Redlands Business & Society Blog

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Netting the Non-Traditional Job with an MBA

As the world of business has changed, so have the possible professions for those with an MBA. Once a graduate degree seen most often in the upper echelon of business theorists and management, an MBA now acts as a gateway to a number of non-traditional careers often associated with personal satisfaction. This article looks at some of these innovative (and growing) career paths and how the University of Redlands Online MBA program can help you along the way.

Data Driven MBAs: Analyst Positions

If business studies have made you desire quality time with data or have left you more inclined for analytical work, you might want to consider a career as an analyst. Analysts often draw on their knowledge of statistics and their understanding of analytic indicators, making classes such as Business Statistics and Economics (BUAD 644) and Analytics for Managerial Decision-Making (MGMT 651) the underpinnings of a successful career.

A career as a data or management analyst might be an ideal option for those intrigued by the interpretation of statistical data and corporate optimization. Data analysts are asked to interpret raw internal company data in an effort to make day-to-day operations more efficient. Similarly, management analysts seek efficiency with a focus on streamlining the structure of a company to boost both performance and productivity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS), demand for these positions is on the rise, and management analysts netted a median salary of approximately $80,000 in 2016.

Information security analysts work to ensure that a company's most sensitive data is protected from the myriad of malware that invades our online world. These analysts keep up on the leading protocols for information protection and ensure compliance within an organization. Similar to the fields of data and management analysis, information security analysis is a burgeoning field with a median annual wage of $92,600 (according to the USBLS's 2016 data).

MBAs with People Skills: Administration Positions

For those interested in engaging with and overseeing others in the workforce, a position in administration might be an appropriate fit. An administrative position offers the opportunity to implement leadership and decision-making skills, as learned in courses such as Management and Organizational Behavior (MGMT 631).

Human resources managers will often rely on skills developed while earning an MBA degree. These professionals are attentive to the various facets of a company's workforce, from the design of the hiring process to the structure of the benefits package. Human resources specialists must exercise expertise in several areas, from employee discipline to collective bargaining, topics covered comprehensively in the Human Resources Management course (MGMT 674). According to the 2016 USBLS report, human resources managers achieved a median salary of $106,910.

Those looking to use their MBA in the medical field might find themselves in healthcare administration. Healthcare administrators are often tasked with managing the operations of health care centers or hospitals and must be primed to negotiate budgets, maintain medical facilities, and optimize relations with organizations such as Medicare or Medicaid. According to the USBLS, healthcare managers achieved a median salary of $96,540 in 2016.

Charting Your Own Course: Nonprofits and Start-Ups

Individuals motivated to use their MBA to enact change for the greater good might consider a role as a manager or director for a nonprofit or start-up venture. Working for a nonprofit organization can offer the chance to make the world a better place. A career in consulting or start-up development can offer the freedom to set your own schedule while working for a cause that aligns with your values. Start-ups come with the added advantage of executive control and direction as you bring your idea to life. Work in nonprofit or start-up organizations will call on your ethical understanding, as fostered in courses such as Business, Ethics, and Society (MGMT 667). It will also demand expertise in financial management (to keep your organization operational), making a course such as Managerial Finance (BUAD 660) essential.

Whatever direction your career goals might take you, the University of Redlands Online MBA program can provide a solid foundation to build on. To learn more about the program, visit the program's webpage.


  • Kirk Kerr, "Non-Traditional Careers for Non-Traditional MBA Grads." Kaplan Learning Advisor, 17 November 2014. Accessed 3 September 2017.
  • "Jobs You Didn't Think Your MBA Could Land You: 5 Non-Traditional Career Paths for Business Grads." Just Colleges, undated. Accessed 3 September 2017.
  • Liza Ryan, "Stop Apologizing for your Non-Traditional Career Path." Forbes, 5 December 2015. Accessed 3 September 2017.
  • "Human Resources Manager." United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed 3 September 2017.
  • "Information Security Analyst." United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed 3 September 2017.
  • "Management Analyst." United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed 3 September 2017.
  • "Operations Research Analyst." United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed 3 September 2017.