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What is an MBA in Ethics?

Ethical leadership takes on many forms. For most organizations, ethical leadership is built within the company’s mission statement. Compliance managers, for example, are the safeguards of an organization. They protect owners, employees, and stakeholders from unlawful activities during day-to-day business activities. An ethics committee is usually made up of company leaders from various departments. They are responsible for developing a corporate culture beyond boosting the company’s bottom line. An MBA in Ethics provides B-Students with the tools needed to run an organization ethically.

Ethics managers prevent organizations from violating company-wide policies while maintaining ethical standards. Ethical managers train other employees to adopt and abide by the moral code the company has adopted. They are the ardent defenders of the employee handbook and handle the majority of the new employee training. They are the perfect combination of HR manager, C-level executive, and in-house attorney. More importantly, they lead by example. They believe in corporate social responsibility in and outside the workplace. Those pursuing an MBA in Ethics will have a solid foundation in business will specialized coursework in ethics.

The need for ethical decision-making is critical to a company’s longevity. An MBA in Ethics will provide B-Students with the tools needed for managing the most pressing moral, social, political and environmental issues in and outside the workplace. Ethics and Compliance managers help shape the identity of a business, whether it’s implementing a corporate social responsibility strategy or aligning the new hire training with the company’s overall mission statement.

With C-Level executives at the forefront of scandal and corporate corruption running ramped across all business sectors, the need for ethics officers is at an all-time high. MBA programs are designed to be at the forefront of industry change. Ethical leadership skills built into MBA programs can give students a leg up in the world of business. B-Students are provided with the skills to run an organization effectively and at the same time, limit litigation from employees, customers, vendors, and business partners.

What’s the Career Outlook for an MBA in Ethics?

Whether it’s Enron, WorldCom, Tyco or Bernie Madoff, recent scandals over the past two decades have created a need for ethical leadership in Fortune 500 companies. From abiding by new tax reform policies to implementing the latest in employment law, a company needs to be on the cutting-edge of ethical decision making. Employees are looking to align their careers with socially-responsible companies. According to the Bureaus of Labor Statistics, employment of ethics managers is projected to grow 9% through 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

An increase in governmental regulations, new company policies, and the boost in the global marketplace will be the driving force behind hiring Ethics and Compliance managers. They are key players in safeguarding the company against internal and external violations. The greater a business sector is regulated by the government, the greater the need for ethics managers. The real estate industry is a prime example of a business sector recently regulated due to the corruption in the secondary mortgage markets. Developers, Appraisers, Real Estate Brokers and Mortgage companies are now closely regulated. The same goes for the accounting/finance industry. Revenue from contracts with customers is expected to change the way revenue is accounted for on the books of major organizations. Whether you’re a construction contractor, a software engineering firm, or a telecommunication provider, there’s a new five-step process of reporting revenue. This change will alter how accounting professionals recognize revenue. To recognize revenue ethically and honestly gives the true story of a company’s financial health; without it, stakeholders are relying on omitted or misleading information.

Ethics managers that understand the legal implications of decision-making will have ample opportunity in their respective industry. Ethical leaders have a pulse on industry change and are in-the-know when it comes to creating new company policy. If your company happens to introduce a new product/service or is the market leader, ethics leaders have the responsibility to set the standard for ethical decision making. Everyone else in the industry will follow suit and mirror the precedent made by the market leader.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of corporate training managers is projected to grow 10% through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Just like any growing industry, continuing education and professional development will be paramount to the continued success of compliance managers. Those who understand that education is paramount to their continued success as ethics leaders will set themselves apart and will be sought after for open leadership positions.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field of human resources management to add 10,800 jobs through 2024, bringing the total to approximately 123,000 jobs nationwide. The projected job growth rate of 9% is faster than average for all occupations. Massachusetts alone projects to have 4,650 human resources managers by 2018. HR management positions are particularly lucrative in this state, with mean annual wages of $128,720. The national mean is $106,910.

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What are Average Salaries With Ethics MBA’s Professionals?

Ethical leaders have the ability to earn well over six figures. Depending on the industry, Compliance Managers spearhead organizational change and since the role is so critical to a company’s overall success, they get paid accordingly. Ethics leaders are instrumental in bringing startups from the development stage to the growth phase. This is no small task and this multi-step process involving training, managing, and organizing personnel. Whether it’s managing hiring practices, training new recruits at different locations, or organizing the multinational landscape, ethics leaders make sure everyone is onboard with the company’s mission statement.

