Veterans Pursuing an MBA

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An MBA trains veterans in organizational leadership, strategic planning, and business analytics. Earning an MBA typically translates into more job opportunities and a higher salary. In 2019, professionals with an MBA earned an average annual salary of $135,000.

With an MBA degree, graduates pursue careers in business, finance, and management careers. Titles like financial manager, marketing manager, and top executive pay median annual salaries of over $100,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The best MBA programs for veterans prepare former service members for decision-making roles in business.

Veterans and Military Personnel Questions Surround MBA Programs

  • Will the military pay for my MBA?

    Military service members and veterans qualify for educational benefits that can cover an MBA program’s cost. For example, many MBA programs, including those that offer an MBA degree online, meet the requirements for the GI Bill®️.

  • What kinds of jobs can you get with an MBA?

    With an MBA, professionals work in executive and management positions. Common titles include marketing manager, financial manager, chief executive, operations manager, and consultant.

  • Will an MBA increase my salary?

    Professionals with an MBA earn above-average salaries. According to 2019 data, graduates with an MBA earn an average salary of nearly $135,000.

  • How long does it take to get an MBA?

    Earning an MBA typically takes two years for a full-time student. Some accelerated MBA programs take as little as one year.

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Why Get an MBA?

An MBA degree opens doors to management careers and a higher earning potential. The degree strengthens analytical and problem-solving skills. Graduates work as financial managers, chief executives, marketing managers, and in other top executive roles. With many high-paying job opportunities, an MBA is a good career investment.

Veterans may prefer an online format for their MBA degree. The best online MBA for veterans offers flexibility and accessibility. Many online learners work while earning their degree to maintain an income source and work history. An online learning format also makes it easier to attend a top-ranked or specialized program without relocating.

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How Much Does an MBA Cost?

An MBA degree’s cost varies widely, with some programs costing as little as $10,000 while others add up to more than $100,000 in tuition and fees. For example, the online MBA program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill costs around $124,000, while online learners in the MBA program at the University of Southern California pay around $100,000. In contrast, Southern Arkansas University charges under $10,000 for its online MBA program.

Factors such as ranking, school type, and program length affect costs. Students may qualify for tuition discounts based on their enrollment status or residency. Rutgers School of Business, for instance, charges $11,675 for New Jersey residents earning their MBA degree online, while out-of-state students pay around $20,000.

Earning an MBA degree online can save veterans money. At some schools, distance learners qualify for tuition discounts. An online learning format also saves students money on living expenses, transportation costs, and other fees.

Calculating a College Degree’s Cost

How much can you afford to spend on an MBA degree? The ACO affordability calculator determines your budget for a degree in a few simple steps. Enter your monthly income, expenses, and expected financial aid to find out how much you can spend on tuition each year.

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How Much Do MBA Majors Make?

Average MBA Salary

Professionals with an MBA work in various career paths. The average MBA salary reached $135,000 annually according to 2019 data. The highest-paying fields include top executive roles like CEO and management-level positions in marketing and finance. For example, chief executives earn a median annual salary of nearly $186,000.

Managerial Positions

Marketing managers earn a median annual salary of over $141,000 with faster-than-average projected job growth. Similarly, financial managers earn a median $134,180 annual salary with much-faster-than-average projected job growth. BLS data also projects more than 108,000 new jobs for financial managers between 2019-2029. An MBA with coursework in management or finance meets the requirement for these careers.


Graduates increase their earning potential with work experience or professional certifications. For example, project managers with a PMP certification make 25% more than professionals without the credential.

Courses in MBA Programs

An MBA provides graduate-level training in business administration. During an MBA program, students take courses in organizational leadership, data analysis, strategic planning, and competitor analysis. The degree builds strong analytical and decision-making skills.

In many programs, learners select a concentration to focus their studies. Common MBA concentrations include marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, human resources management, and accounting. General MBA programs may include electives to customize the degree. MBA programs also incorporate an internship to gain hands-on experience and build a professional network. While business schools offer various MBA courses, many include the following options.

What qualities make a strong leader? This course surveys leadership theories and practices in business organizations. Students explore the decision-making process, human resource management, strategic organizational design, and employee motivation. The class also examines organizational change. Drawing on case studies and real-world examples, MBA students build their analytical and leadership skills.

Management-level professionals rely on statistics in the decision-making process. MBA degree-seekers explore statistical methods, data interpretation, and data analysis in a business context. Topics include study design, data quality evaluation, business analytics, and quality control. The course prepares graduates for leadership roles that require strong data analysis skills.

MBA students learn how to analyze their competitors and develop strategic approaches based on their analysis. The course covers competitive advantages, strategic planning, and analytical methods. Learners examine competition in a capitalist system and the best practices for organizational advancement in a competitive environment.

Certifications and Licensure for MBA Students

Business professionals demonstrate specialized skills and stand out in the job market by pursuing voluntary certifications. Specialized certifications in areas like financial analysis, risk management, and project management help MBA graduates move into focused roles. Most certifications set educational and work experience requirements. Candidates also pass examinations to earn their credential

Chartered Financial Analyst

The CFA credential recognizes advanced portfolio management, investing, and wealth planning skills. Candidates submit an application and take three exams to earn the credential. MBA students in their final year meet the educational requirements for the first exam. The CFA Institute reports a 40-50% pass rate on each exam.

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Financial Risk Manager

The Global Association of Risk Professionals awards the FRM credential to risk managers. Candidates demonstrate two years of financial risk management work experience and take a two-part examination. The exam tests candidates on investment management, critical risk issues, and risk models. An international certification, the FRM credential prepares candidates for careers at major banks and financial institutions.

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Project Management Professional

The Project Management Institute’s PMP certification recognizes experienced project managers. Applicants must hold a four-year degree and show at least 36 months of project leadership experience and 35 hours of project management training. Candidates then pass a certification exam. PMI reports that PMP-holders earn 25% more than those without the certification.

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Scholarships for MBA Students

Veterans pursuing an MBA degree qualify for multiple scholarship opportunities based on their service. Professional associations, veteran organizations, and private foundations support veterans enrolled in MBA programs. In addition to the following opportunities, veterans can research scholarships based on their state, business school, or career plans.

  • American Warrior Association Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The AWA offers several scholarships to service members transitioning into civilian life. The graduate scholarships fund students attending a top-ranked MBA program.

    Amount: Up to $15,000

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  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The VFW offers a scholarship for service members and veterans. Applicants must attend an accredited school and demonstrate financial need. The scholarship provides one semester of funding.

    Amount: Up to $5,000

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  • Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The scholarship supports full-time MBA students at an accredited school. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.25 GPA and recipients can reapply annually.

    Amount: $2,000

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Veterans Pursuing an MBA

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GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

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