Home Online Business Blog Post-Online MBA Career Paths: Job Opportunities and Career Progression

Post-Online MBA Career Paths: Job Opportunities and Career Progression

02 May
Business man stands downtown reflecting on his career options.

As new MBA program graduates from business schools nationwide envision their post-online MBA careers, it’s crucial to have a clear career plan and development strategy. This not only gives you an edge but also empowers you to shape your future.

Many MBA graduates express a great degree of job satisfaction and enjoy high salaries. But what is the current job market for MBA graduates? This post will explore the various career paths and the top industries open to online MBA grads.

Job Opportunities for Online MBA Graduates

There are many corporate management and leadership career options for a post-online MBA graduate. As an online MBA holder, you’re poised for a wide range of careers, from investment banking to human resources, business administration to business intelligence analyst, technology management to operations management and beyond. If you’re more comfortable with a little uncertainty and the chance to establish your own enterprise, then entrepreneurship and startup ventures could be your calling.

With so many options available, knowing which MBA career is right for you may seem a little daunting if you aren’t already laser-focused on a specific area. As you work to build the skills you need to succeed after graduation, let’s explore some of the hottest jobs for current graduates and some of the top-earning industries to give you some ideas.

Hot Job Opportunities for MBA Grads

The business world is ever-evolving, with new industries emerging and existing ones transforming to meet modern demands and business practices. The hottest job opportunities for MBA graduates reflect today’s market demands and future growth potential.

U.S. News & World Report took inventory of the current hottest jobs for MBA grads and compiled the following list:1

  • Human resources manager
  • Information technology, or IT, manager
  • Medical and health services manager
  • Operations research analyst
  • Personal financial advisor

Each of these roles leverages the broad skill set that an MBA provides, from strategic thinking and leadership to project management and specialized knowledge in sectors like technology and healthcare.

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers are at the forefront of developing and implementing strategies that affect the organization’s most valuable asset—its people. With an MBA, you are well-equipped to take on this role, which demands a balance of soft skills and strategic business understanding. HR managers play a pivotal role in every aspect of employee management, including recruitment, training and development, benefits design, performance management and compliance with labor laws. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average expected growth rate for this occupation is 5% (faster than average) through 2032.2

Technology Manager

With technology at its zenith in the business sphere, the demand for tech-savvy managers is skyrocketing. If you have a passion for technology, you may find yourself at the intersection of managing teams and projects while steering the integration of technology to drive business goals. This role requires both technical understanding and leadership, a combination that is highly sought after. The BLS projects computer and information systems occupations will grow 15% (much faster than average) through 2032.3

Health Services Manager

The healthcare sector continues to show robust growth, and with this comes the need for health services managers. MBAs focusing on healthcare management can step into roles that require them to run entire facilities or specific departments, focusing on improving efficiency, quality of care, and patient satisfaction. This niche marries the managerial acumen of an MBA with the satisfaction of contributing to public health. The BLS projects this occupation will grow an impressive 28% through 2032.4

Operations Research Analyst

In a world driven by data, the role of an operations research analyst is becoming increasingly pivotal. This position is perfect for MBA grads who excel in problem-solving and have a keen analytical mind. Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations investigate complex issues, identify and solve problems, and make better decisions. They are the wizards behind improving operational efficiency and effectiveness, from logistics and production to strategic planning. By harnessing the power of data analytics and modeling, you can lead organizations to new heights of innovation and competitiveness. The BLS projects a high growth rate of 23% through 2032.5

Personal Financial Advisor

If you have a passion for finance and a desire to have a direct impact on individuals’ lives, becoming a personal financial advisor offers a fulfilling career path. This role involves working with clients to understand their financial goals, investment timelines and risk tolerance to provide tailored advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes and retirement. As personal finance becomes increasingly complex, the demand for knowledgeable and ethical advisors is more prominent than ever, with the BLS projecting a strong growth rate of 13% through 2032.6

High-Earning MBA Industries

A recent article by Fortune illuminates precisely how rewarding an MBA can be, highlighting six industries where MBA grads reliably earn six-figure salaries.7 Learn a bit more about these sectors to understand where your MBA education fits.


