Find out where the range of skills you develop studying an MBA can take you. Here we list potential careers and tell you how you can find a job in this sector.


An MBA adds to your existing experience to develop your vocational skills and knowledge, and equip you with a deeper understanding of management and business. Some MBA students will have begun their studies with a clear idea of their next move after the end of the course while others may be considering a variety of options, such as:

  • Moving into a higher-level managerial post within your current employment or professional area
  • Setting up your own business or becoming self-employed
  • Changing career direction, either into a related professional area or into a new sector/profession.

MBA graduates can be found in many varied jobs and careers, meaning that there are no `typical´ MBA jobs. This means that there is no single source of information on MBA careers or employers and that you may need to use general careers resources to research and achieve your goal, depending on your objectives.

Thank you to Prospects for the content on these pages.

Choosing a career

When deciding on your next move after your MBA, a good starting point is to reflect on the areas of expertise - in terms of sectors, industries and business functions - and the transferable skills you already have and the opportunities that might utilise these.

These opportunities may be in related areas or you may be planning to use your MBA to achieve a change in career direction. In the latter case, you will need to assess how your existing skills and experience may be relevant to a new area. Building up your experience, reputation and networks in a new field can take a while and you may need to give yourself more time to reach the level of seniority and remuneration that you aim to achieve than you would need in your existing field.

Think too about what you have to offer employers in addition to your academic qualifications and professional experience, and what else is important to you in life.
You can break these issues down into topics such as:

  • Your interests
  • Your values
  • Your skills
  • Your opportunities – the job market for your subject or area of interest
  • Other criteria – such as location, salary or work-life balance

The resources below will provide further information and exercises to assist you with making a career choice. While none of them are MBA-specific, all are useful in evaluating your values, interests and skills. Careers advisers can offer personal support and guidance to help you make these decisions:

  • My Prospects Career Planner A powerful program to help you choose a career by helping you to identify your skills, motivations and interests. Based on your answers to the questions asked you will get a list of occupations that match your profile and an explanation of the reasons behind this match.
  • Target Careers Report A career planning tool which aims to help you get started on your job hunt. You'll work through interactive questionnaires that assess your career strengths, personality and abilities and, based on your responses, you'll get a list of jobs that may suit you.
  • Windmills Interactive Open access website with useful exercises to help evaluate values and skills. Aimed at those with professional experience.
  • "What can I do with my degree in …?" These web pages are general resources, chiefly aimed at undergraduate students, but some of the employer links and job descriptions may also be helpful to MBA students.

Tips for successful career planning

  • Get to know yourself, your interests, skills, values and personality.
  • Remember that you are an individual and that the choices you make are your own. Nobody else can choose a career for you.
  • There is more to you than your degree.
  • Take time over your decision – your career is worth it!
  • Talk to other people – they can often help you to see yourself more clearly - but make your own decision.
  • Use your analytical skills to investigate and evaluate your options.
  • Be flexible and open-minded.
  • Don’t be misled by preconceived or stereotyped pictures of jobs: these are rarely accurate.
  • Use your networks (see our Creative Career Search booklet for further information).
  • Make use of all the Careers and Employability Service resources: talks, workshops, careers events, online resources and individual one-to-one careers guidance.
  • Don’t panic!

Skills gained

Employers want MBA graduates to be able to offer more than their academic subject knowledge and professional experience. They also look for a range of skills: transferable skills such as communication, problem-solving and time management skills plus, depending on the employer, more practical skills such as languages, numeracy, and quantitative methods. These skills are important for jobs in all areas, not just business, and you will need to show them on your job applications. 
The transferable skills most often sought by employers of MBA graduates are:

  • Written communication skills: The ability to use the English language effectively in order to express your ideas clearly and at a level appropriate for your audience.
  • Verbal communication and presentation skills: Again, using language effectively but with the additional ability to speak confidently and clearly and to pitch what you say in such a way to have the desired impact on your listeners.
  • Analytical ability: Considering differing ideas, information and theories; picking out key points and details in order to construct or support your arguments; following complex reasoning; applying logic. 
  • Leadership: Able to take responsibility, use initiative and motivate other people; seeking excellence; having confidence in yourself and inspiring confidence in others.
  • Critical and strategic thinking: Ability to question and to see the “bigger picture” rather than just the immediate issue. Interpreting information and arguments; considering their validity in the light of issues such as their source, the evidence provided to support them and other material on the topic.
  • Project management: Approaching tasks and projects systematically; managing time; setting targets; monitoring progress; delegating; ability to handle a number of different tasks simultaneously.
  • Innovation: Ability to take a fresh approach, think laterally, be original and creative, willing to try new things and adapt to new environments.
  • Problem solving: Taking a systematic approach to problems; being flexible in finding solutions; looking at different angles and approaches; identifying the most appropriate solution for the situation.
  • Maturity and confidence: Wide experience of life generally and specifically of working with other people; strong career focus; credibility with employers and clients.
  • Self-motivation: Ability to work independently without the need for constant direction or feedback. Anticipating what needs to be done; setting your own goals and working towards them. Being positive and professional. Taking responsibility for your own work and personal development.
  • Commitment: Seriousness of purpose and determination, demonstrated, for example, by taking time out from your career on a reduced salary (or no salary) in order to improve your qualifications or by combining work and part-time study.
  • Commercial awareness: An awareness of the environment in which an organisation operates (public sector and charitable organisations face commercial and financial pressures too!). A focus on the purpose of the organisation and its clients and/or stakeholders.
  • Co-operation: The ability to work with other people, inside and outside your own department or organisation. Working together to achieve a common goal. Allocating and sharing responsibilities and tasks.
  • Cultural awareness: The ability to work with people of different nationalities, ethnicity, gender etc. Understanding different behaviours, expectations and etiquette, being sensitive to others and able to build relationships. Having a global outlook.

