Why Now Is the Best Time to Get an Online MBA 

Suffolk MBA Online graduate works on laptop.
Suffolk MBA Online graduate works on laptop.

Amidst global economic, marketplace, and cultural shifts, there are many reasons why an MBA online could be the ideal next step in a business career. Individuals and companies alike have had to adapt, change, and grow as work has become more virtual than ever before. While the sudden and severe changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic may not be repeated any time soon, evolutions and adjustments in the norms and landscape of work will only continue.

In recent months, companies have greatly benefited from innovative leaders who use their business acumen to turn challenges into opportunities. Changing times call for creative, adaptable leaders. That’s why an MBA online at Suffolk University offers online learning that trains graduates to be part of the solution — today and in the future.

Shifts in the Economy and Marketplace

The modern marketplace has forever changed. Business leaders who understand systemic shifts and are equipped to solve problems as changes arise are greatly needed. Not only will such professionals be able to respond to unforeseen challenges, but they will have proactive, innovative approaches to projects, teams, and concepts in the shifting economy.

Working from Home

Pew Research found that before the pandemic only 20% of the American workforce had the ability to work from home. By October 2020, that number had risen to 71%, with a majority of employed adults saying they would like to continue working from home after the coronavirus outbreak ends.

When it comes to the rise of digital behavior, The Wall Street Journal found that LinkedIn had a 28% increase in remote job postings. Additionally, there was a 42% increase in searches on LinkedIn that included the terms “remote” or “work from home.”

As remote work continues to rise in popularity, online learning offers professionals an ideal supplement. Students will build their skills and knowledge in the same types of digital spaces they now occupy for work. This synergy boosts professional competencies, efficiencies, and confidence levels as students grow increasingly digitally proficient.


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Evolving Industry Trends

Chairman and Director of the McKinsey Global Institute James Manyika predicts the world will likely not go back to what we used to consider normal. For example, the rapid rise in remote work, online learning, and telemedicine is quite certainly here to stay. Manyika also says that ”supply chains will likely continue to regionalize, and cross-border data flows will further increase.”

The American Medical Association reported that “The COVID-19 pandemic propelled patients and physicians to quickly adopt telehealth and going forward the virtual visits could potentially account for $250 billion, or about 20%, of what Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers spend on outpatient, office and home health visits.”

As for supply chains, Carlos Cardon at IMD expects regionalization, supply chain stress tests, and the necessity for supply chains to become more adaptive and ready to respond to disruptions. Organizations like the International Chamber of Commerce are calling for greater attention to and clarity around cross-data border flows.

Industries — whether healthcare, finance, business intelligence, or others — are ever-evolving. As they continue to change, so do the relevant professional skills and competencies necessary for success. An MBA will not only provide students with a foundation of time-tested knowledge, it will teach them relevant and evolving trends, skills, and information.

Emerging Leaders in the COVID-19 Era

Current disruptions and evolutions point to the need for agile, solution-oriented, business-minded professionals who are ready to lead in a new era. Andre Schindler, general manager of EMEA for NinjaRMM, wrote that “organic leadership — a commitment to empowering a team by embracing flexibility and personal autonomy in a structured environment” can inspire employees during times of uncertainty or change. He highlights flexibility and entrepreneurialism as two key qualities of organic leadership.

When it comes to flexibility, Schindler writes that managers may need to change up team structures, facilitate intentional cross-team discussions, and cultivate creativity so that all members of the teams can contribute. As for entrepreneurialism, he encourages active curiosity, working closely with new hires to understand their interests, and pointing employees toward their passions. What better way to learn how to collaborate than through an online, team-based MBA program focused on real client challenges?

Career Outlook for MBA Graduates

Even in a COVID-19 era, the career possibilities are endless MBA graduates. Across sectors and industries, the pathways for promotion and salary increases widen for those who are qualified. According to Investopedia, the average salary for MBA graduates is $134,991. However, this number varies widely across positions, companies, and industries. Let’s take a look at a few potential career paths for MBA graduates.

Database Administrator

While it’s easy to think that database administrator positions are only for people with computer-related degrees, many employers like to hire graduates with specialized degrees like Suffolk’s Online MBA in Business Intelligence. Database administrators protect, store, and organize data to ensure efficiency, safety, and optimal performance. U.S. News & World Report lists the median salary for database administrators as $93,750. The BLS projects that employment growth for database administrators will grow by 10% between 2019 and 2029.