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for Ethics and Compliance managers is $106,910. The lowest 10% earned less than $63,140 and the highest 10% earned more than $193,550. Here is a snapshot of some of the median salaries for those who work in Compliance and Ethics:

SectorAvg. Salary
Compliance Managers (Enterprise)$121,390
Technical Services$120,980

The median annual wage for training and development managers is $105,830. The lowest 10% earned less than $57,760 and the highest 10% earned more than $184,990. Here is a snapshot of some of the medium salaries for those who work in training and development:

SectorAvg. Salary
Training & Development Management (Enterprise)$114,290
Technical Services$113,310
Finance and Insurance$109,650
Educational Services$99,040

What Opportunities Are Available?

  • Human Resource Managers (HR Strategists) control the administrative and personnel functions of an organization. They are responsible for hiring, training, and organizing employees from initial hire to exit interview. HR Managers are part of the company’s overall personnel strategy and are instrumental in maintaining company policy. They spearhead change and make sure all departments are in compliance.
  • Employee Relations Managers represent union employees to ensure company compliance with labor agreements. They play a critical role in negotiating new contracts for the union and help facilitate meetings between company owners and union representatives.
  • Recruiting Managers are the face of the company and are the initial content for prospective employees. They have the responsibility of hiring qualified talent that align with not only the company’s personnel needs but overall mission statement. They conduct background checks on employees and if they work in a large enough company, may manage a team of other recruiters.
  • Training and Development Managers are responsible for developing new and existing employees. From initial onboarding to offering professional development opportunities, Training and Development Managers keep departments up-to-speed with latest industry trends and are responsible for employee growth.

What Skills Are Developed for an MBA in Ethics?

Decision making skillsHuman Resources Managers must be able to make decisions around hiring, training, and laying off employees. On a daily basis, they are making high-level personnel decisions which are detrimental to the continued success of a company. From how many new employees to hire to updating the employee handbook, HR Managers are habitually making decisions.
Interpersonal skillsThe ability to connect with people is one of the most important skills an HR Manager must possess in order to be effective in their role. They need to inform, train, and motivate employees to ensure their interests align with the company’s. HR Managers have to enforce company policy and discipline employees when rules and regulations are not followed.
Leadership skillsHR Managers usually lead a department of employees responsible for recruiting, developing, and managing the operations of the company’s personnel. Whether it’s on-the-spot problem-solving, managing organizational change, or training a team of new recruiters, HR Managers must possess sound leadership skills in order to be effective in their position.
Organizational skillsJuggling multiple projects at once is normal for HR Managers. From handling employee records to ensuring company policy compliance, HR Managers must have a systematic approach to handling the administrative duties of the company.
Business skillsHR Managers stand to benefit from the comprehensive business training an MBA provides. Whether it’s managing administrative work, training new employees, updating the employee handbook, or recruiting C-level executives to spearhead change, HR Managers have to incorporate a wide range of business skills in order to be effective.
Critical-thinking skillsHR Managers deal with a company’s most important asset: employees. They are the face of the company and must strike the perfect balance between strategist and employee representative. Being able to do what’s best for the company and hire, train, and retain talent is a difficult task – one that requires incredible critical-thinking skills.

Typical Classes for an MBA in Ethics

Business Ethics – The MBA-level course in Business Ethics explores covers a full suite of topics based on the Center for Ethical Leadership’s four V’s (values, vision, voice, and virtue). Business Ethics is the study of corporate social responsibility, ethical leadership, and policy formation. The curriculum has elements of HR Management and Strategy throughout the specialization and is founded upon improving communication across organization’s staff.

