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What is a General Business MBAWhat is a General Business MBA

The Master of Business Administration degree in General Business develops analytical business and general managerial skills within a comprehensive business curriculum. Building upon the foundational disciplines of Economics, Finance, Management, Operations and Marketing, students customize their program with electives in Business Administration. Graduates will use this highly versatile degree in a wide range of leadership settings including consulting, small businesses, domestic companies, and international corporations. The sky is the limit for someone with an MBA in General Business. Fortune 500 companies consistently recruit MBA in General Business graduates into their management training programs.

You will most likely have anywhere between 15 to 21 additional credits in management theory coursework. Some of the top employers that hire MBA graduates include Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Boston Consulting Group, Apple, IBM, Procter and Gamble, and Amazon. Both the MBA in General Business and the MBA in Management will provide a comprehensive overview of high-level business theories and practices. Most MBA programs incorporate real-world case study analysis into the program.

In the General Business Concentration, students take a wide range of business-related coursework. Whether it’s Organizational Change, Business Law & Ethics, or Entrepreneurship, the MBA in General Business prepares students for a diverse set of careers, rather than a specific field of study. Students become well-rounded business managers and can lead diverse teams. Fortune 500 companies seek general business graduates for they develop into well-rounded leaders capable of analyzing a firm’s financials, its operational teams, and its managerial direction. They are savvy employees within a firm capable of grasping business theory, management principles, and are trained to dissect even the most complicated financial statements.

Career Outlook General Business MBAsWhat’s the Career Outlook for General Business MBAs

Employment of general business managers is projected to grow 10% through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The general business concentration teaches the B-Student in-depth leadership skills and practical ways to supervise teams, handle organizational change, and manage diversity in the workplace. An MBA in General Business program gives students access to cutting-edge technology, whether it’s CRM software, supply chain management system, or state-of-the-art quality assurance platforms. The specialization is not limited to any one particular field; but instead, provides students with the tools to manage cross-functional teams. A B-Student who graduates with an MBA in Management is armed with a highly-respected degree which allows them to enter some of the hottest markets as a manager: IT, Healthcare, Real Estate, Finance, and Entrepreneurship.

Whether you plan on leading an e-commerce sales team or starting your own consulting business, the MBA in General Business gives aspiring B-Students all the tools needed to succeed in the ever-changing corporate world. Top business schools with a very good reputation have a wealth of opportunity beyond the classroom. Whether it’s landing a higher salary after graduation, securing a top management position or starting a consulting business, an MBA in General Business provides students the knowledge and skills for leadership positions in executive management, sales and marketing, human resource management, consulting, and financial management. This degree is offered both in a traditional on-campus and distance learning formats. Students can choose from part-time Executive, full-time online, and hybrid MBA programs depending on the graduate program.

Some of the career options for MBA in General Business degree holders include:

  • Advertising or marketing manager
  • Budget analyst
  • Management consultant
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial manager
  • Management analyst
  • Personal financial advisor
  • Entrepreneurial ventures

General Business MBAs SalariesHow Much Do General Business MBAs Earn

The median annual wage for administrative services managers is $90,050. The lowest 10% earned less than $49,270 and the highest 10% earned more than $159,330.

The median annual wages for administrative services managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Sector Avg. Salary
Finance and insurance $100,240
Professional, scientific, and technical services $97,850
Local government, excluding education and hospitals $91,310
Educational services; state, local, and private $86,820
Healthcare and social assistance $83,810

Where Do General Business MBAs WorkWhere Do General Business MBAs Work

Administrative services managers held about 281,700 jobs last year. The largest employers of general business managers were as follows:

Sector Description
Educational services; state, local, and private 13%
Healthcare and social assistance 13%
Professional, scientific, and technical services 9%
Finance and insurance 8%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 7%

Career opportunities for an MBA in General BusinessWhat Can I Do With an MBA in General Business

Graduates of MBA in General Business programs usually take on leadership roles inside an organization’s operational departments. Whether it’s customer service, sales, marketing, business development, or accounting, Managers are responsible for the day-to-day workflow of their respective department. They are usually bound by performance metrics and are expected to develop their respective team. Their specific responsibilities vary, but managers typically supervise activities that include training new reps, handling escalated customer issues, and working with vendors to ensure a smooth delivery of a company’s products/services to the end consumer. In a small organization, they may direct all support services and may be called the business office manager. Large organizations may have several layers of managers who specialize in different areas. General Business Managers typical advance from Assistant Manager to Manager to General Manager and finally to Director. The following are examples of types of managers

  • Compensation and Benefits Managers plan, develop, and oversee programs to compensate employees.
  • Facility Managers oversee buildings, grounds, equipment, and supplies. Their duties fall into several categories, including overseeing operations and maintenance, planning and managing projects, and dealing with environmental factors.
  • Human Resources Managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.
  • Postsecondary Education Administrators oversee student services, academics, and faculty research at colleges and universities. Their job duties vary depending on the area of the college they manage, such as admissions, student life, or the registrar’s office.
  • Records and Information Managers develop, monitor, and manage an organization’s records. They provide information to executive management and ensure that employees throughout the organization follow information and records management guidelines. They may direct the operations of on-site or off-site records facilities.
  • Top Executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.

