Remote work has long been a coveted perk for employees looking to cut back on their commutes, be closer to their families, and work from the comfort of their own homes. Now, the desire to work from home combined with new, better telecommunications technology such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have made remote working almost the norm.
Today, many jobs can be done remotely, so the question isn’t which work-from-home positions are available, but rather which are right for your degree. If you have a master’s in business administration, there are numerous jobs where your expertise is needed and where you can work from home.
You should consider the following factors when searching for remote MBA jobs, including the benefits of remote work, some positions to look for, and tips for staying productive.
Perks of Remote Jobs for MBA Grads
Working from home is an attractive option for employees for several reasons. First, it eliminates commute time, which for many people puts at least an hour of productive time back into their day. This can also translate into getting more sleep and having a more flexible schedule
According to the 2022 State of Remote Work survey by Buffer, 97% of the 2,118 people polled said they would like to work remotely (full-time or hybrid) for the rest of their careers. Additionally, 90% described their experience with remote work as either very or somewhat positive, while only 1% said their experience is somewhat negative. The data clearly shows people enjoy remote work and want to continue.
Working from home can also improve productivity. Modern offices are often filled with distractions that can hinder the typical workday. After taking into consideration unnecessary meetings, water cooler talk, and drop-ins from colleagues, a traditional office environment can almost be counterproductive. Although working from home has its fair share of distractions, remote workers are solving this by creating home offices and work zones that allow them to focus. Since the arrangement was first studied in 2012, modern employees are proving to be more productive when working in a home environment.
Perhaps this is because employees must be accountable for their productivity throughout the day. In a 2020 study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, researchers found remote employees were completing 50% of their work activities by personal choice (because they thought the tasks were important), and just 25% because they were being told to. This shows employees deem their remote work to be important, and the increase in productivity is positive for both employees and employers.
Further validating the benefits of remote work, a 2022 study from Ergotron, the ergonomic workplace pioneer, found that 40% of employees worked longer hours at home than at the office. Additionally, the study revealed that 75% of respondents reported an improvement in work-life balance since they began working from home. This means employees are getting more done and putting in longer hours—but they also feel happier and have more control over their personal lives.
10 Remote MBA Jobs
Now that you know about some of the benefits of working remotely, you’re likely curious about some of the positions where your MBA degree can be best utilized—even if you’re a recent MBA graduate. Here are 10 remote MBA jobs where an advanced degree is preferred (or required) that can easily be performed at home.
1. Marketing Manager
Marketing can be a lucrative career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), positions for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers are expected to increase by 10% between 2021 and 2031. This faster-than-average growth is due to the consistent need for businesses to expand their brands. A bachelor’s degree is a must for these positions, but an MBA is often preferred. An advanced degree can set you apart from other applicants.
Marketing and product managers must be experts on their business’s brand and products, and constantly work to improve them. They operate cross-functionally with finance and other departments to make strategic decisions. With the rise of video conferencing platforms, meeting with remote teams is easier than ever. Similarly, digital marketing tools such as Wrike and Google Analytics help project managers stay on top of content creation, collaboration, and data analysis from their personal desktops.
An undergraduate degree in marketing combined with an MBA can help aspiring marketing managers establish a solid foundation for a career with a marketing agency or as part of an in-house marketing department.
2. Financial Advisor
If your passion is helping businesses improve and maintain their financial edge, you can accomplish this goal from behind your keyboard at home. Your MBA education can prepare you with the financial knowledge to produce insightful financial reports and direct investment strategies to meet organizational goals.
Having the right technology means you can do all of this remotely. There are many tools that you can use from a laptop, like Microsoft Excel, which is perhaps one of the most popular applications for financial managers. You can collaborate with your team through videoconferencing and easily share reports online. Alternatively, you can work as a freelance advisor who helps businesses with their finances.
With the impact of inflation, many businesses and individuals are seeking the expert guidance of financial advisors to help guide them through this challenging time. The BLS projects that the employment of personal financial advisors will grow by 15% between 2021 and 2031, while positions for financial analysts—who primarily support businesses—are expected to grow by 9% over the same period.
3. Sales Consultant
Similar to marketing roles, it’s not always necessary to have an MBA to be a sales consultant, but it can help you earn a higher salary. An MBA and a few years of experience can help you refine your sales skills and prepare you for a remote career path. Today, many businesses have adapted their sales cycles and customer service strategies to accommodate digital processes in place of in-person events.
If you work for a consulting firm, you may be using specialized software to monitor sales and market trends to suggest strategy improvements. On the other hand, you could be a self-employed sales consultant who works with clients on a contract basis. As many industries face an uncertain future when it comes to sales, they are looking for innovative ways to improve their processes, which is an opportunity to apply your MBA expertise.
4. Supply Chain Manager
Many jobs in the supply chain sector are hands-on, and not everyone can work from home. Warehouse workers, drivers, and maintenance teams are essential for boots-on-the-ground operations. However, as analytics solutions provider River Logic points out, many office workers, including supply chain managers, can work from home with the right infrastructure in place.
Many supply chain officers use corporate supply chain management software and enterprise resource planning to manage their back-end systems. When these applications are already in the cloud (which most are), setting up remote work is relatively easy. With a secured VPN, you can safely access your company’s network, share documents, and manage supply chain operations all from a home office.
Employment of logisticians, who have a similar role to supply chain managers, is expected to grow by 28% between 2021 and 2031, according to the BLS. The exponential growth of e-commerce will fuel demand for professionals who can oversee and coordinate supply chains.
5. Health Services Manager
Did you know your MBA can be applied in a health care setting? According to the BLS, medical and health services managers plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of health care providers. They’re not doctors or physicians, but they ensure that operations in health care facilities are efficient.
