills are in demand. Early career experiences and undergraduate business education lay the foundations for future success. MBA programs build interpersonal skills and advanced knowledge necessary for adaptable leadership.

Bloomberg Businessweek surveyed corporate recruiters about the top skills sought from MBA graduates. The top five skills listed below are the focus of rigorous and collaborative MBA programs:

  • Problem-solving skills (17.2%)
  • Communication skills (15.4%)
  • Work collaboratively in teams (14%)
  • Leadership skills (12.4%)
  • Entrepreneurial mindset and passion (10.5%)

One of the benefits of online MBA programs is learning skills that are relevant for today and tomorrow. For example, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 20th CEO Survey found that 77% of respondents had difficulty finding staff with creativity and innovation skills. 

Online MBA programs build these skills through real-world case studies and other experiential exercises. Graduates understand how to approach business challenges from new and unconventional angles thanks to this work.


2. Build International Connections

Another benefit of online MBA programs is networking with faculty and colleagues around the world. In-person MBA programs attract diverse students but the challenges of studying abroad limit the number of international students. These limitations don’t exist for many online MBA programs, fostering global collaboration among emerging innovators.

Online MBA students expand their horizons through conversations with international peers and faculty. Case studies and research projects build close relationships on equal footing without concern for borders. An international network also opens future possibilities for partnerships and referrals in new markets.

The value of a global business view is reinforced by the responses to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 20th CEO Survey. Seventy-four percent of CEOs said they look for the best available talent no matter their location or demographics. Business leaders are looking for managers and executives who combine MBA-level skills with insights into the global economy.



3. Anticipate Future Career Possibilities

There isn’t a surefire path to leadership positions in the business world. Recent research from the CEO Genome Project, however, indicates the most likely paths to executive roles. Sixty percent of the 2,600 executives studied during the 10-year project took non-linear paths into leadership by:

  • Making the risky move to lead new divisions or product lines;
  • Moving from bigger companies to smaller companies for promotions;
  • Starting their own businesses.

A LinkedIn study of 64,000 executive profiles further supported the need for flexibility in business careers. Vice presidents, executives, and partners gained three years of work experience for each job function added to their resumes. Professionals who seek experience in areas ranging from product development to finance are poised for future promotions.

MBA programs produce adaptable graduates who are prepared for shifting professional landscapes. Students benefit from online MBA programs that use real-world case studies and lectures by experts in different industries. Virtual learning experiences also build student comfort with collaboration and communication tools that are commonplace.



4. Expedite Your Educational Journey

The path to business ownership and leadership increasingly runs through college business programs. Fifty-three percent of business owners held at least bachelor’s degrees based on a U.S. Census Bureau survey in 2019. The Annual Business Survey also found that 23% of respondents held graduate degrees.

The typical bachelor’s degree program in business takes four years to complete. Future entrepreneurs and leaders can spend between two and three years in traditional MBA programs, depending on full-time or part-time schedules. These time commitments can take away valuable time from your growing career.

An important benefit of online MBA programs is the streamlined timetable for graduation. Online MBA degrees typically take less than two years to complete because course lengths are shorter. You can also complete online degrees around personal and professional obligations.


5. Boost Potential Earnings

We’ve seen many benefits of online MBA programs related to career satisfaction and growth. The most tangible measure of a degree’s return on investment is the average salary of past graduates. MBA graduates are in great positions for higher lifetime earnings than counterparts without graduate degrees.

U.S. News & World Report reported an average salary and bonus of $105,684 for MBA graduates in 2021. This average far outpaces the $65,000 median salary of all business professionals based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. MBAs can aim for chief executive officer positions that paid $179,520 on average according to the BLS.

You can follow your interests into other executive roles with high potential earnings. A benefit of online MBA programs is the opportunity for specialization in your preferred business area. Robert Half Talent Solutions identified the following starting salaries for the top 25% of earners in each role:

  • Financial Project Manager: $152,500
  • Banking and Financial Markets Associate: $121,500
  • HR Business Partner: $112,500
  • Senior Business Analyst: $111,500


Suffolk’s 36-Credit Online MBA gives students a competitive edge

Students in Suffolk’s online MBA program are well-positioned for the positions listed above and more. Enjoy a flexible, well-rounded, and innovative curriculum grounded in real business challenges. With several concentrations available, you can customize your degree to suit your skills, experience, and goals and be ready to dominate the business world in less than 16 months.

One thing that stands out about the program is its high-touch faculty. From day one, students are surrounded by professors who double as business consultants. All have extensive experience, and eighty-three percent hold a doctoral degree. 

U.S. News & World Report placed Suffolk University No. 38 in the Best Value Schools category for the region. Program graduate, Jeanlee Bazile summarizes why the university has this reputation:

“I chose to pursue my MBA at Suffolk because the program focused on real-world skills that I felt would help me move my career forward.”

Learn more about how Suffolk University’s MBA Online advances your career by downloading the program guide.