Skills required to be an MBA in General BusinessWhat Skills Do I Need to be Successful as an MBA in General Business

Skill Description
Analytical skills. Administrative services managers must be able to review an organization’s procedures and find ways to improve efficiency.
Communication skills. Much of an administrative services manager’s time is spent working with other people. Therefore, communication is a key quality.
Detail oriented. Administrative services managers must pay attention to details. This quality is necessary across a range of tasks, from ensuring that the organization complies with building codes to managing the process of buying equipment.
Leadership skills. In managing workers and coordinating administrative duties, administrative services managers must be able to motivate employees and deal with issues that may arise.

A graduate with a Master of Business Administration in General Business will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary business issues at a domestic and international level.
  • Apply sound business concepts and management techniques to the strategic management of organizations.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct relevant research appropriate to the discipline.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ethical issues and decision-making skills.

difference between an MBA in General Business v. ManagementIs there a difference between an MBA in General Business v. Management?

In the General Business Concentration, students commit to a wide range of classes. They learn how to lead teams effectively while staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends. General Business Managers learn how to be the liaison between all of an organization’s functional departments. This prepares students for a diverse set of careers, rather than a specific field of study. Graduates will gain familiarity across numerous functions of the business spectrum. This may be advantageous for corporations as they seek professionals who possess deeper analysis into the company’s operations.

In the Management concentration, students are molded into the next generation of business leaders with a more concentrated course of study. They learn how to spearhead change in global business environments. Included in the MBA curriculum will be business foundation courses (Financial Management, Operational Management, Mico/Macroeconomics, Business Law, Statistics). For students seeking management positions, additional coursework in Management theory, quantitative analysis, and business ethics is added to the curriculum.

Why MBA in General BusinessWhy Get an MBA in General Business

The decision to pursue an MBA should not be taken lightly. Your MBA concentration will determine your initial career path and may be the difference between taking additional coursework for licensing or entry into managerial training programs. There are certain companies that seek out a more high-tech MBA program versus a general business management course of study. Graduate programs—on campus or online, MBA or any other degree—are a big commitment of both time and money. Before deciding to pursue your MBA degree, it’s essential to weigh the benefits of an MBA degree compared to starting salaries in your field. It’s also important to look at your B-School’s employment rate for recent graduates and see what type of companies recruit on-campus.

Benefits of an Earning an MBA in General BusinessBenefits of an Earning an MBA in General Business

The benefits of an MBA are countless. From gaining a professional edge to expanding your business network, reasons to get an MBA are as diverse as those who are pursuing them. You will be on the front lines of the business industry and be equipped to run your own business. Increased salaries are a well-documented benefit of an MBA. But what about other reasons:

  • You’ll become an effective communicator. A great benefit of an MBA is the chance to hone your professional communication skills. From writing papers and e-mails to giving presentations, an MBA degree program can help you learn to communicate effectively in business environments—an essential and highly valued skill in every industry around the world.
  • You’ll learn how to collaborate to meet goals, build teams, and work within them. Businesses are group environments. If you’re not already regularly working in teams, you will as you pursue your MBA degree, no matter if it is on campus or at an online university. You’ll do more than work in teams, you can learn how to build them—a truly invaluable skill in today’s diverse, global workforce.
  • You’ll meet others who share your passion for business. Whether you’re introverted or extroverted if you work for a company or for yourself, there’s nothing like finding like-minded individuals. MBA programs give you a rare opportunity to surround yourself with others who are as passionate about business as you are.
  • Build leadership skills in business disciplines – including finance, operations, marketing, and communications
  • Gain the fundamental business knowledge to rise to management and executive leadership positions
  • Learn principles and strategies for organizational and change management
  • Develop effective communication and employee motivation techniques
  • Understand financial analysis techniques for sound managerial decision-making
  • Study the application of quantitative methods and management science
  • Learn profitable marketing management concepts and strategies

Curriculum of MBA in General BusinessWhat Core Classes Make the Curriculum

Sector Description
Entrepreneurial Management This course addresses the issues faced by managers who wish to turn opportunity into viable organizations that create value, and empowers students to develop their own approaches, guidelines, and skills for being entrepreneurial managers. The course teaches students how to:

