MBAs: Not just for finance careers anymore

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Job-seekers, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is, the healthcare industry is expected to generate more than 15 million new jobs over the next decade, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The bad news is, most of them will pay less than $30,000 a year.

As you might expect, top-paying jobs – such as registered nurses, educators, accountants and administrators – will require an advanced degree. To compete for higher-paying careers, experts say, tomorrow’s job-hunters will need even more education.

But once you’ve secured your bachelor’s degree and specialized training, what more can you do to set yourself apart? Find an MBA program and get a master’s in business administration.

The more education you have, the less likely you are to be unemployed, according to Labor Department statistics. High school graduates have an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent. For people with some college education that rate drops to 8.7 percent. And for those with a bachelor’s or a more advanced degree, the unemployment rate is just 4.6 percent. Federal statistics also show that people with advanced degrees earn significantly more money than those with no degrees.

MBAs are not just for people seeking finance or administrative jobs anymore. A broader range of professionals and recent graduates are finding an MBA can help advance their careers. They’re flocking to schools like Daniels College of Business, a 100-year-old institution in Colorado that ranked third in the world for small MBA programs in 2009. Its part-time MBA programs have won national and international acclaim.

In the health care industry especially, competition will continue to be fierce for top-paying jobs, and an MBA can give a job candidate the extra edge he or she needs. Many health care industry executives already have MBAs. For example, Dr. David E. Dangerfield, CEO of Avalon Health Care Group, an elder care provider, has both MBA and doctoral degrees.

Many employers view an MBA as evidence that a job candidate has managerial and administrative skills that can apply to a wide range of industries. Plus, it also shows the potential employee has the commitment, discipline and intelligence required to complete a rigorous MBA program – skills that appeal to employers in every industry.

Competition for jobs that require an MBA may also be heating up, as some professions – like insurance underwriter, facilities manager and economist – are actually expected to shed jobs over the next decade. MBA holders out of work in industries traditionally associated with the degree will be looking for opportunities in growth industries like health care, making it even more important for anyone entering the field – or already working in it – to stay competitive with an MBA.

To learn more about MBA programs, visit