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How Can an MBA Help My Career?

Whether you're just starting out in your career, or are a seasoned professional ready to advance to the next level, a graduate business degree can help you achieve your goals. But you likely are wondering:

  • Will an MBA help my career?
  • Will earning an MBA help me get a job?
  • What's the return on investment of an MBA?

Read how the Pepperdine Graziadio MBA program helped these successful alumni advance their careers.

1. An MBA helps you stand out in an increasingly competitive job market.

Today's job market is more competitive than ever, so it's important to differentiate yourself from other candidates. Alumna Meisha Sherman (MBA '05) is now the director of human resources at Hewlett Packard Enterprises, and earning her Pepperdine MBA helped her stand out early in her career. "I found that having a highly coveted MBA moves you to the top of the candidate list. For example, when I interviewed with Raytheon, they had over 400 alumni, and they immediately wanted to talk to me. My MBA is a differentiator, particularly for women, minorities, and veterans, and I am all of the above," Meisha says.

2. An MBA will boost your salary.

Whether you're working at your dream job or are looking to make a career change, an MBA can help you make the case for a salary increase to your current employer or a higher starting salary at a new job. The Graduate Management Admission Council announced in 2017 that starting salaries are expected to increase for MBA candidates. The theoretical and applied knowledge an MBA provides places you in a position of strength during salary negotiations: have confidence in the skills gained from your degree, and ask for what you feel is fair and deserved.

3. An MBA can help you get a job promotion.

MBA students at Pepperdine Graziadio get hands-on experience in their classes by working closely with professors and participating in projects with actual businesses. As a result, students develop confidence and credibility. John Adrian (MBA '00), senior vice president of sales at Franklin Fueling Systems says, "After I graduated I felt like I could both create and articulate a well-developed strategy and could hold my own with senior leaders at my company. Not only did I have increased self-confidence, but I had increased credibility and was now considered a real candidate for upward mobility."

4. You will learn about all aspects of business and gain valuable skills.

With a variety of MBA concentrations ranging from business analytics to entrepreneurship, Pepperdine MBA students graduate with valuable skills and on-the-ground experience. Nobel Chang (MBA '15) focused on learning operational skills and tools for entrepreneurship that helped him co-found two businesses. He says, "I learned how to grow a company and how to build database architecture. My classes at the Graziadio School gave me the analytical and technical skills that allowed me to hit the ground running and start my businesses."

5. With an MBA you will learn how to become an entrepreneur.

Starting your own business can be daunting, but an MBA can help you become an entrepreneur and turn your passion into a reality. Ashley Wallace (MBA '14) turned her blog into a fashion line and just opened her first brick and mortar store. She says, "If it were not for my MBA, I would not have launched my fashion line. Developing a fashion blog is one thing, but Pepperdine gave me the tools to create Saav & Sass. I learned how to grow my business from the ground up and build upon my success. My return on investment was having the skill set to expand beyond my blog."

Osei Gyamfi (MBA '15) learned valuable problem-solving skills that helped make his business, ChillHound, a success. Osei says, "As an entrepreneur, my Pepperdine MBA taught me to ask the right questions, talk to the right people, and address the right problems. It also gave me the confidence to start my own business. Even though ChillHound is my first business venture, I feel like I've done this before. I know what to expect and how to handle difficult situations when they arise."

6. A veteran-friendly MBA from Pepperdine Graziadio helps you apply your military skills to business.

The Pepperdine Graziadio MBA program is an ideal choice for veterans due to our flexible class schedule and emphasis on work-life balance. Additionally, veterans are eligible for tuition benefits through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Mario Schweizer (MBA '16) is a veteran Marine officer, who found that getting his MBA helped him translate his military skills to the business world. According to Schweizer, "I knew I had invaluable skills from my military background, but I still lacked the skills I needed to be successful in the business world. I felt that a Pepperdine MBA was the best way to translate my military experience into business success."

With a variety of MBA options in our program portfolio, Pepperdine Graziadio offers an MBA program for every schedule. Ready to take the next step in your MBA journey? Check out our MBA program offerings, reach out for more information on our program options, or start your application.