How an MBA Can Help with a Mid-Career Change

Man leaves office with box in hands after quitting job
Man leaves office with box in hands after quitting job

If you’re thinking about a mid-career change, you’re in good company. A recent Microsoft survey found that over 40% of people around the world are considering leaving their current jobs.

When you have years of experience in a particular profession or industry and you’re thinking of making a switch to a different field, preparation will be key. Suffolk University’s MBA Online program offers the versatility to equip you for a wide range of post-MBA career paths, including even the boldest career change.

What Is a Career Change?

People make career changes for many different reasons — some to move away from negative circumstances and others to pursue a new aspiration. Often, the years spent in one vocation have led to work/life imbalance, high-stress levels, or even burnout. Many working adults would like to maximize the use of their talents but feel limited by their current situations. Making a change can offer new flexibility and opportunities, or simply a more positive environment and schedule.

Lifestyle disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have also caused many individuals and families to think differently about work patterns and values. The Pew Research Center reports that the number of adults working from home jumped from 20% to 70% with the abrupt start of the pandemic. A large majority found it a relatively easy transition, and now more than half of employed adults would like to continue working from home.

Many people also discover new passions and interests over time, and turning to a new career is often a path to greater fulfillment. Professionals who have been successful in their careers may be eager to make a greater contribution in a different way or want to follow their passions by engaging in a new initiative.

Jobs for MBA graduates are often opportunities for senior leadership roles and innovative ventures. Jodi Detjen, Suffolk University Professor and Program Director of MBA programs, says, “earning an MBA is an opportunity to shift from individual contributor to impactful leader.”

According to career advice by Indeed, a career change may take these different forms:

  • A job change in the same field, applying knowledge of your current industry.

  • Switching to another occupation, using the skills you already have.

  • Aspiring to something altogether different.

Some career moves will have more implications than others, but the success of a mid-career change depends on intentional planning.

African American MBA graduate walks down street using mobile device

What Should You Consider When Making a Mid-Career Change?

Of course, considering a career change may come with some angst about making the right decisions. You may be wondering if it is a wise decision to switch careers after becoming established where you are. Careful evaluation and preparation will be essential for a productive transition.

One of the best ways to make a career change is to consider how your current proficiencies and interests might be applied in new ways. Soft skills, such as critical thinking and strong communication, are vital for most professions and highly transferable to new fields. Deep knowledge of a particular industry will be a significant asset if you’re looking for a new direction in the same field.

Once you’ve identified expertise that will serve you well in a career change, you can build on this by developing new qualifications. Hard skills, such as data analytics or financial reporting, can be developed through advanced education and experience to complement your well-honed skill set and experience.

As a Suffolk University online student, you are not alone in this journey. The moment you apply to Suffolk, you have immediate access to our Career Center. You can connect directly to our career counselor who is experienced and can help you think through your career change process.

In addition, Suffolk’s MBA Online program is an ideal pathway to build essential skills and gain valuable experience for business management roles. The curriculum includes foundational business competencies of communications, operations management, business law, economics, statistics, and information technology. Coursework is designed to develop skills such as:

  • Strategic planning for organizations

  • Analytical problem-solving for businesses

  • Systemic processes for managing change

  • Critical thinking with global perspective

What Are the Best Post-MBA Career Paths?

According to U.S. News & World Report, there are substantial opportunities to enter MBA careers in expanding industries, especially those that have been successful during the pandemic. New hires in post-MBA career paths command, on average, more than $100,000 in annual salary. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that management executives earn a median salary of $109,760 annually, and the median salary for chief executives is $185,950.

