Less Conventional Career Fields for the MBA Graduate

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While your MBA degree can lead to a promising career in traditional fields like investment banking or consulting, many MBA graduates prefer to choose the road less traveled and pursue unique careers. Here are just a few of the many interesting and exciting career fields your MBA may help prepare you for:

Start-Up or Entrepreneurial Role

Start-up companies often have innovative product or service offerings that set them apart from larger firms. These smaller companies may offer a unique product or service that can take off in the market – just ask one of the first employees of Amazon or Facebook. Joining an entrepreneurial environment also means being exposed to a wider range of tasks, such as administration, accounting, marketing and strategy that can accelerate your real-world learning. With a lean staff and few resources, your education will be put to a rigorous test at a start-up. This type of work environment may be a better match for your personality and work style as opposed to a more structured, narrowly defined job inside a larger corporation.

Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofits and other non-government organizations are always in need of savvy finance and marketing people, and roles with these companies can be a great way to feel like your degree and career are making a real difference in the day-to-day lives of other people. Find a cause that you believe strongly in, and look for organizations that are trailblazing in that field.

When you study nonprofit leadership through venues such as the Villanova School of Business’ Social Enterprise Consulting Practicum, you can learn the skills necessary to manage a diverse array of functions, including general operations, governance, fundraising and strategic planning. You also can develop an understanding of other competencies in the context of nonprofit management, such as legal issues, tax regulations, donor relations, fundraising and program management.


The U.S. government is regularly recruiting for its agencies, particularly the IRS, the Treasury Department and the Commerce Department. Graduates with MBAs are even needed at law enforcement organizations such as the FBI. Special agents in finance help catch corporate criminals, like those who commit fraud or embezzlement. They may also help to identify criminals who launder their money through seemingly legitimate businesses.

MBA courses in finance, management and public policy can help prepare you for these positions in government.

Entertainment and Sports

Before any film rolls, production companies need to have a budget prepared for their project. You might work directly for these production companies, or, more likely, for one of the many accounting firms that support the entertainment industry.

If sports are more your passion, you could work behind the scenes to help professional athletes and teams work out contracts or sponsorship deals, or advise on how to work within salary cap limits.

Every business, whether public or private, for-profit or nonprofit, requires leadership, management skills and the practical skills to conduct day-to-day operations. An MBA may be a traditional advanced degree, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow a traditional path.The Villanova School of Business understands these emerging trends and has designed its online MBA program to develop professionals into tomorrow’s business leaders. The comprehensive and rigorous curriculum was developed in consultation with the business community to address the skills most urgently needed, offering the same curriculum and expert faculty as our top-ranked campus program in a flexible, convenient format.

Related Articles:

How an MBA Career Change Can Open Many Doors

A Business Guide for Young Entrepreneurs

Tips for Tomorrow’s Business Leaders

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