Master of Business Administration (MBA) Guide

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Learn what an MBA is, types of MBA programs, and common MBA jobs to decide if this is the right degree for you.

[Featured image] An MBA student stands on the steps of a university building with her cellphone in her hand.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is among the most popular graduate degrees in the United States and is currently among the top-paying master’s degrees, so it’s no surprise that many people consider it as an option when they are looking to continue studying at the graduate level. When you earn an MBA, you can open doors to higher level positions within business, demonstrate your expertise, grow your professional networks, and build entrepreneurial skills to launch your own venture. 

If you're considering whether an MBA degree is right for you, this guide is here to help with resources, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions about this graduate business degree. Bookmark this page to refer to, as we'll be adding new resources regularly.

What is an MBA?

An MBA is a master’s degree in business administration. In this popular graduate degree program, you’ll learn about business principles and develop your leadership skills across various disciplines, such as marketing, finance, and accounting. You can expect to build a strong foundation in management knowledge and skills, while also finding opportunities to specialize in specific areas of business like consulting, human resources, and data analytics.

People earn their MBA at various stages of their career, from a few years out of undergraduate-level study to seasoned professionals looking to advance to the executive level. The degree typically takes about two years to complete if you enroll full-time. 

What Is an MBA Degree?

How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA?

Is an MBA Worth It?

Types of MBA programs

There are various types of MBA programs available to suit your needs. Some people seek their MBA part-time while they continue working or tending to other commitments, while others pursue their MBA full-time.No matter what your situation may be, there are flexible options that help make MBA programs accessible to all types of students. 

What Is an Executive MBA

Executive MBA vs. MBA: Which Is Better For You?

Is an Online MBA Worth It? The Return on Your Investment

MBA curriculum: What is covered in an MBA program?

An MBA is a cross-functional course of study in which you’ll learn about business across all facets, including marketing, finance, and accounting, while also building your workplace skills such as communication, project management, and leadership. 

When studying for an MBA, you can typically choose a concentration or specialization in a certain area of business that interests you. 

How to Get an MBA Degree

5 Common MBA Concentrations

Your Guide to the MBA Finance Concentration

3 Reasons to Pursue a Health Care MBA

Your Guide to the MBA Business Analytics Concentration

Your Guide to MBA Internships

Benefits of earning an MBA

There are many benefits to completing an MBA, which is one of the reasons the course is so popular. Qualifying with an MBA can open up opportunities right up to the executive level. Many people pursue an MBA to progress to the next stage of their career, qualify for higher-paying positions, or expand their business expertise.

Why Get an MBA? 6 Reasons to Consider an Advanced Business Degree

MBA Degree Salary: 2022 Guide

How to get an MBA degree: Admission requirements

Admission requirements vary according to the school you wish to study at, but admissions departments typically look for candidates with a certain level of education and experience. Often, a complete MBA application packet includes a resume, statement of purpose or essays, recommendation letters, and GMAT or GRE test scores. Some admissions departments invite applicants for an interview, but not in all cases. 

How to Meet MBA Admission Requirements

How to Write a Statement of Purpose for an MBA

How to Write an Effective MBA Resume

How to Write an MBA Recommendation Letter

What Is the GMAT?

What Is a Good GMAT Score? Finding Your Goal Score

What Is the Executive Assessment?

GMAT vs. GRE: Which Should I Take?

What jobs can you get with an MBA?

Jobs that you might pursue after graduating with an MBA include:

Financial analyst

Project manager

Human resources manager

Operations manager

Management consultant

Marketing manager

Health services manager


Business development manager

Other types of business degrees

An MBA is one of many options for those interested in a career in business. Depending on your particular career goals, you may also choose to study management, finance, entrepreneurship, organizational leadership, accounting, or communications.

Types of Business Degrees: A Guide

Your Guide to Online Business Degrees

Is a Business Degree Worth It? 2022 Guide

How Long Does It Take to Get a Business Degree?

10 In-Demand Jobs You Can Get with a Business Degree

Graduate business degrees

MBA vs. MS: Choosing Which Is Better for You

Master’s in Management vs. MBA: Which Is Better?

Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) Degree: What You Should Know

Undergraduate business degrees

6 Business Majors For Your Goals

What Is a Business Management Degree and What Can You Do With One?

Should I Get a Degree in Entrepreneurship?

What Can You Do With an Organizational Leadership Degree?

What Can You Do with a Communication Degree: 10 Career Paths

What Is an Accountancy Degree? A Guide

Your Guide to the Associate Degree in Business Administration

Next steps     

Explore how you can advance your career with an online business degree or MBA from a top university. Try a course like Strategic Leadership and Management, Managerial Economics and Business Analysis, or Digital Marketing before you apply to experience for yourself whether the program is the right fit.

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Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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