A master’s degree in business opens doors to a wide variety of job opportunities, and having good people skills is a benefit in any career. In some fields, though, a combination of the two is particularly useful and necessary. Whether you are a recent grad or someone with years of experience, your graduate degree will distinguish you from applicants with only an undergraduate degree, and your people skills will help you seal the deal for these jobs.
Management Consulting: Hard Work, High Pay
Consulting jobs require long hours, but the reward is above-average earnings, making these popular positions for those with graduate business degrees. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of management consultants in 2010 was $78,160. More than one in in four management consulting jobs go to candidates with a master's degree in business, the BLS reports. Consulting is also an excellent fit for for someone with good people skills, as the job relies on earning the trust of clients and building strong, ongoing relationships.
Business Development: More than Just Sales
In some companies, business development translates to sales, but, in large organizations, it can go far beyond that. A business development professional oversees the growth of the company (or one of the company’s departments or divisions) by evaluating the competitive environment, assessing opportunities for mergers and acquisitions, and determining when to add new products or services. These positions require both the strategic thinking and analytic skills that a master’s of business degree will provide and strong interpersonal skills to earn the trust and respect of clients, investors and staff at all levels within the company.
The Nonprofit Sector: A Nontraditional Career Path
A field that doesn’t immediately come to mind for graduate business students in search of a job is the nonprofit sector. Working for a political organization, a charity, a university or a museum, though, may appeal more to some job seekers than a traditional career path. Nonprofits are beginning to rethink their approach to hiring. According to Common Good Careers, a recruiting firm for nonprofits, these organizations are increasingly seeing the value that employees with business knowledge and strong analytical thinking can bring to the table. Many institutions in the nonprofit sector deal directly with the people they serve -- an opportunity for you to let your people skills shine.
Health Care Administration: A Growing Field
The BLS estimates that jobs for medical and health services managers will increase by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020. Health care facilities, including hospitals and other medical facilities, have had to adopt a more business-minded focus in order to keep costs under control, and demand for managers with a business background is strong. People skills are also a critical part of the job in these institutions, as a health care manager’s ability to inspire and motivate staff is key to a functioning operation.
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