The Impact of an MBA on Your Career in Chicago

Impact of an MBA

For those who want to earn the best business jobs, one cannot underestimate the impact of an MBA. An MBA with a specialization in your field of interest is even better. This is especially true in the Chicago metro area, one of the nation’s top spots for employment and a magnet for talented workers. By focusing on a specific career field with your MBA, you make yourself an attractive job candidate for the many positions Chicagoland employers offer.

That’s one of the reasons why schools now offer specialized MBAs. Concordia University – Chicago offers MBA in 10 different specializations, including:

  • Accounting
  • Chief School Business Official
  • Digital Marketing
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Management
  • Leadership and Change Management
  • Sports Management

Where can these degrees take you? Here’s a look at five jobs that are available in the Chicago market, all of them showing good growth in the coming years. The numbers below come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Projections Central, which breaks down BLS data by state.

Marketing Manager

By specializing in digital marketing, MBA graduates set themselves up to take on a leadership role in a marketing department. They may also choose to work for a company that consults with companies on creating marketing campaigns.

The Chicago metropolitan area is the second largest employer of marketing managers in the U.S., with almost 12,000 people in the job. The mean annual salary for a marketing manager in Chicago is $124,100. In all of Illinois, an 8.6% increase in the number of marketing managers is projected by 2026.

Healthcare Administrator

The term healthcare administrator can include many jobs, from hospital administrator to the manager of a chain of physician clinics. Earning an MBA in healthcare management allows graduates to qualify for these leadership jobs, all in one of the fastest growing industries in the country.

Chicagoland employs the third highest number of healthcare managers and administrators among all the cities in the U.S. According to the BLS, almost 8,000 people work in these jobs, The mean annual salary is $118,540. In Illinois, the number of people working as healthcare administrators is expected to increase 7% by 2026.

Management Consultant

This job can come under many different titles. Some (like the BLS) might refer to it as management analyst. Those who work as a process improvement manager or change management consultant might have a similar job. Those who learn the skills taught through an MBA specialization in Leadership and Change Management are prepared to take on these jobs that focus on improving an organization’s efficiency, effectiveness and setting strategic goals.

The Chicago metro area is a huge employer in this area, with 28,640 people working as management consultants, according to the BLS. They earn a mean annual salary of $91,730. In Illinois, the number of jobs in this area is expected to increase 14.5% by 2026.

Nonprofit Management

Earning an MBA in nonprofit management makes you an attractive candidate to run a nonprofit agency, community center or social services program. More business skills are needed in this area as organizations seeks strategies that allow them to deliver services while also looking to make their operations more efficient

About 2,300 people work as “social and community service managers” in Chicago, trailing only the number in New York and Boston. The mean annual pay is $68,050. In Illinois, the number of people in this profession is expected to increase 7.8% by 2026.


Accountants are always in demand – it’s the definition of “steady profession.” Those who earn an MBA with a specialization in accounting are especially prepared for strategic accounting jobs that require a blend of business and accounting knowledge.

Chicagoland has many accountants – more than 36,000, the third highest total among all U.S. cities. The mean annual salary for those accountants is $82,660. Across Illinois, the number of accountants is expected to increase 7.8% by 2026.

Those are five of the growing careers in Chicagoland that an MBA with a specialization can prepare you to take on. Chicago continues to draw some of the brightest minds in the country, and an MBA can put you into that elite group.

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