Top MBA Programs that Will Provide You Better Career Growth and Life

top mba programs

Whether you are a business professional or aim to be, pursuing top MBA programs can help you in your career. MBA programs can propel your career into uncharted territories in the financial and networking realms.

Here we will discuss everything you need to know about the top MBA programs in the US, including what the degree is, why you should get one, available jobs, education requirements, career opportunities, and the top MBA universities.

What Is an MBA?


The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a graduate degree designed for business and management career paths. MBA programs are offered at business schools around the globe. Top MBA programs are reserved for the goal-oriented achievers in business.

  • Why Get an MBA?

Professionals who earn an MBA gain a level of prestige and credibility within their field. The MBA degree can pave the way for higher earning potential and better career opportunities. Top MBA programs provide inside business knowledge, help candidates craft their strategy and communication skills, and provide networking opportunities that might not otherwise occur.

Many MBA seekers are attracted to the opportunity to be their own boss and exercise their entrepreneurial spirit. Top MBA programs have been shown to develop positive personal attributes in the workplace, such as confidence.

  • Job Roles for MBA Graduates

There are a wide variety of jobs in business and management available people who hold an MBA degree. Jobs are available in every sector and industry. These jobs include:

  • Accountant
  • Chief or “C” officer positions such as CEO, CTO, COO
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Manager
  • Health Services Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Investment Manager
  • Management Consultant
  • Marketing Manager
  • Operations Research Analyst
  • Sales Manager
  • Salary Potential

Earning an MBA can dramatically increase the salary baseline for professional job positions. Those who have graduated from top MBA programs can expect to earn more than they would without the degree.

According to self-reported salaries provided by MBA holders on, reporting MBA professionals earn no less than around $47,000 per year. Most earners make around $65,000 annually. The middle tier of MBA earners receive around $120,000-$150,000 each year. The top MBA earners are bringing in an annual salary of around $250,000 to $333,000 per year. MBA workers making the most money tend to hold high-level executive positions such as CEO, COO, CTO, and Vice President of Finance.

The potential is there to earn a very high annual salary with an MBA. A combination of education from a top business school along with work experience increases the chances for higher annual earnings.

Education Requirements & Career Opportunities


If you want to pursue a career in business and/or management, you will need to first achieve a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. MBA programs require candidates to have an undergraduate degree before admission into an MBA program.

  • Preparatory Undergraduate Majors

MBA programs rarely have any hard rules regarding undergraduate majors. Candidates come from a variety of fields. However, there are undergraduate majors that best prepare candidates for the MBA program.

The MBA is one of the most popular graduate degrees for professionals which creates a lot of competition for placement into business school programs. Top MBA programs in business schools prefer candidates with preparatory undergraduate degrees in:

  • Business
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Humanities and social sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Natural sciences
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Technology
  • Work Experience

The MBA is designed for business professionals. Before entry into the program, many MBA programs prefer candidates gain one or two years of practical work experience in business. Top business schools may actually prefer more work experience. Relevant work experience is one of the most important admission considerations when applying for the MBA program.

  • Take the GMAT

Most US universities and institutions require applicants to provide Graduate Management Admission (GMAT) scores. The GMAT is a standardized test that assesses analytical, writing, quantitative, reading, and verbal comprehension skills. Higher GMAT scores are appealing to business schools who are seeking to admit the very best candidates.

  • GMAT vs GRE

Some business schools will allow applicants to submit a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) instead of the GMAT. The GRE is the general graduate admissions exam. Although this option is available at some universities, the overall consensus is that GMAT remains the preferred admissions exam for business school. This is because the GMAT is designed for those pursuing a career in management and/or business. Top MBA programs will prefer GMAT scores.

  • MBA Curriculum

MBA programs design their curriculum to best prepare candidates for the world of business. Business leaders are expected to have a firm grasp on every element involved in running a successful venture. Requisite courses applicable to top MBA programs include:

  • Accounting
  • Business communication
  • Ethics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Macroeconomics
  • Management
  • Managerial economics
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Statistics

Types of MBA Programs


There are two specific types of MBA programs available to pursue. They are the Master of Business Administration and the Executive Master of Business Administration programs. Both programs contain the same curriculum but cater to different candidates and have differing structures.

Here are the differences between the MBA and EMBA programs:

  • MBA

The MBA program is a full-time or part-time graduate degree. MBA students may or may not work while attending the program. Most MBA programs last for two years when attended full-time. The program can be extended out with part-time study over a longer duration.

The average age for individuals pursuing an MBA hovers around 30 years old. The MBA offers a variety of specialized courses to fine-tune whichever desired career skills. MBA programs function similarly to an undergraduate degree in that there are often opportunities for scholarships and networking within the program.

  • EMBA

The EMBA is specifically designed for seasoned business professionals who are working. Many companies sponsor EMBA programs for their most outstanding business professionals. Continuing education is an investment and segue into better career prospects.

Because EMBA candidates are working professionals, the EMBA program is part-time and takes longer to complete. The average age for EMBA candidates is 37 which is a little older than MBA candidates. EMBA programs are usually more generalized. Networking opportunities when pursuing an EMBA are specialized and focused on specific targets.  

  • MBA Program Accreditation

It’s important to look into the accreditation credentials of any business school you are applying to ensure that the program is reputable. Accreditation from the AACSB, AMBA, or EQUIS are the names to look for when investigating top MBA programs. If the program isn’t accredited, it is not worth pursuing.

Top MBA Programs


There are many business schools to choose from in the US. Almost every university has a business division. Some business schools stand out above the rest. Attending a top business school is not only a testament to your academic success and work achievements, but it also provides the opportunity to network with business professionals in the industry.

Many companies seek candidates who attended top tier universities to earn their MBA degree. Aim high and apply to a top business school to better your job and salary prospects for the future.

Top business schools were evaluated and ranked from a combination of university statistics include acceptance rate, GMAT scores, GPA, salary after graduation, jobs at graduation, and jobs later in the graduates career.

  • Top Business Schools
  • Harvard University Business School
  • Booth University Business School
  • Wharton University Business School
  • Stanford University Business School
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Kellogg University Business School
  • Haas University Business School
  • University of Michigan Business School
  • Columbia University Business School
  • Dartmouth University Business School

In 2018 US News ranked business schools, MBA, and EMBA programs in the United States. The US News rankings were gathered and sorted by taking a variety of elements into account. Some important elements they considered when compiling the data for the top MBA programs were:

  • Enrollment
  • Tuition costs
  • Application deadlines
  • Average GMAT scores
  • Acceptance rate

Because there is a difference in top MBA programs and top EMBA programs, we’ve listed the results for both here.

  • Top MBA Programs
  • University of California—Berkeley
  • University of Chicago
  • Northwestern
  • New York University
  • University of California—Los Angeles
  • University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
  • University of Texas—Austin
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Minnesota—Twin Cities
  • Georgetown University
  • Top EMBA Programs
  • The University of Chicago
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • Northwestern University
  • Columbia University
  • Duke University
  • University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
  • New York University
  • University of California—Los Angeles
  • University of California—Berkeley
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Top MBA programs are aplenty in the US. Carefully consider your career objectives to find the program and pace that will work best for you. Remember that top MBA programs are very selective in the admissions process.

To better your chances, get a bachelor’s degree in a recommended major and gain relevant work experience before applying. Opt to take the GMAT rather than the GRE. Look for accreditation in a business school. Graduates from top MBA programs earn not only a graduate degree, but also create many rewarding opportunities for career expansion, growth, and overall earning potential.

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