In this article, we explore MBAs, the career paths you can take after completing one and the high-level positions you can level up to with this advanced qualification.

Highest-paying jobs for MBA graduates

MBAs are designed to bolster leadership, communication and critical thinking skills, expand your network and give you a solid grounding in business principles.

These things are useful across a range of industries, and employers and recruiters are looking for leaders with a versatile skill set. High-paying business roles demand professionals with a range of hard and soft skills – and an MBA can give you these and more.

Career growth after an MBA

The business skills taught in an MBA course can put you ahead of the competition for high-paying roles in the business world.

Where exactly can an MBA take you? Let’s look at some of the highest-paying business jobs in Australia.

  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO): A CFO primarily oversees the company’s financial landscape, including managing the organisation’s finances, profit and loss reporting, strategic budget allocation, financial forecasting and financial risk management. To be successful in this role, you’ll need an exceptional knowledge of financial intricacies and strong interpersonal and communication skills, as well as strong leadership skills. The average yearly salary of a CFO working in Australia is around $225,000.
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO): Typically the second-in-command within a company’s executive hierarchy, this role typically includes overseeing the operations of the whole business. This role demands not only a strong grasp of business principles and financial acumen, but you’ll also need an aptitude for people leadership and risk management. The average yearly salary of a COO working in Australia is around $200,000.
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO): As a CEO, your primary duties involve establishing the overarching direction of a company and overseeing the management of its operations and resources. You’ll need to leverage your strong leadership skills and have an extensive knowledge of business principles. The average yearly salary of a CEO working in Australia is around $215,000.
  • Commercial manager: A commercial manager oversees both the operational and financial facets of projects while also spearheading avenues to secure new business opportunities for the organisation. This role could work in a number of sectors, including transport, logistics, financial accounting and government. To succeed in this role, you’ll need to be adept at managing multifaceted commercial relationships, and have strong skills in financial reporting and risk management. The average yearly salary of a commercial manager working in Australia is around $175,000.
  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO): Sometimes referred to as a head of marketing, a CMO is a senior executive responsible for leading a company’s marketing team. This role involves overseeing marketing strategies and campaigns aimed at boosting sales and customer acquisition. The average yearly salary of a CMO working in Australia is between $145,000 to $165,000.
  • State manager: This position is responsible for overseeing the operations, performance and strategic direction of a company or organisation within a specific geographic region or state. This role requires nurturing staff development, engagement and leadership. The average yearly salary of a state manager working in Australia is around $125,000, and this figure can vary depending on the industry.
  • Human resources director: A human resources director is a strategic role within an organisation, steering the human resources team or department. Their scope includes everything from talent acquisition and policy implementation to legal compliance and employee relations. Human resources directors are also responsible for aligning HR strategies with corporate goals. The average yearly salary of a human resources director working in Australia is around $140,000.
  • Lending manager: A lending manager leads and oversees the lending, loan or credit department that are responsible for loan approval, terms and loan distribution oversight in a bank. This role manages lending officers, develops strategies to enhance department performance and achieve sales goals, recruit and train staff and streamline loan processing. The average yearly salary of a lending manager working in Australia is $115,000.

Can an MBA help your career?

Having an MBA can boost your career prospects. Regardless of your background or industry, an MBA offers valuable opportunities for advancement. You’ll find students from a range of backgrounds and a variety of industries studying MBAs.

Even without undergraduate qualifications, MBA entry requirements vary and students may be eligible to enrol depending on their experience.

It’s also important to consider your situation before embarking on an MBA. Clarify your professional goals and how an MBA can help achieve them. Consider the time and resources you’ll need to commit to studying. Research the courses and potential specialisations of MBAs.

MBA Discovery’s Student Enrolment Advisors can offer guidance on finding the course that’s right for you to support your career growth.

Career benefits of an MBA

So, how can an MBA help your career? By teaching you globally recognised, real-world skills that organisations and stakeholders highly regard.

According to data insights from LinkedIn, businesses are facing global talent shortages and some of the most in-demand skills are:

  • Leadership: Business leaders need to be adaptable to meet new challenges and inspire their teams to innovate solutions.
  • Communication: This soft skill is becoming increasingly important across all team levels, especially in remote teams.
  • Analytical skills: As professionals work more autonomously, advanced analytical problem-solving skills are increasingly prized.
  • Teamwork: As teams become more diverse and remote, leaders must work harder to maintain cohesion and encourage collaboration.

An MBA can give you all these skills, accelerate your career growth, increase your salary and help build your networks.

Not sure of your career options after an MBA? Create your own

Want career growth and to be your own boss? An MBA is a great place to start.

Diana Arlett, writer, speaker and public policy specialist, started her first business in the first year of her MBA. She had been travelling between Indonesia and Australia frequently studying herbs, yoga and meditation and made some business connections along the way.

Diana instigated a grassroots project and partnered with a herbal supplements company based in Java to produce products she later imported and sold in Melbourne. She then donated a portion of the profits to sponsoring young Indonesian children in disadvantaged communities via an established charity. The project came about after speaking with a young girl in a remote community in Indonesia who was unable to access funding for education.

“A big part of the reason why the people involved in the project agreed to work with me was because they had confidence in my abilities because of my MBA,” Diana says.

How MBA Discovery’s university partners can set you up for success

You’ll graduate from Southern Cross University’s online MBA with a multifaceted skill set and a strong managerial perspective to successfully lead teams. You’ll gain the strategic leadership skills employers want and be prepared for an evolving global business future.

Victoria University’s online MBA focuses on career growth, helping you cultivate the skills senior business leaders need. As well as strategic, financial and analytical skills, you’ll graduate with a valuable network of like-minded peers.

Creating strong leaders is the focus of James Cook University’s online MBA. Graduate with the ability to take a global perspective on strategy and make fast, data-driven decisions. Advanced theoretical and technical knowledge are key learning outcomes.

Keen to learn more about digital trends? As part of RMIT University’s online MBA, leading industry experts deliver units on design thinking methodologies and authentic leadership, marketing and strategy. Graduate with the skills and mindset that will give you the edge.

Not sure if you’re ready?

Arlett says if you have the drive and the time to study, go for it.

“I honestly think anyone who wants to have more flexibility in their life should study an MBA. The skills that you’ll gain from it will be incredible for your own personal development.”

Discover MBA career paths and more

An MBA will give you the career growth you desire and the pay to match. Where to now? Our Student Enrolment Advisors are ready to answer your questions.

Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor

Whether you’re ready to enrol, or just have a quick question, simply fill out the enquiry form below to speak directly to the university’s enrolment team. They will be able to guide you through:

Course eligibility and recognition of prior learning

Course structure and what you will study

Next intakes and how to apply

Fees and time commitments