  • Identify potentially valuable opportunities.
  • Obtain the resources necessary to pursue an opportunity and to create an entrepreneurial organization.
  • Create and harvest value for the organization’s stakeholders.
  • Manage the entrepreneurial organization once it has been established.
  • Grow the business into a sustainable enterprise.
Finance This course examines the role of finance in supporting the functional areas of a firm, and fosters an understanding of how financial decisions themselves can create value. Topics covered include:

  • Basic analytical skills and principles of corporate finance.
  • Functions of modern capital markets and financial institutions.
  • Standard techniques of analysis, including capital budgeting, discounted cash flow valuation, and risk analysis.
Financial Reporting and Control (FRC) Recognizing that accounting is the primary channel for communicating information about the economics of a business, this course provides a broad view of how accounting contributes to an organization.
Leadership and Corporate Accountability In this course, students learn about the complex responsibilities facing business leaders today. Through cases of difficult managerial decisions, the course examines the legal, ethical, and economic responsibilities of corporate leaders. It also teaches students about management and governance systems leaders can use to promote responsible conduct by companies and their employees, and shows how personal values can play a critical role in effective leadership.
Marketing The objectives of this course are to demonstrate the role of marketing in the company; to explore the relationship of marketing to other functions, and to show how effective marketing builds on a thorough understanding of buyer behavior to create value for customers.
Technology and Operations Management This course enables students to develop the skills and concepts needed to ensure the ongoing contribution of a firm’s operations to its competitive position. It helps them to understand the complex processes underlying the development and manufacture of products as well as the creation and delivery of services.

Campus vs. Online General Business MBA Programs

Whether it’s a part-time Executive MBA, full-time online, or a traditional MBA program, B-Schools offer a variety of scheduling options for the working professional and the recent graduate. The online option is ideal for students that want a reputable program without geographic limitations. An MBA in General Business allows students to enjoy program flexibility and thanks to the advances in technology, have enabled greater access to coursework all over the globe.

With improvements made to eLearning and Blackboard educational technology platforms, the collaboration between professors and students has drastically improved the delivery of MBA content. There are nearly 3 million students currently enrolled in full-time online degree programs compared to 6 million students taking at least one online course as part of their degree program. B-Schools that fall into the category of “traditional” usually provide students with the option of taking a few online courses during their MBA in General Business program.

  • The pros of online learning include lower overhead cost which includes online textbooks, dormitory expenses, and commuting cost. The convenience and flexibility of choosing your own times for learning, and the comfort of learning in your own home.
  • The cons of online learning include limited social interaction, computer and software issues as well as cost of high-speed Internet, often requires the student be self-motivated and disciplined progress through the program
  • The pros of campus-based learning include face-to-face and in-person interaction with instructors and fellow students, regularly scheduled class hours, use of the school’s library, athletic facilities, and laboratories.
  • The cons of campus-based learning include the requirement to travel to classes, lack of time flexibility, and housing costs.

One of the benefits to online learning as it relates to tuition cost is that a number of schools offer free textbooks online and include these texts in the price of tuition.

How Much is Tuition for General Business MBA ProgramsHow Much is Tuition for General Business MBA Programs

If you plan on attending B-School, it’s best to start thinking about fiscal responsibility. A prospective B-Student in General Business needs to weigh their options with regard to tuition rates. A highly reputable MBA program can pave the way for a great starting salary by way of on-campus recruitment from Fortune 500 companies. An online MBA program can provide the flexibility of completing a program while being employed in your respective career. With that being said, the lowest in-state tuition for on-campus MBA programs is $6,698.00 compared to the highest average in-state tuition of $132,000.00. There’s a significant tuition range for in-state programs. The average in-state tuition is $36,906.89 compared to an average out-of-state tuition of $49,867.30 for traditional MBA programs. If you have the option of attending a highly reputable in-state program, it may be worthwhile to save close to $13,000 in tuition costs. If geography is a limiting factor, then a well-respected online MBA program may be the best option for aspiring B-Students. The average in-state online MBA program in General Business is $35,213.08 compared to the average online out-of-state program of $49,688.98.

Campus Tuition

Online Tuition

GMAT Scores for MBA General Business ProgramsGMAT Scores for General Business MBA Programs

It’s important to note that not all MBA programs require a GMAT Score for acceptance; but most AACSB programs do. There are other factors that ultimately decide an admissions decision. They include undergraduate GPA, professional experience, letters of reference, CV, and a personal statement. The GMAT measures a prospective students’ ability to quantitatively analyze data. The MBA in General Business is one of the more popular programs due to its breadth of business knowledge; therefore, GMAT scores will be a bit more competitive. The average GMAT score for on-campus programs is 542 compared to an online GMAT of 540. If you have a specific program in mind, it’s best to boost your GMAT to improve your chances of acceptance. With a GMAT Score range of 377 to 717, there’s plenty of opportunity to attend a high-quality MBA in Business Management program.

