A master of business administration, commonly known as an MBA, is a graduate degree for those wanting to advance their careers across all business sectors and industries. Many professionals who work in the field of education--be it on the administrative level in post-secondary education or in education management on every level--can greatly benefit from this business degree. While specific MBA concentrations in education are offered relatively rarely, students can customize their programs by choosing classes from a variety of fields, including electives from the graduate program in education.
Having an MBA is oftentimes required for promotions into senior management, and while a degree is never a guarantee, an MBA may increase your earning potential both in the long and the short term.
Required Coursework to Obtain an MBA in Education
All MBA programs require a specific number of introductory classes, such as economics, accounting, statistics, marketing, management, organizational behavior, and business law. After these classes are completed, student move into self-selected concentrations, also known as specializations. Several universities also offer dual MBA and MA in education programs. Coursework required for an MBA in education may include the following classes, which can be taken in the college of business or in the college of education:
- History of higher education
- Leadership and administration
- Economics of higher education
- Student development
- Research seminar in higher education
MBA classes are interactive and require students to work in small teams to produce reports and give formal presentations at the end of the term. Several classes, in particular research seminars and capstone classes, require students to do a significant amount of independent research and analysis. Students in MBA programs tend to be highly motivated and are able to work well within a team.
MBA Programs: Choose Between On-Campus and Online
Thanks to substantial advancement in distance education, MBA programs are now widely available online--something that wasn't the case a decade ago. Students who can commit to attending class up to four times a week (typically Monday through Thursday) have many options to choose from. Most medium-sized cities have at least one university that offers an MBA degree, although not all concentrations, such as education, are available at every school. Even if a specific concentration is not available, professionals in higher education should be very well equipped for their future with an MBA in general management, finance, leadership, or human resources.
On-campus students can choose to attend an MBA program either full-time or part-time, and many schools allow students to take up to five years to complete their degrees. Online options are even more flexible, since face-to-face interaction with fellow students and professors is not required, giving MBA students the opportunity to complete the program at the speed that fits their work and life.
Career Options and Salary for Graduates With an MBA in Education
Having an MBA in education can qualify you for promotions and higher salaries. For instance, the position of education administrator typically requires a master's or doctoral degree in management and/or education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), education administrators set educational standards and goals and establish the policies and procedures required to achieve them. The BLS predicts job growth for education administrators that is in line with the national average. However, job opportunities should be excellent, as many education administrators are reaching retirement age creating a need for new professional to fill their shoes. The median nationwide wage for education administrators was $73,910 in 2009, and 81 percent of professionals work in public or private educational institutions, the BLS reports.
If you have been working on the administrative side of our country's education system and have found that you need an MBA in education to advance to a more senior position, then now is the time to choose the MBA program that fits your needs.