Financial Manager

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many employers prefer financial managers with master’s degrees, like Suffolk University’s MBA in Finance or MBA in Accounting Principles. Financial managers work in a range of industries. They prepare and review financial statements, analyze market trends, and advise company leadership on maximizing profits. The BLS lists the median pay for financial managers as $129,890 per year. The job outlook for financial managers between 2019–2029 is excellent at 15%, which is much faster than the overall rate of employment growth, 4%.

U.S. News & World Report ranks financial managers as #3 in the Best Business Jobs and #16 in Best Paying Jobs.

Management Consultant

For those interested in entrepreneurship and working with a wide range of clients and projects, management consulting can be an exciting career path. An MBA equips professionals to be consultants immediately upon graduation. Management consultants investigate the root problems that clients face and develop strategies to address them. That’s why an MBA online with Suffolk University is a perfect choice for those who aspire to be management consultants. During the online learning experience, students become consultants on day one, providing input, learning about business practices, and directly immersing themselves in a wide range of industries.

The average consulting salary for MBA graduates is $127,000. U.S. News & World Report ranks management consultants (also called management analysts) as #10 in Best Business Jobs and #63 in 100 Best Jobs overall.

Marketing Manager

According to U.S. News & World Report, marketing managers earn an average salary of $136,850 per year. Professionals in this position lead teams to craft and implement marketing campaigns, develop strategic plans, and manage budgets. Marketing managers may be responsible for competitive analysis, print materials, websites and social media, and event planning.

The job outlook is a growth rate of 7% — faster than the average for all occupations — between 2019-2029. U.S. News & World Report ranks marketing manager as #1 in Best Sales and Marketing Jobs, #15 in Best Paying Jobs, and #31 in 100 Best Jobs overall.

Health Services Manager

As baby boomers grow older and the demand for healthcare increases, the need for qualified professionals who can apply their business, analysis, and management skills to medical environments is rising. That’s why an MBA online is a great choice— the Suffolk University MBA in Health Sector Management equips qualified health services managers who are ready to lead. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that, between 2019 and 2029, the employment growth rate for medical and health services managers will be an astonishing 32%.

U.S. News & World Report ranks medical and health services managers as #1 in Best Business Jobs, #4 in 100 Best Jobs, and #4 in Best STEM Jobs. The BLS lists an average salary for this profession at $100,980 per year.

Equipping Entrepreneurs for the Future

While an online MBA can prepare professionals for a wide range of fulfilling job possibilities within existing companies and institutions, the opportunities don’t stop there. Many MBA graduates go on to build their own companies. In fact, over 85% of current MBA students are considering careers as entrepreneurs after graduation. Additionally, over a third of those students said they already had ideas for companies that they were developing while completing their MBA programs.

Dr. Rajani Gupte believes that entrepreneurship is one of the most popular career trajectories for MBA graduates. Since the program provides a “360-degree view of business” it introduces and builds the creativity and innovation needed to excel as an entrepreneur after graduation — skills that Suffolk instills from day one.

Suffolk University’s Online MBA leverages online learning to introduce students to businesses in Boston and around the globe. Suffolk’s worldwide network of more than 80,000 offers digital access to esteemed faculty and fellow classmates. Meaningful connections with mentors, advisors, and friends propel Suffolk graduates to collaborate, ideate, strategize, and launch companies.

Traditional vs. Online MBA Programs

Online learning empowers professionals to learn in ways that fit with their busy lives. Some of the financial barriers that may keep a professional from pursuing a traditional degree program can be alleviated by an online program that leaves time in a student’s schedule for continuing full-time work. Through the immersive Online MBA Suffolk has refined over 20 years, students can complete their degrees more quickly than they could through traditional programs while being connected to a wider network of students in the digital learning environment. It isn’t a stereotypical learn-by-yourself format. Suffolk offers a collaborative MBA program where you work with professors and students live in a learning environment designed for your success.

More Free Time Than Ever Before

Online learning empowers professionals to use their time well as they spend more time indoors at home than ever before. The Wall Street Journal reported the average U.S. adult now spends over 16 hours a day on digital media, almost four hours higher than the average use pre-pandemic. The most common ways to spend time online while at home? Gaming, video and online shopping.

