Career Paths in Business and Finance

Although banks have collapsed and the financial world is in upheaval with shifts to the job market, the need for high-level and high-paying business and finance positions is not going to disappear. In a job market that is always competitive and currently uncertain, arming yourself with a business school degree and as many contacts as you can, along with tenacity and persistence, will help boost your chances of landing a top position.

To get into business school, students must take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), a four-hour computer adaptive test made up of three sections. Most students accepted to top schools score 700 or higher on the GMAT.

Most full-time MBA programs last two years; part-time programs are three or more years. Before applying, think about why you’re going and what you want to get out of it, advises Princeton Review experts, who note that MBA programs are “designed for students who come from – and plan to return to – the business world.” Some people want an MBA to advance their career at their current job, specialize in a new area or move into a new industry. Sometimes a certificate program can be completed for a new specialty rather than going through an MBA program.

Most students have three to five years of work experience before getting the degree, and work experience helps strengthen your business school application. People already advancing in their company may not need the MBA to rise up, but the skills and connections gained through the program are overall invaluable to someone’s career over their entire professional life.

Executive MBA (EMBA) programs can earn you a business degree while you are working with a company. Programs can have different focuses, so talking to alumni and professionals can be helpful for finding the right one. Many companies sponsor their employees for the EMBA, and most participants have ten years of work experience before starting this program.

Business schools expand student knowledge and practical skill by applying theory to real world problems. The biggest benefit from school can be the networking that is key for later job opportunities – contacts with peers, professors and executives is critical. The first year of business school focuses on a core curriculum with an overview of business areas plus elective courses all comprising an intense workload. Companies start recruiting immediately for summer jobs, which are important for getting in the door toward a permanent position. Year two of business school includes lots of electives so students can specialize in an area, along with a good deal of networking and looking for a job. The socializing aspect of school will be important later on, and seeking out alumni connections is key for job opportunities and advice. Active alumni relations departments are helpful, so attending events and career services activities is helpful for later on.


Learn More: Top Business and Finance Programs