A major selling point of earning a Master of Business Administration degree is that it opens the door to a variety of jobs in almost any sector. But does the lack of a business degree disqualify you from entering a reputable MBA program? Not necessarily.

Advanced degree programs like the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi online Master of Business Administration do not require an undergraduate degree in business to enter the program. However, students may be required to take some foundation business courses in accounting, economics, financial management and statistics.

An article in U.S. News & World Report notes that more than 60% of full-time MBA students at ranked programs had college majors other than business and commerce. Popular undergraduate degrees of MBA students included engineering, humanities, social science, science, and economics, with computer science and law adding a share of entrants too.

Work Experience Matters More

Those looking at an MBA as an opportunity to synchronize business knowledge with career goals may find that work experience matters more than an undergraduate business degree.

According to a different U.S. News & World Report article, some business school officials will acknowledge that an important job at a company like Amazon or Google can give a prospective MBA applicant a leg up. However, others said this kind of work experience is not required to obtain an MBA degree. “If somebody has worked, let’s say, in the Peace Corps for two years, they may not have worked for an employer, but I find that compelling,” one MBA admissions officer said.

Perhaps more important is a track record of accomplishment. MBA applicants should be able to convince admissions officers that they had significant responsibility with meaningful authority at their company, the article says. The number of years of work experience is also important, with three to five years preferred.

Is an MBA a Valuable Tool to Switch Careers?

Maybe, says an article in The Muse. “If you’re smart about your choices, do a good job of aligning your new interests with your past experiences, and don’t mind putting in the hours, then it’s definitely possible to pursue a career switch,” says Harvard Business School MBA candidate Leslie Moser.

She suggested three moves for those seeking an MBA for a career change:

  • Decide if you want to start in a different industry or a new job function, and pursue them one at a time.
  • If you have a chance to intern, decide if you want to test a role outside your comfort zone, or build experience in a new area in which you have an interest in the long term.
  • Be prepared to spend long hours to learn about your new sector or function, network, investigate job availability and sharpen your resume to appeal to recruiters.

So yes, an MBA can be a ticket for career advancement regardless of your education and experience. You might have to work a little harder, and advanced degree programs like the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi online MBA can help you through that. But with the doors an MBA can open, the extra effort may be well worth the time.

Learn more about the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi online MBA program.


U.S. News & World Report: U.S. News Data: A Portrait of the Typical MBA Student

U.S. News & World Report: What Kind of Work Experience Helps MBA Applicants?

The Muse: Want to Switch Careers? How an MBA Opens Doors