This is not an exhaustive list of skills - you will develop many skills from your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience. You can find out more about the skills employers look for and how you can develop them here.
Many of these skills are developed to a high level through postgraduate study. Others can be demonstrated through other aspects of your experience, such as your previous employment outside academia and extra-curricular activities.

Analysing your skills

Our Employability Skills pages include a skills inventory and a progress file to help you identify the skills you have developed through your studies and those you wish to develop further:
Once you have worked through these resources you may wish to talk over the results with a careers adviser – see the CES webpages for contact details

As well as their subject-specific knowledge and skills, a graduate in subject will typically:

This is not an exhaustive list of skills - you will develop many skills from your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience. You can find out more about the skills employers look for and how you can develop them here.

Business careers

A wide range of employers - financial institutions, technology companies, blue-chip companies and SMEs - recruit MBA graduates. Employers usually look favourably on MBAs because studying for this qualification promotes knowledge and skills that are applicable to any organisation (regardless of the sector). The universal appeal stems from the MBA's focus on collective business principles like finance, marketing, operations, technology, accounting, business strategy, organisational behaviour, economics and entrepreneurship.

Popular options for MBA graduates include:

Human Resources Management 

Human resources management (HRM) involves the management of people within organisations. It may include organisation and planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, employee relations, job evaluation, performance and reward and much more. Also known as personal management.

Job profile of a human resources officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a personnel officer from the TARGET Jobs website

Investment Banking 

Investment banking relates primarily to raising capital for companies and other organisations, the provision of mergers and acquisition advice or advice on specific issues such as raising loans or stock exchange flotations.

Job profile of an investment banker from the Prospects website
Inside Careers: Banking and Investments

Management Consultancy

Management consultants help organisations to solve issues, in particular those concerned with the strategy, structure, management and operations of an organisation. They provide objective advice and expertise that will identify options for the organisation, and suggest recommendations for change.

Job profile of a management consultant from the Prospects website
Inside Careers: management consultancy


Marketing executives develop marketing campaigns to promote a product, service or idea. It is a varied role that includes planning, advertising, public relations, event organisation, product development, distribution, sponsorship and research. 

Job profile of a marketing executive from the Prospects website
Job profile of a marketing executive from the TARGET Jobs website
I Want to Work In: Marketing

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain managers plan, coordinate and monitor the transfer of goods and materials from manufacturers and suppliers through to customers. This can include everything from forecasting trends and buying through to transport and distribution. Also known as logistics or distribution manager.

Job profile of a logistics and distribution manager from the Prospects website
Job profile of a distribution manager from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a supply chain manager from the National Careers Service website


Relatively few employers offer training programmes targeted on MBA graduates: the majority of MBAs will enter “one-off jobs” that closely fit their skills and experience and where these can be put to immediate use. However, if you have undertaken an MBA as a way of changing career direction, these programmes may help you to achieve that goal and overcome the potential problem of being unable to offer directly-relevant experience.

Some of these employers include

The above is only a selection of possible recruiters and you should use the vacancy sources listed under the “Find a Job” tab to find current opportunities.

Find a job

The Careers and Employability Service provides information and advice on job searching to University of Kent students and recent graduates. This includes a vacancy database advertising a range of graduate jobs, sandwich placements and vacation work/internships and online resources. The websites listed below may also be useful when searching for a job and when looking for further information on this sector. 

Prospects webpage: Over view of the business sector in the UK

You may also find useful reviews and application/interview tips for specific organisations on the following websites:

University of Kent sites

Other sites

  • Association of MBAs Career Development Centre “Search MBA-specific jobs, research employers, develop your job skills, watch career videos and much more.”
  • Financial Times MBA Career Hub “will help you find the right internship or graduate job as well as giving you the latest careers advice.”
  • MBA Match Set up by a Kent graduate, this is an online jobs board and career development site for MBA students and graduates.
  • Top MBA Careers resources and jobs board.
  • Business Because Networking site for MBA graduates, with a jobs zone.
  • Executive Appointments Executive and senior manager jobs in all sectors including finance, banking, marketing, sales, charity and IT plus CV and careers advice.
  • Global Workplace “Supporting career development of global business school students and alumni.”
  • MBA Exchange Career opportunities (including a directory of leadership programmes) and information on employers.
  • 10 Minutes With Short videos of business leaders discussing their industries, current roles and career paths. Also includes a jobs board.
  • MBA Association Networking site for MBA graduates.
  • MBA Depot Links to online resources for MBAs including advice on CVs, interviewing, networking, internships and cover letters.
  • Online MBA Programs with No GMAT Requirement
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