Executives turn to MBAs

As employment markets tighten, research suggests that more and more executives are considering education in order to further career prospects


Obtaining a Masters in Business Administration is a difficult task requiring several years of study in a wide variety of subjects. Specialties in accounting, economics, finance, management and other areas are available, though a number of courses in each area are generally required for successful completion and graduation. Students with an MBA often go on to become managers and executives in larger companies, accountants and CPAs, financiers and other high salary positions.

Many people find the finance specialty of the MBA to be particularly challenging. Courses include subjects as broad as macroeconomic theory or as detailed as specifics about the rise and fall of interest rates relative to various market indices. A considerable amount of detailed mathematics is involved, including statistical modelling. The history of various market sectors provides a foundation for forward analysis of current-day trends.

Courses such as Corporate Valuation, Venture Capital, Finance of Buyouts and Acquisitions, Financial Derivatives, Investment Management and Fixed Income Securities are just some of the subjects that may be required in order to achieve a Finance MBA. The statistical analysis required by some of these courses can be quite involved and may include subjects such as probability modelling, the stochastic or random process, management statistics, differential equations and multivariate analysis. Of course, in the Finance MBA, additional areas of expertise are required to further complicate matters. For example, when including currency calculations, the potential for the rise or fall of one currency against another is a key factor to be considered.

Some of the best business schools in the world, include Stanford, Harvard and the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, all of which are in the United States. In the UK, the London Business School, Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School and the Warwick Business School are all very highly rated for MBA degrees. All of these offer MBAs in finance and many of their graduates have gone on to enjoy extremely successful and lucrative careers in their chosen fields. Some of their better-known graduates include Stephen Bechtel, Chairman & CEO of the Bechtel Group; Sterling Brinkley, former Managing Director of Lehman Brothers and Sir Deryck Maughan, former Chairman and CEO of Salomon Brothers.

While MBA subject matter can be quite challenging, the degree itself offers immediate access to the world of banking, finance and private equity firms. Rather than work their way up from an entry-level position, Finance MBA graduates are likely to be offered much higher positions with a ‘fast track’ to advancement. The time, money and effort invested in an MBA and particularly a Finance MBA, is generally rewarded quite handsomely.

For those who enjoy challenging coursework and real-life scenarios and applications, a Finance MBA can be an excellent investment. Exciting, challenging and rewarding work are just a few of the reasons why individuals opt to pursue this line of education. Taking an MBA course at a high-ranking college, such as Stanford, Wharton, the London Business School or Oxford University, virtually guarantees a top-flight education and excellent credentials on your resume.