Image of Business Instructional Facility

Nov 26, 2021 2021-11 Business Administration

How can a Gies online MBA help you stand out in the workplace?

As an iMBA student, you can start applying what you learn immediately.

At Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, you not only have the benefit of world-class instructors blending theory and practice, but you are also part of a global classroom full of diverse perspectives. This creates an opportunity for hands-on learning and unmatched cross-cultural collaboration with your classmates.  

Interest in MBA degrees is on the rise as companies look for agile business minds who can put theory into practice. According to the Graduate Management Admissions Council’s (GMAC) 2021 Annual Corporate Recruiters Survey, 94 percent of recruiters in the US plan to hire MBA graduates this year, up 10% from last year. 

Be Part of the Disruption 

“In today’s world, you’re either part of the disruption or you risk being disrupted,” said Robert Brunner, Associate Dean for Innovation and Chief Disruption Officer at Gies College of Business.  

The pandemic, inflation, and supply chain interruptions are prompting big shifts in business strategy and consumer behavior. Gies College of Business prepares you be an agile thinker and use business analytics skills to anticipate disruption and deliver innovative solutions. The program includes development of leadership skills as well as pathways and projects on the forces shaping the future – digitalization, globalization, and innovation. 

Recruiters say they are actively looking for quality candidates from institutions with a proven track record. The iMBA from Gies disrupted the marketplace in 2016 as an affordable, high-quality online solution, and has grown to include more than are 4,500 current students and 2000+ alumni. iMBA students average 11 years of experience and come from across the US and more than 103 countries.  

So, whether you’re looking for a promotion or to round out your resume, here’s how earning an MBA will help you stand out at work: 

Build Skills that You Can Apply at Work the Following Week 

Students share that they apply concepts learned in class one day to boardroom presentations the next. Others often speak about the ability to ask smarter questions in meetings and improve their profile within their organization. 

"As I was taking the MBA classes, I had some immediate needs. I was building teams. I was coming up with developmental plans. So, I was taking what I learnt in the classroom and applying it and coming back and asking questions in class." said Alison Smith (iMBA '21). 

A Gies MBA is structured to give students from all backgrounds and fields of study the opportunity to excel in these areas. Ninety-five percent of iMBA graduates say they have applied what they learned from the program to their work. 

Boost Your Salary, Fast Track Your Path to Leadership

According to the (GMAC) 2021 Annual Corporate Recruiters Survey, the median MBA salary for 2021 is projected to recover to its pre-pandemic 2020 level of $115K – an all-time high. MBA graduates earn 77 percent ($115,000) more than those with a bachelor’s degree ($65,000) and 53 percent more than those hired directly from the industry ($75,000).  

The online MBA program (iMBA) at Gies has a 97 percent student satisfaction rate – and students saw a 21 percent average pay increase during their time in the program.  A Gies College of Business survey conducted in 2020 showed 54 percent of students received a promotion, job offer, or accepted a new position while working on their MBA

"The iMBA is both if you are questioning your career or if you are a professional who wants to hone your career. This is the place to be," said Rom Kosla, (iMBA ’19). 

The Gies iMBA program opens applications 4 times per year for cohorts that begin in January, March, August, and October. The minimum requirements are a bachelor’s degree with a recommended GPA of 3.0 or higher, and at least three years of full-time work experience.  

Gies doesn’t require a GMAT score because they believe it works against attracting the type of high-achieving, diverse candidate pool that is well suited to meet today’s business challenges. The Gies admissions team interviews all qualified candidates who submit a resume, personal statement, two letters of reference and English proficiency scores for international applicants. (View the checklistapplication deadlines and apply to the program.)