Is an MBA Degree Enough? |

Is an MBA Degree Enough?

By Starla Trigg

Updated April 4, 2018 Updated April 4, 2018

Not so long ago in a land not so far away, having an MBA degree carried a lot of weight. It gave you an educational advantage. It usually meant a higher starting salary also. Fast forward to today – the playing field has changed.

I’m not advocating not getting an MBA by any means. Buy I’m here to let you know that you do have options. In recent years, there has been a shift, by some, towards dual or joint degree programs. The concept is garnering more media attention and more colleges and universities are offering them.

So, is a dual degree right for you? If so, which program do you choose? Some joint degrees include: MBA/MS, MBA/DDS, MBA/MLIS, MBA/MSN, MBA/MPH, MBA/MPP, MBA/MURP, MBA/M. Arch., MBA/Ed.M., MBA/MD and MBA/MHA. As you can see…there are plenty out there!

Admissions to dual degree programs

In most cases, you will need to apply simultaneously to both graduate programs. For specific guidelines on enrollment, visit the school’s website. If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program, you may be able to apply to another one and let both schools/programs know that you would like joint status. Being in a grad program presently does not automatically qualify you for another program. You’ll need to have the qualifications/credentials for both the MBA degree and the master’s or professional programs.

Joint degrees: What’s in it for you?

I would strongly recommend that you consider a joint degree. Would it complement your professional goals? Does it match your interests? The benefits are endless. You will be equipped to build a career in more than one field, or in a specific area which requires a mixture of skills. And you get to indulge your interest and passions too!

A joint degree can establish you as an expert in a niche, help you obtain your ideal job, and give you an advantage professionally. Pursuing a dual MBA degree allows you to receive both degrees faster than if you pursued them separately.

Business meets the world of education

Are you passionate about business and education? Do you want to make a significant change in education or lead an educational organization? Is developing business models your thing? Then an MBA/ M.Ed. dual degree may be right for you. Most are two – three year programs.

Three years ago the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and Darden School of Business created an educational executive program that was the first of its kind. The new MBA/M.Ed. dual degree was designed for business leaders who possess a particular interest in education reform. The goal was to prepare leaders to significantly change how children receive their education through fresh approaches and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Business integrates with design

Yale University offers a MBA/M. Arch.dual degree. This program is aimed towards those who aspire to mix design, urban development and management professions into careers in government or the private sector. Keep in mind, though, that this is a three year program.

Business joins forces with the legal field

Do you have aspirations of being a business professional with legal expertise or a lawyer with a strong foundation in business and management? Then you might want to consider an MBA/JD dual degree. The MBA/JD is one of the more popular dual degree programs. There are approximately 47 such campus and online programs nationwide. It has been said that this program offers the best of both worlds.

MBA/JD graduates can either enter the business world or take and pass the bar and practice law. Be prepared to devote three years to the program. Bottom line – know who you are and your professional goals. Be true to you. Dual degree programs are not for everyone.

Business meets healthcare

An MBA/MHA program is aimed at those who are targeting a career in the healthcare industry, overseeing a home healthcare service or a general medical and surgical hospital, for example. Earning both degrees will only take three years.

The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22% growth nationally in demand for healthcare administrators, making it one of the fastest growing disciplines. The average annual salary range is US$86,000 to US$102,000.

Business meets medicine

Maybe running a hospital isn’t your thing – perhaps you’re a little more hands on, but still have an interest in business. If this sounds like you, then NYU offers a program that may meet your needs. The MBA/MD joint degree prepares physicians to handle the business and medical issues of the 21st Century. An MBA/MD dual degree is ideal for a physician interested in opening a private practice or business. Other career options include medical director, pharmaceutical company consultant or director of a public healthcare agency.

The MBA/MURP Dual Degree Program

If you want to combine business and urban planning, check out the University of Colorado’s MBA/MURP dual degree program. The MBA/MURP is a three year program. It combines knowledge of planning within both the public sector and private industry. You will graduate with an understanding of urbanization, policy making, planning and business and management.

Next steps

So, I hope I’ve given you a lot to think about. The ball is now in your court. Take some time and explore all of the options that are available to you. Best of luck to you!  

About Starla Trigg

Starla holds a MBA degree from Indiana Wesleyan University.  She has spent her career working in various capacities for Fortune 250 companies.  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, learning new things, and playing golf.

This article was originally published in November 2014 . It was last updated in April 2018

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Starla holds a MBA degree from Indiana Wesleyan University.  She has spent her career working in various capacities for Fortune 250 companies.  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, learning new things, and playing golf.

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