It’s normal not to have a specific career focus when entering an MBA program. Many graduates end up in finance or consulting, but these may not be the paths you wish to pursue. If you’re looking to parlay your business degree into a career that’s exciting and different, check out these industries you may not realize an MBA can get your foot in the door of.
- Professional Sports
If you’ve seen Moneyball, you’ve witnessed how big data is impacting professional sports. Athletes are only a small fraction of the payroll on a professional sports team. Behind your favorite teams are many teams of talented business professionals. If you’re a sports fanatic, and MBA is a great choice to get you started in the industry.
Forbes recently published a “How to” guide to breaking into the sports industry. Sports Business Daily keeps a comprehensive list of MBA programs across the country geared toward professional sports, but these aren’t always necessary. Specializations in management, statistical analysis, marketing, and more can land you a coveted position in the industry.
Speaking a second language is a huge asset in the business world, and those who don’t speak a language often hire interpreters. The only prerequisite to become an interpreter is the ability to fluently speak the required languages, but in order to land the best gigs, you’ll need to understand more complicated and specialized language.
If you love to travel, an MBA in International Business is a great way to guarantee yourself a job translating business and technical jargon for executives, information technology professionals, and more. Current business trends lean toward Southeastern Asian markets, such as India, China, and Korea, so a knowledge of those languages and cultures are prized, but any linguistic skills could land you a coveted job as a translator or interpreter.
- Video Game Development
Video gaming is a multibillion dollar industry, and everyone’s clamoring for a piece of the pie. The ESA reports that 51 percent of American households own an average of two video game consoles. With mobile devices becoming ubiquitous in our society, and the Internet of Things permeating our culture, video games are being integrated everywhere we look.
While companies are always hiring software developers and graphic artists, MBA’s in marketing, business administration, and management are always welcomed in the gaming industry. This summer’s Electronics Entertainment Expo featured thousands of representatives from hundreds of companies.
If gaming is your passion, know that the industry is unstable, and the pay is lower than you’d get in the traditional tech industry, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone working in the industry that doesn’t love their career.
Although many dream of being “discovered” to become an overnight success in Hollywood, you have a better shot at winning the lottery. The CEO’s of top movie studios like Sony Entertainment and Warner Bros hold MBA’s. The entertainment business is a business like any other, and your skills analyzing profit and loss plans, negotiation, debt modelling, distribution analysis, and marketing are essential skills these companies are looking for.
Beyond these traditional studios, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, PlayStation, and Xbox Live are all clamoring to produce new content. Overseas and independent studios are competing with Hollywood as well. Your MBA will open up a slew of career options in your dream career in the entertainment industry.
Business is about more than just finance and consulting. Be sure to network with your classmates, as you never know where they may end up. Don’t feel like you’re stuck diving into a cubicle or windowless office to work a job you hate. Whatever it is you dream of doing, an MBA can unlock the path to the career you always wanted.