Consulting is an industry that values and rewards the comprehensive skill set that MBAs bring to the table. MBAs can particularly shine in strategy, management and operations consulting, leveraging their newly acquired knowledge and analytical skills. The industry is known for its lucrative compensation packages, with salaries easily crossing the six-figure threshold.


Just as the personal financial manager role found a place on the hot jobs list laid out by U.S. News and World Report, the finance industry is a popular place for many MBA graduates to find themselves.7 This vast industry encompasses roles in investment banking, financial services and asset management. MBAs find themselves well-prepared for the complex problem-solving and financial analysis required in this sector. The industry has a reputation for high compensation.


Also reflecting the hot jobs list, the technology sector continues to evolve and permeate every aspect of business, and the demand for professionals who can bridge the gap between technical and business disciplines is soaring. MBAs with a knack for tech find themselves in a prime position to take on roles in product management, business development and strategy within tech companies.7 These positions not only offer the excitement of working on the cutting edge but also substantial financial rewards.

Consumer Packaged Goods

The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, encompassing products that are used and replaced frequently, offers many opportunities for MBA graduates. From brand management and product development to supply chain management and optimization, as well as strategic marketing, MBAs can play pivotal roles in directing the success of household brands.7 This sector values professionals who bring a blend of analytical prowess and creative thinking to the table, offering high-earning potential for those who can drive innovation and efficiency.

Entertainment, Media and Sports

Entertainment, media and sports industries are known for their high-profile events, creativity, and vibrancy. However, these sectors require astute business professionals to manage operations, finances, marketing, and strategy behind the scenes. The opportunities for MBA grads with a passion for these fields are both thrilling and financially rewarding.


Once again reflecting the hot jobs list, the healthcare industry at large is an increasingly popular destination for MBA grads. Whether it’s in pharmaceuticals, healthcare consulting or hospital management, MBAs are contributing to innovation and efficiency in healthcare.7

Career Progression for MBA Graduates

The career trajectory of an MBA graduate is as diverse and dynamic as the business landscape itself. The traditional career progression an MBA graduate might experience moving from entry-level to senior leadership or the C-suite would see that grad moving up through the ranks at one organization.8 Newer alternatives to higher-level leadership include free agency—coming into an organization in a c-suite position through external recruitment—and business ownership.8

Here’s an overview of a traditional career progression for an MBA grad:

  1. Entry-Level Management Positions: Post-MBA, graduates often find themselves in roles that are a level above the entry, given the leadership and management skills honed during their degree. Positions such as a project manager, financial analyst or marketing manager are common starting points, providing a solid foundation in managing teams, projects and developing strategic insights
  2. Mid-Level Management Roles: With a few years of experience, MBA grads typically progress to mid-level management roles. This could mean becoming a senior manager, director, or head of a department. These roles demand not just expertise in their specific field but also a knack for strategic thinking, decision-making and leadership across broader teams and projects
  3. Senior Leadership and Executive Positions: The apex of the career pyramid for MBA graduates often includes senior executive roles such as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operations Officer (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or other C-suite positions. By this stage, professionals have not only proven their ability to manage and lead but also to steer companies through complex challenges and toward sustainable growth

Get Started on Your Online MBA Program

You can’t start on your own MBA career path without earning the degree first. William & Mary’s Online MBA program will prepare you to lead in today’s challenging, rapidly changing business environment. No matter what the hot job or industry of the moment is for MBA graduates, you will be ready with the leadership skills to tackle any business challenges.

William & Mary’s online curriculum will sharpen your design thinking and problem-solving skills so that you can successfully apply them in fast-paced business environments. Through our innovative learning platform, you can engage with a support network of world-class faculty and peers and expand your network to include accomplished colleagues online and around the world. You will also get the career support you need to succeed.

Schedule a call with an admissions outreach advisor today to learn more.