A master’s degree is preferred in this field, as being a health services manager requires expertise in both business operations and processes specific to the health care industry. It’s also worth noting that opportunities for this position are steadily on the rise. Employment is projected to grow 28% between 2021 and 2031 due to increasing demand for health care services and the need to replace retiring workers.
You don’t even need to step foot in a facility to be a health services manager. Having access to everyday digital workflows and calendars can help you coordinate activities remotely. This is one of the few remote MBA jobs where you can have a hand in saving lives and enriching patient care.
6. Human Resources Manager
HR managers know their position hinges on making connections with employees, and this is still possible while working remotely. Videoconferencing apps and online chats make it simple to book meetings with employees and perform other HR functions such as hiring and interviewing new staff.
As long as an HR manager has a steady internet connection and access to their company’s network, they should be able to retrieve the forms they need and access employee records. Should an HR manager need to upload new training materials or a revised employee orientation guide, they can do so remotely using shared drives like Google Drive.
While operating remotely as an HR manager, make sure to always let employees know you’re available to chat. Keep some availability in your calendar, and schedule recurring meetings to check the pulse of the rest of the remote office and gain an understanding of how you can continue to improve the employee experience.
The BLS projects that employment of HR managers will grow by 7% between 2021 and 2031.
7. Public Relations Director
If you want to practice public relations in an agency setting, a bachelor’s degree will likely be all you need. However, the role of PR director usually requires an MBA. PR directors oversee the PR team and implement strategies to maximize a brand’s presence. It’s easy to collaborate with teams through videoconferencing applications and digital documentation sharing. Similarly, you can continue to monitor brand performance, current market trends, and maintain partner relationships while working from home with as little as a stable internet connection.
As a PR director, no two days are the same. Especially during current conditions, it’s important to think outside the box to maintain relationships and share content, something your MBA program can prepare you for.
Employment opportunities for PR managers will grow by 8% between 2021 and 2031, according to BLS projections.
8. Information Systems Manager
Information systems professionals determine a business’s information technology goals and implement computer systems to meet them. According to cloud adoption statistics from Zippia, 94% of enterprises use cloud services and 67% of enterprise infrastructure is now cloud-based. Additionally, a reported 92% of businesses have a multi-cloud strategy already in place or are in the process of implementing it.
This is good news for information systems managers who are working remotely. When systems are in the cloud, it’s easier to securely access them—even when you’re not in the office—making this an ideal remote job for MBA graduates with technological expertise.
The future looks bright for computer and information systems managers, according to the BLS, which estimates the number of positions will grow by 16% between 2021 and 2031.
9. Compensation and Benefits Manager
An MBA can help you find niche positions within businesses, like compensation and benefits coordination. Every company that wants to attract and retain top talent will need a dedicated manager to plan, develop, and oversee programs to compensate employees.
Many digital applications exist that make it easy for managers and employees to coordinate compensation, benefits, and perks online. You can easily research and plan compensation programs remotely and take advantage of digital tools and online meetings to track progress or employee engagement. Staying on top of employee benefits trends is also an important aspect of this position in which computers and strong research skills come in handy.
10. Any Executive Position
When applying for executive positions, an MBA and years of experience are essential to stand out from the candidate field. For technology officers, chief marketing officers, and chief financial officers, not only is it important to be an expert in your field, you must also be a leader with a clear vision of how to achieve success.
When operating remotely, department and general staff meetings are still possible to foster collaboration and strategize. Use video calls as often as possible to continue making connections with your team and test other tools that can help with information sharing.
While the job outlook for executives varies by occupation and industry, overall employment of top executives is projected to grow by 6% between 2021 and 2031, the BLS reports.
Working-From-Home Productivity Tips
Of course, transitioning to a full-time remote role can present challenges, from having to be accountable for your own productivity to distractions such as attention-seeking pets and TVs. Here are some working-from-home productivity tips that can help you stay focused and get the most out of your remote work environment.
1. Have the Equipment You Need
A computer and strong internet connection are necessary when working from home, but they likely aren’t the only things you need. Your organization may have proprietary software or keep special applications behind its firewall that you need to access. Confirm that you can gain entry to all the portals, shared documents, and apps you need to do your job from home. Reach out to your IT department if you run into any issues.
Depending on your position, you may require additional hardware, like a financial calculator. Make a list of the equipment you would typically have available in a brick-and-mortar office to ensure you have them at home as well.
2. Create a Designated Workspace
As noted by Jonathon Bacon in Forbes, when working remotely it’s important to stick to your routine as closely as possible. This means adhering to your typical schedule and finding a space that mimics your office setting. While not every home has a designated office space, it’s important to work in a consistent area, like your dining room table or desk in a guest room. Bacon recommends that you avoid working from your bedroom, as your body and mind associate the space with sleep and restfulness.
3. Prioritize a Work-Life Balance
Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges of working remotely is establishing a clear distinction between home life and work. That’s why it’s important to stick to a consistent work schedule and work in an area apart from where you typically relax. Don’t hesitate to take breaks throughout the day like you would at the office, but try to avoid working late into the night.
Elevate Your Career Opportunities with an MBA
A multitude of remote MBA jobs are available in the modern marketplace. Many companies encourage their employees to work from home because they’ve seen the data that shows remote arrangements can improve both work performance and work-life balance, making it a win-win for employees and organizations alike.
Remote learning yields many of the same benefits as working from home. Using today’s advanced technology, students can enjoy an engaging and efficient classroom experience that’s 100% online.
It’s never too late to begin your journey in higher education. Learn more about applying for an Online MBA at Washington State University and find out how an advanced degree can kickstart your remote work career.