While we could all use a good dose of relaxation during such a stressful time, it’s also the case that applying our minds to future projects, education, and innovation can relieve stress. Reframing our intentions has the power to change how we feel. Social psychologist Erin C. Westgate explains that boredom is an emotional state, which means that extended time at home only feels meaningful when we think about it purposefully. Studies found when students were reminded to thoughtfully reflect on the personal reason they study, their interest and motivation in learning increased.

If you’ve been waiting to start your online learning experience until life and time allows for another commitment, right now may just be that time in your life. Why an MBA online right now? An MBA program encourages students to exercise innovative creativity, which can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression according to Forbes.

Online learning presents an opportunity to pursue the next step in your career in a way that fits with the present moment. You can avoid close indoor proximity to others, cut out commuting time, and still connect with world-class faculty members and classmates through well-planned and stewarded digital environments. Especially for individuals who are self-starters, oriented toward leadership, and innovative, an online environment that doesn’t rely on physical presence or proximity but still offers guidance can be an ideal solution.

By opting for an online learning MBA experience, students also further prepare themselves for ongoing professional experiences in the digital world. They hone their soft skills of relationship-building, listening, and collaborating in mediated spaces, and learn the technologies and tools that will help their harder skills do their best work.

Define Your Path to Success at Suffolk University

Suffolk University's online MBA is focused on building a wide range of skills employers demand. In addition to improving general expertise in essential areas like communications, operations management, business law, economics and statistics, Suffolk offers four specialized concentrations that align with your professional goals. If you want to pursue a career within a specific sector or industry, an MBA with a concentration can make all the difference.

Accounting

In addition to a solid core curriculum, students pursuing an MBA in Accounting Principles will learn advanced business competencies. A focus on the preparation and use of financial statements, reporting, compliance, and budgeting lays a foundation for students who plan to eventually take the CPA or CMA exam. Courses like cost and managerial accounting and federal taxation are rich with concepts and practices that apply directly to accounting positions in the real world. Potential career paths for this concentration include management accounting, budget analyst, and government accountant.

Business Intelligence

Professionals who want to focus on data and analysis will find a home in Suffolk’s online MBA in Business Intelligence. They’ll learn to find, analyze, and utilize big day effectively, visualize results, and design databases, in addition to gaining proficiency in tools like MS Excel, MS Access, SQL, ERP system, Data Warehouse, SPSS, Tableau, and SAP Lumira. In courses such as enterprise data management and business intelligence and data analytics, students will gain an understanding of systems, softwares, and operational decision making. Possible jobs for these professionals include business analyst, business consultant, and business application developer.

Finance

Students who are drawn to career paths like corporate finance, portfolio management, investment banking, and international finance will grow their knowledge and hone their skills in the MBA in Finance. They’ll learn critical tools and methodologies, develop problem-solving skills that will empower them to address both the needs of organizations and shareholders, and learn how to set priorities. Courses like investment analysis and options and futures are equally rich with theory, insight, and practical applications. Career possibilities for MBAs with a finance concentration include financial analyst, risk manager, and investment banker.

Health Sector Management

Those who would like to work in hospitals or the healthcare sector will find the depth of knowledge offered in Suffolk’s MBA in Health Sector Management to be a strong asset. Students will grow in understanding of the U.S. Healthcare System, the role of big data in healthcare, and strategizing for the delivery and quality of healthcare services. Courses such as Innovation: The Future of Health and Community and Public Health prepare students to manage, plan, and create opportunities within the healthcare space. Jobs for graduates of such MBA concentrations include hospital administrator, healthcare consultant, and health care association directors.

Invest in Your Future, No Matter What’s Ahead

Pursuing an online MBA can strengthen your skills, improve your mental health, and move you closer to reaching your goals. The Suffolk University Online MBA is accredited by the AACSB and led by world-class, full-time faculty. As a provider of online education since 1999, Suffolk University is ahead of the curve when it comes to delivering excellent learning opportunities in digital spaces. Built to empower business leaders who are ready to be consultants from day one, Suffolk’s intentionally untraditional approach emphasizes experiential, interactive work that will transfer with ease into professional environments.

Don’t wait. You’re ready. Now is the perfect time to future-proof your career with an Online MBA from Suffolk University.