The U.S. News report identifies “5 Hot Jobs for MBA Graduates” in these categories:

  • Marketing Management

  • Medical and Health Services

  • Management Consulting

  • Financial Management

  • Business Operations Management

The four concentrations available in Suffolk’s MBA Online program offer targeted pathways to these MBA careers or elective options for exploring different fields. Each focus area equips students with in-depth expertise for workplace application. By taking three courses in a particular concentration, students develop focused knowledge and understanding in that specialized area. Students may also opt to take courses across the concentration areas to gain broader knowledge. Concentration options are:

  • Accounting Principles: Prepare for accounting management roles in any industry with extensive study of financial statements, reporting standards, and compliance.

  • Business Intelligence: Place yourself on the leading edge of marketing and management through a focus on data and analytics vital to today’s marketplace.

  • Finance: Develop an in-depth understanding of financial complexities to prepare for a career in corporate finance, portfolio management, investment banking, or international finance. 

  • Health Sector Management: Delve into the business competencies of healthcare systems and equip yourself as a leader for medical and healthcare organizations of the future.

Is It Worth Getting an MBA? 

A recent review by U.S. News & World Report concluded that “MBA students often use business school to catapult into a job unlike any they'd had.”

Barbara Coward, founder of MBA 360 Admissions Consulting, has more than 20 years of experience with MBA programs. Across the field, she has found, “There is no other degree that provides the launching pad to many different possibilities to chart your next career destiny.” Earning an MBA prepares you to achieve your career aspirations by equipping you with essential knowledge, skills, and relationships for moving forward.

A Framework for Your Future

Whether you’re interested in making a career leap or taking just a small step, the Suffolk University MBA Online program prepares you for the possibilities ahead. Through a process of self-discovery, you will explore new industries, trends, and programs. Contemporary coursework will bring definition to new possibilities you may not have even previously considered.

Professor Detjen explains, “the MBA gives you the chance to step away and reflect on what you’ve learned. It gives you a framework to understand your experience with perspective so that you can be more effective in your role.” 

Suffolk’s innovative curriculum places students on the forefront of the modern marketplace through intensive experiential learning. Highly interactive exercises delve into business management strategy with actual companies in the Boston area and around the world. Through immediate application, students build leadership acumen and sought-after skills. 

Vital Connections for Today’s Marketplace

The Suffolk MBA Online program is built in Boston and built for business. The premium location connects you to global companies and business leaders based in Boston from leading industries such as finance, biotech, technology, and healthcare. Beyond Boston, a network of more than 80,000 alumni offers a myriad of opportunities for mentoring and employment.

As you expand your professional connections with faculty, local business leaders, alumni, and other students, the MBA experience opens doors to post-MBA career paths for your interests.

Firsthand Business Experience

In the Suffolk MBA Online program, you will be a consultant from day one. Students work collaboratively, guided by industry experts, to solve real business problems.

In the course “Leading and Implementing Change,” for example, professors present multiple approaches for strategically evaluating and implementing organizational change. The curriculum for “Understanding World-Class Clusters” explores location-based centers of innovation.

As you study real-world business problems, you will develop abilities to:

  • Reason with strategic agility

  • Analyze information to develop solutions

  • Apply holistic perspective

  • Lead innovation

Female business professional shakes hands with woman in business jacket

What Can You Expect from the Suffolk University MBA Online Program?

As a student in the Suffolk MBA Online program, you will have the flexibility to continue full-time work while planning for your next career move. This program is not, however, the traditional asynchronous MBA that leaves students to learn on their own. Suffolk’s MBA Online format allows you to meet with professors, classmates, and business leaders for live interaction, immersing yourself in the global marketplace.

As a leader in online education, Suffolk University has provided online programs for more than 20 years. Full-time faculty are highly engaged with students, facilitating connections and real-time learning through leading-edge systems. Student Success Advisors guide you with personalized support throughout the program.

Earning an MBA Online from Suffolk University positions you for a successful mid-career change. From the classroom of Boston’s marketplace, you will be equipped with the knowledge, mentoring, and hands-on experience that prepares you to achieve your goals.

Discover how today’s post-MBA career paths could change your life. Prepare for your new professional direction with the Suffolk University MBA Online.


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