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Eight Hot Jobs for M.B.A. Grads

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Used to be that a MBA was considered a meal ticket for a higher-paying job, but with the current job market, are there still that are a good fit with a business degree? According to U.S. News and World Report, which collected job placement data for 2011 graduates at 135 full-time M.B.A. programs, and found that 78.8 percent of these graduates were employed within three months following graduation. The twist? Many of the hot jobs for business school grads are in fields that you wouldn't necessarily associate with business degrees.

U.S. News has pinpointed eight hot professions that might not seem like a natural fit with a M.B.A. at first glance, but a business education is seen by employers as an enhancement to the basic skills these jobs require, and a leg up on the competition when it comes to landing the job. Here's a countdown of these eight jobs, plus job profile info from the Department of Labor.

8. Management analyst (Median pay: $78,160 per year)

Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve an organization's efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.The Labor Department reports that 26 percent of management analysts are self-employed. Employment among management analysts is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for the services of these workers will grow as organizations continue to seek ways to improve efficiency and control costs.

7. Financial analyst (Median pay: $74,350 per year)

Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments. Employment of financial analysts is expected to grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. A growing range of financial products and the need for in-depth knowledge of geographic regions are expected to lead to strong employment growth.

6. HR specialist (Median pay: $52,690 per year)

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They also may handle human resources work in a variety of other areas, such as employee relations, payroll and benefits, and training. Employment of human resources specialists is expected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities should be good overall, especially in the employment services industry.

5. Financial adviser (Median pay: $64,750 per year)

Personal financial advisors give financial advice to people. They help with investments, taxes, and insurance decisions. Employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 32 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. As large numbers of baby boomers approach retirement age, they will seek planning advice from personal financial advisors.

4. Accountant (Median pay: $61,690 per year)

Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently. Employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow 16 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for thorough financial documentation is expected to increase in response to recent financial crises and subsequent financial regulations.

3. Computer systems analyst (Median pay: $77,740 per year)

Computer systems analysts study an organization's current computer systems and procedures and make recommendations to management to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both. Employment of computer systems analysts is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average of all occupations. A greater reliance on computer systems in organizations throughout the economy will lead to an increased demand for this occupation.

2. Web developer (Median pay: $75,660 per year)

Web developers design, create and modify websites. Analyze user needs to implement website content, graphics, performance, and capacity. May integrate websites with other computer applications. Employment of information security analysts, web developers, and computer network architects is projected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects for all three occupations should be favorable.

1. Database administrator (Median pay: $73,490 per year)

Database administrators work in many different types of industries, including computer systems design and related services firms, insurance companies, banks, and hospitals. Almost all of them work full time and about 25 percent work more than 40 hours per week. Employment of database administrators is projected to grow 31 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Rapid growth in data collection by businesses, as well as increased need for database security measures, will contribute to the growth of this occupation.

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