MBAs and Women: Does It Help with Your Career?

As a professional businesswoman, you might have considered whether taking an MBA is worth it and how it will change your career trajectory, including earning power. It’s true that certain jobs are only open to people with a master’s degree – usually a business-related one such as an MBA, marketing or other useful subject that has direct applicability to the role.

While about half the people who take the GMAT are women, that doesn’t mean that they account for half the MBA students. In fact, it’s less than a third of students who are women. The good news from the Little Pink Book’s perspective is that it’s markedly up from decades earlier, but this still indicates that women aren’t trying for this type of master’s degree as often as they probably should.

In this article, we explore the MBA and how it could help a woman’s career prospects.

Finding the Right Place to Study

Feeling comfortable at the educational establishment is an important thing. It’s a strongly held belief that women avoid the MBA because there’s an imbalance between men and women. In fairness, that’s not an unrealistic viewpoint. The reality, though, is that that won’t change unless women buck the status quo and forge ahead regardless. That’s how things have change for us previously; by not letting something like this stop us.

If you don’t know where to start, the MBA Tour is probably your best source of information regarding admission questions. (For more info, visit There’s plenty of opportunity to find a school that offers a better gender balance or simply is more attractive for other reasons. This could be female-oriented facilities, more female faculty or a more convenient location. Making it work for you is more important than short-term disparities like how many women vs male students attending the course. Set your own goals and pursue them vigorously.

Positive Changes Are Happening

The good news is that more business schools are unhappy with the imbalance and shortage of female students on campus who are studying business-oriented courses.

There are some scholarships offered with this in mind, and it’s worth looking to see if there’s any financial aid available too. Approach studying for a business course with an open mind, because there are considerable career benefits once you graduate.

Companies Are Seeking Female Business Candidates

As the issue of gender balance across companies and seeing more women in senior roles within companies is more openly discussed, businesses are seeking to redress the balance. This is difficult for their recruitment teams to deal with when there’s a dearth of female graduates with an MBA or other business degrees.

It’s likely that at least some businesses will look keenly on women applying for senior positions where an MBA is a prerequisite. Certainly, as women, we can take advantage of this reality to find a place in progressive companies that seek a better balance of talent within their workforce. After all, resting on our laurels isn’t going to help.

Do MBA Graduates Earn More?

While there is certainly a range of salaries that is typical with graduates holding an MBA, like with most master’s graduates, they’re sought after. Particularly as the business administration degree covers a broad range of topics at a high level that are readily applicable to real-world business situations, companies know that they can put that knowledge to great use.

The typical salary for the holder of an MBA ranges from around $70,000 to 96,000. California tends to pay the most for these graduates. It’s important to go into areas where a masters can provide the most value to the employer to maximize your total earning power. For instance, staying in mid-management and failing to move up having attained an MBA will hold your salary back unnecessarily.

Does an MBA Help with Starting My Own Business?

MBAs are very practical. Coursework often revolves around real-world case studies based on actual companies and situations they went through. Whether that’s focusing on a startup and the steps necessary to get it going, or delving into a marketing plan to work out all the details to make it a success; it’s all very practical.

Going through this type of learning and practical work during the course prepares you well for starting your own business. This is because by moving through the steps, you build confidence in your abilities. That’s a feeling that is hard to have in isolation. Other aspects of business ownership such as financial management, developing effective systems and good communication skills are all covered too.

It’s up to women to step up and take on the challenge of an MBA. Whether you wish to excel in a career or to switch eventually to an entrepreneur, having a well-rounded business education is only going to push you towards your life goals. And don’t worry if there are more men in the classroom – be the example as an alumnus who made it big.

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