Earning an MBA is a nearly foolproof way to ensure future success, but with the global economy taking a major beating, the job market is more competitive than ever. Even with an MBA. So…what? You just forget about it and keep doin’ what you’re doin?
Instead, think outside the MBA box a bit and consider something more…specialized. Yes, my friends, I’m talking about a dual degree. These programs are popping up all over the world, and for good reason. Having a dual degree puts you one step ahead of your competition, gives you an edge post-bschool, and could open twice as many doors down the road.
And the best part, there’s a dual-degree program for virtually every field.
JD/MBA – Ideal for legal aspirants interested in working as in-house counsel or starting their own firm, or for business aspirants looking to edge out their MBA peers with another impressive degree. Harvard tops the rankings in this category, but Haas’ and Darden’s are also quite popular.
MA Education/MBA – Passionate about education but not sure if you want to spend the rest of your life assigning homework and passing out detention slips? Getting a MA Education/MBA dual-degree lets you impact education on a larger level, be it education policy, education management, or the application of technology in education. Stanford’s program is great, but surprisingly, it’s the small state universities that excel in this category.
M.D./MBA – Even though an MBA can eventually score you a job in the medical/healthcare field, having an official M.D. certification definitely can’t hurt. This program probably requires more time and dedication than all the other joint degrees combined, but the payoff’s worth it. Tufts offers a slow, but steady 4-year program, but if you’re feeling rushed, Cornell will get you an M.D. in 12 months.
MS Engineering/MBA – If you can’t decide between working behind a desk and working in a hands-on environment, getting a joint degree in engineering is a great idea. This dual degree thoroughly prepares grads for careers in design, manufacturing, operations management and more. The most competitive program is MIT, but Columbia and Duke aren’t far behind.
Of course, there are many other strong dual degree programs out there. Interested in the environment? Check out Stanford’s Environment & Energy/MBA program. Dream of being a publisher? University of North Carolina’s MA Journalism/MBA program is perfect for you. And if you want to do something for the greater good, don’t miss Rutgers’ MA Public Health/MBA, or Pepperdine’s MA Public Policy/MBA joint-degree.
Truth is, an MBA works well with almost any other degree program, so it might be best to figure out what specific career path suits you best, and then find a dual/joint degree program that fits your needs. Regardless of what path you choose, having that specialized MBA will only help you go further.