  • Leadership in Action. This course focuses on the strategic, operational, functional, ethical and integrity challenges of leadership in practice.  It is taught by faculty using leadership readings, case studies, experiential exercises, and incorporates frequent corporate leaders as guest speakers. The most effective ethical leaders align their own individual moral code with the company’s mission statement. Leadership in Action uses the case study methodology to introduce real-world scenarios to B-Students as well as cautionary tales on bad business practices.
  • International Business. In order to be a successful manager at the multinational level, one must understand the customs of cultures outside of the United States. Business customs in Japan are quite different than the customs in the U.S.; therefore, a course that introduces operations, law, policy, regulations, and business etiquette is crucial in developing a well-rounded Ethics Manager. The International Business course is usually part of an MBA elective but is highly recommend for aspiring Compliance Manager interested in working for multinational companies.
  • Business Law. Business Law is the study of corporate rules and regulations that govern the operations of a company. Whether it’s studying the formation of a business, HR policy, employment law, or establishing vendor agreements, Business Law is the study of corporate regulation. For an aspiring Compliance Manager, business law keeps an organization aware of any external regulations that may have a direct impact on the company’s stakeholders.
  • Ethics in Management. Students who take Ethics in Management will examine ethical frameworks as they relate to business, the environment, the consumer, and individuals within an organization. Students will be introduced to some of the leading Fortune 500 companies that align their social mission with social responsibility. Ethical Leadership concentration students will also learn to apply these frameworks to real-life case studies using moral decision-making techniques. Controversial topics in business will be explored for the sake of analyzing the rights and wrongs of conducting business in an ever-changing world. Students, upon completion of Ethics in Management, will understand the importance of sticking to an ethical code while making high-level decisions.
  • Managing Organizational Change. MBA students taking Managing Organizational Change will explore the decision-making process while an organizational undergoes a major change. By applying change leadership to real-life case studies, B-students will be exposed to moral decision-making techniques adopted by some of the leading influencers in industry. The shift to a global business community makes leadership change all the more complex. The next generation of leaders must adapt to the internal and external factors that may make change more difficult in certain industries.

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Campus vs. Online MBA in Ethics Programs

eLearning platforms and cutting-edge Blackboard courses have made online education all the more accessible for B-Students no matter their geographic location. From online executive MBA to part-time hybrid programs, there are plenty of formats for B-students looking for a flexible way to earn their business degree. With traditional students integrating online courses into their curriculum to maximize the flexibility of their program, there’s a shift in the way the business community thinks about online MBA courses. They offer the non-traditional student a way to maintain employment and earn a well-respected credential as a business professional.

  • Each student must weigh their own personal factors in determining the instructional method of completing their MBA program. Information technology has improved the way curriculum materials are delivered – making it all the more collaborative.  Interactive platforms and use of social media have vastly improved the delivery of MBA program – making them a viable option for those with geographic limitation.
  • The convenience of choosing your own times and method of learning is rather liberating, especially if you’re a professional unwilling to give up their career for a traditional MBA program.It also gives the prospective B-Student greater access to concentrations not normally offered in traditional MBA programs. The ability to join a program that is highly specialized, like the Ethics concentration, is way more likely if you choose to attend an online MBA program.
  • A number of B-Schools offer free textbooks and e-Books at a reduced price. Most B-Students are also given access to case study portals like Harvard Business Review in order to further develop their business acumen. Since most the of the Ethics concentration uses the case study methodology, a professor has the option of replacing the textbook with more contemporary examples of ethical leadership.

How Much is Tuition for MBA Ethics Programs

Maximizing your B-School experience comes down to more than just a high-quality education. It’s also about managing your finances. With the student debt burden quickly becoming a nationwide epidemic, it’s smart to attend a quality institution without going too far into debt. Here are the numbers with regard to tuition for MBA in Ethics programs.

The average in-state tuition is $9,884.00 for on-campus traditional programs compared to the average out-of-state tuition of $54,695.85. You will benefit from substantial saving by when staying in-state, especially if the in-state program has a high employment rate for graduates and is a highly reputable program. If you’re limited by geography, you may opt for attending the only online program available for the MBA in Ethics at a $43,336.00 tuition rate.

GMAT Scores for MBA Ethics Programs

The GMAT score is an important factor in gaining admission to some of the top MBA programs in the country.  With that being said, not all MBA programs require the GMAT. If you’re bent on attending an AACSB-accredited program, you will find that most do require a GMAT for acceptance.

The lowest on-campus average GMAT score is 406 compared to the highest average GMAT score of 693. With an average GMAT score of 552, prospective B-Students will lower test scores may consider retaking the GMAT to boost their score. The GMAT is not the only factor when considering admissions: undergraduate GPA, professional experience, references, and letters of recommendation are also taken into consideration prior to rendering a decision. The average GMAT score is 548.52 for online MBA programs.