Campus GMAT Scores

Online GMAT Scores

Student Faculty Ratio for MBA General Business ProgramsStudent / Faculty Ratio for General Business MBA Programs

The best MBA Student/Faculty ratio is 0.05 compared to the worst on-campus Student/Faculty ratio of 19.64. The lower the ratio, the better it is for students. They get the personalized one-on-one attention from faculty mentors that have extensive experience in the industry. The Student/Faculty metric is a matter of personal preference and for those students who excel in lecture hall environments, you may not need the low Student/Faculty ratio. The best Student/Faculty ratio for online MBA programs is 0.06 compared to the worst online Student/Faculty ratio of 19.64. The combination of cutting-edge eLearning platforms and innovative Blackboard courses make the online experience a rewarding one for prospective business students. The Student/Faculty ratio comes down to personal preference. For a B-Student interested in networking with professors and fellow students via a cohort style classroom environment, it’s best to look for programs with lower Student/Faculty ratios. If you don’t mind the lecture hall environment, then a higher Student/Faculty ratio may be a suitable option for the prospective MBA applicant.

Campus Student/Faculty Ratio

Online Student/Faculty Ratio

Student Population for MBA General Business ProgramsStudent Population for General Business MBA Programs

Every B-School has a strategy behind their enrollment sizes. If a prospective B-Student is looking for networking opportunities, wants to attend job fairs, and plans on joining student organizations, B-School enrollment size plays an important role in the decision making process. For the B-Student interested in the smaller cohort-style classroom experience and thrive with face-to-face collaboration with their professors, a manageable enrollment size is the preferred option. This is especially true for cohort MBA programs where the MBA class stays together for the entire program. The average MBA full-time enrollment for on-campus programs is 253 compared to the average online MBA program of 262. The average MBA part-time enrollment for on-campus is 267 students compared to the average part-time online enrollment of 338. It’s important to note there is a significant difference between the online study experience versus the traditional classroom experience.

Campus Enrollment

Online Enrollment

Student Population from the United StatesStudent Population from the United States for General Business MBA Programs

The ever-changing global economy has produced countless managerial positions for those with international business experience. Just like a highly successful company, an MBA in General Business program should be a reflection of members of the global business community. The more international students, the better the program – especially for MBA programs. A company that hires employees from other countries evolves into a well-rounded organization. The employee talent should represent the company’s most important asset: its customers. This is similar to an MBA program. The average percentage of students from the U.S. in traditional MBA programs is 84.43% compared to an average of 85.47% for online MBA programs. If you want to collaborate, network, and learn from global business leaders, it’s highly recommended that prospective B-Students attend an institution that accepts a higher percentage of international students compared to students from the U.S.

Campus Global Enrollment

Online Global Enrollment

Faculty Information for MBA General Business ProgramsFaculty Information for General Business MBA Programs

Highly competitive B-Schools recruit part-time and full-time professors that are both academics and industry influencers. They are the subject matter experts in their respective field. Most business professors have experienced success in the corporate world and have written extensively in their chosen field. The number of highly-qualified full-time faculty is directly related to the reputation of most elite MBA programs. The average number of full-time on-campus MBA faculty is 67 compared to 80 for part-time on-campus programs. The average number of professors with doctorate degrees is 84 for on-campus MBA programs compared to 84 doctorates for online MBA programs. You want to learn business from industry influencers and academics who are on the front lines of their respective industry. Looking at business professor bios, their published work, and their professional history is a great way to determine if your MBA programs hires quality faculty. You will find that most have worked for Fortune 500 companies, are consultants in the industry, or have started their own practice.

Campus Faculty Numbers

Online Faculty Numbers

List of Campus and Online MBA ProgramsList of Campus and Online General Business MBA Programs

  • The number of on-campus MBA General Business programs offered: 333
  • The number of online MBA General Business programs offered: 138

Since the MBA in General Business concentration is considered a comprehensive overview of management, there’s plenty of programs to choose from in the MBA Guide. There are 333 on-campus traditional MBA in General Business programs in the U.S. compared to 138 accredited online programs. As mentioned previously, General Business is one of the most popular MBA concentrations delivering the most comprehensive business study for its students. Specialized courses are designed to create a well-rounded manager in both corporate, non-profit, and entrepreneural settings. There are plenty of career paths an aspiring B-Student can take if they choose the General Business specialization. An MBA in any specialization is a highly respected credential in any field and the perfect gateway for leadership positions.

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About Michael J. Marquis

Michael J. Marquis is a Portland, Maine-based freelance copywriter and MBA-graduate who loves writing about disruptive technology. When he's not exploring interesting parts of the world, you can find him at either Gillette Stadium watching his beloved New England Patriots or at a local Portland coffee shop working on his next copywriting assignment. Feel free to find Mike on Twitter @MarquisInteract.