Student / Faculty Ratio for MBA Ethics Programs

What a student/faculty ratio and why is it an important factor when considering B-Schools? The student/faculty ratio is the average number of students in each class – measured in the number of faculty members responsible for teaching said students. Some of the best MBA in Ethics programs have low Student/Faculty ratios. This is a clear indication that the administration is concerned about the quality of education delivered to its students. The larger the classroom, the less personalized attention is given to the B-Student. Prospective B-Students who care about networking with their professors, should pay close attention to this ratio. Larger classrooms tend to overshadow the B-Student looking for a more close-knit relationship with their professors and fellow students.

The best MBA Student/Faculty ratio for on-campus programs is 0.06 compared to the worst Student/Faculty ratio of 10.67. The average Student/Faculty ratio for the only online MBA in Ethics is 2.61. For those students who desire a more intimate classroom experience, a program with a low Student/Faculty ratio will be a preferred program.

Student Population for MBA Ethics Programs

Whether it’s attending an annual job fair, networking with professors, joining a student organization, or collaborating with fellow B-Students, enrollment sizes vary from program to program. Enrollment sizes do have an impact on your studies, whether you’re attending B-School online or on-campus.

The average enrollment for full-time traditional MBA programs is 216 compared to 313 students in the average part-time MBA program. If you prefer learning in a lecture hall environment instead of a cohort, you may want to find a program with a larger enrollment size. The average online MBA program for full-time students is 195 compared to 373 part-time students.

A B-school dedicated to smaller enrollment sizes down may not have the recruiting opportunities available at a larger, more established program. Fortune 500 companies tend to recruit at larger higher-ranked institutions. Geographic location plays a huge part in recruiting opportunities. Does that mean opportunities aren’t available at smaller programs? Absolutely not. It’s certainly worth doing your research.

Global Enrollment for MBA Programs in Economics

The student body represents the business leaders of the future. If you want a competitive advantage, it’s best to hire employees from all over the world. The same rings true for MBA in Ethics program. In an ever-changing global business environment, diversity becomes an asset. Those who don’t adapt to the global business community will be left behind. Students are enriched when they hear about real-world business experiences from foreign students. An MBA program that has a high percentage of international students is a strong one.

The average percentage of students from the U.S. is 77.55% for on-campus programs. The average percentage of students from the U.S. is 73.00% for the one online MBA program.

Consumers are the most important stakeholders of any company. An organization that hires employees from all over the world can better strategize for its consumers. A great starting point is an MBA program.

Faculty Information for MBA Ethics Programs

This is one of the categories that depends entirely on your preference as a student. Would you prefer access to large percentage of academics/industry influencers or could care less about quantity (and are more concerned with the quality of education)? It’s not so much the numbers but rather the quality of instruction. It’s suggested that all B-Students, prior to applying to B-School, look at their prospective school’s course catalog and take note of the faculty credentials before rendering a decision.

The average on-campus full-time MBA in Ethics program has 61 professors compared to 4,633 professors for the average part-time program. The average online full-time MBA in Ethics program has 57 professors compared to 3,517 professors for the average part-time program. The average number of doctoral degrees is directly related to the quality of the program. Those with a terminal degree usually are usually published academics and have extensive industry experience. The average number of professors with doctorate degrees is 86 for full-time programs compared to 88 for online programs.

Best MBA Programs in Ethics – GMAT Scores, Salaries, Rankings

  • The number of on-campus MBA Ethics programs offered: 58
  • The number of online MBA Ethics programs offered: 24

With a limited amount of MBA in Ethics programs to choose from,  it’s best that you weigh your chosen concentration. It may be more advantageous to select an MBA in General Management program if it’s more aligned with your ideal B-School.

If you plan on applying to MBA in Ethics programs, there are 58 traditional and 24 online program to choose from.

There’s a lot to consider when deciding on an MBA program: tuition, enrollment size, student/faculty ratio, acceptance rate, and graduate employment rate. An MBA program should have the perfect balance of business foundation courses and specialized coursework in Ethics. Your professors should not only be industry influencers but seasoned academics. Your goal should be to minimize debt and to maximize connections while attending an MBA program. You should be able to seamlessly integrate into the workforce and start leading teams using socially responsible techniques learned during B-School.

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