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What Can I Do With a Change Management MBA?

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. ― Leo Tolstoy

We’ve all entered environments that felt off. Whether they were dysfunctional, scary, or merely unorganized, they needed transformation. It’s never easy, and any efforts to install change (no matter how necessary it is) through brute force will never be successful. So how do you make desperately needed changes not only to yourself but a multi-faceted, interconnected organization comprised of people with different experiences and goals? You can’t make it happen with a snap of your fingers, nor with wishful thinking. You need a process and methods that will only come through advanced training from experienced professionals.

Change is difficult and painful. It’s something people and organizations often resist instinctually. Humans and organizations create habits and patterns that trap them, and no matter how damaging they can be to stability, productivity and well-being, they’re tough to break or replace. However, nothing is impossible.

Organizations are made up of people who are formed by their previous experiences, but also the environmental contexts and stimuli they encounter every day. By altering those environmental contexts, stimuli, and the leadership that controls them, you can work wonders for reaching organizational goals and ensuring the satisfaction of the individuals that create your success through their hard work. You can help people and organizations build new habits that improve themselves and the corporate or other organizational structures they work for.

Our world prioritizes immediate profit at all costs. Ironically this thirst to accumulate quarterly wealth often leads to poor decision-making and harms long-term, sustainable results that keep an organization running and its employees’ basic needs met. These societal realities not only hurt workers but also often decrease profits and organizational success in the long run. Just like people, organizations have a hard time prioritizing long-term prosperity in favor of immediate gratification. The volatility of our national and global economies are a testament to these nearsighted impulses, and individually we all know how damaging a lack of self-control and the hasty behavior it leads to can be for ourselves and the people we care about.

If you want to make substantial long-lasting change at vital organizations across the economy you should consider earning a Change Management MBA. In these programs, you’ll learn how to create lasting improvements that help individual departments, and people better achieve organizational objectives, all in the face of daunting, evolving issues and challenges.

Change Management professionals are:

  • Willing to be Wrong: The more invested you are in your initial understanding of a person or a situation, the less likely you’ll be able to find creative solutions or improvements.
  • Excellent Communicators: To create change you have to help people understand why it will be beneficial to them in the long-term. Stupendous verbal and written communication skills will make this far easier.
  • Extremely Encouraging: Long-lasting change comes from positive reinforcement, which in businesses and other organizations is most likely to come from consistently patient, kind, and uplifting leaders.
  • Adept Listeners: There are many reasons why organizations and people struggle that change managers might not understand until they spend significant time absorbing information from the people that make up an organization.
  • Effortlessly Energetic: This is tough. To create real, lasting change, you’ll need to overcome myriad stacked odds against you. You’ll also need the energy you put out to feel positive, calm and comforting, not stressful and distracting.
  • Creative: Potential solutions to organizational or individual problems that encourage change won’t often come right away, and require an ability to search and find allies, resources, and conclusions that didn’t immediately present themselves to you.
  • Organized: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Dividing your problems into sequences and understanding how to prioritize your change management through structured planning is essential to your success.
  • Empathetic: If you want to create lasting change, you need people to trust you. That trust will be built on your ability to show them you can perceive how they think and feel, and that you take those thoughts and feelings into account when you make decisions.
  • Authoritative: Perhaps the trickiest part of managing change in an organization is doing all of the above while also at times gently, at times firmly showing the people you’re working with that you’re in the position you are for a reason.

Now that we’ve gone over the qualities needed to work as a change manager let’s get into how you build them up and gain the tangible business skills and experience that you have to pair them with.

Here at MBACentral we’ve worked diligently to help you find the best MBA for you in many ways. We invite you to explore all that we’ve written (more on that later), but in this guide, we’ll examine Change Management MBA’s. We’ll look at what they’re comprised of, how to choose one, how to get into one, related degrees, the resources we’ve created to help you in your search, the jobs you’ll be prepared for once you earn one, and more. Let’s dive in!

What is a Change Management MBA?

A Change Management MBA combines standard graduate business coursework in areas like economics, finance, legal and ethical aspects of business, among other standard classes. Then you’ll focus on your specialization in creating and maintaining shifts in individuals and organizations that create value for all parties involved. This focus includes courses and experiential learning in communications, problem-solving, management, organizational structures, organizational change, and much more.

The standard MBA curriculum portion of these degrees will include courses in:

  • Business ethics
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Supply chain structure
  • Business laws
  • Human resources
  • Micro and Macro Economics
  • And more.

These courses will give you the building blocks you’ll need to go forward into the specialization part of your Change Management MBA, which will include classes like:

  • Managing a Growing Organization
  • Cooperation, Conflict and Negotiation
  • Power and Politics in Organizations
  • Leadership Models
  • Managing Change
  • Agents of Change
  • Cultivating, Sustaining and Renewing the Organization
  • Among other courses depending on the program you select

A Change Management MBA will take one to three years to complete, depending on the program you select and the format it’s delivered to you in.

Every Change Management MBA has a different curriculum. Carefully inspecting the offerings of any program, you’re considering will go a long way towards determining its relevance to your goals.

Let’s explore other criteria you should use to choose a Change Management MBA:

What to Consider When Searching for a Change Management MBA

  • What’s the highest degree you’ve earned in your academic career? You’ll need a Bachelor’s degree to be accepted into a Change Management MBA program.
  • What has been your career experience thus far? How has it led you to your search for a Change Management MBA and your career post-graduation?
  • If you’ve had success shifting habits and behaviors in yourself and others, or even better on an organizational level, you’ll be able to build on those successes in these MBA programs while working on areas you struggle in.
  • How much can you afford to pay for your Change Management MBA in tuition and other costs? How much would you have to borrow in loans to pay for one? Carefully look at any loan options, terms, and interest rates you might accept. It’s always best for you to choose public over private loans, and whenever you can to pick an MBA program you can afford.
  • Depending on your current employment, your employer might be willing to sponsor at least some of the costs for your Change Management MBA.
  • How much time can you spend on a Change Management MBA daily, weekly, and in total before you graduate from it?
  • The delivery format you choose will play a large role in what you get from your Change Management MBA degree. Would you prefer to earn it through a full-time program, part-time, a traditional on-campus program, online program, or a mix of both traditional, in-person, and online study?
  • What job or career path are you hoping to end up in? Are there particular businesses, government agencies, economic sectors or non-profits you’d like to work in? What do individual Change Management MBA programs offer that will help you reach these goals?
  • What are your immediate career goals in the immediate future? How would an individual Change Management MBA program assist in those pursuits upon graduation?
  • Where would you like to live and work during and after earning your Change Management MBA?
  • Even if you go to school online, depending on the location of the school you choose to get your Change Management MBA from you’ll likely make more regional connections in its immediate area.

Now let’s look at some similar degrees to Change Management MBA’s:

Change Management MBA’s vs Related Degrees

Change Management MBA programs are designed to help student professionals create revolutionary, uplifting, and sustainable change in organizations throughout the economy. You’ll figure out how to recognize common problems in organizations, understand power dynamics, leadership, build teams and set them loose on multiple objectives. You’ll also manage expectations and unproductive inclinations from those lateral to you, and those above you to do what’s best for an organization in the short AND long term.

Change Management is a specific skill set and area of study within the MBA universe. While these programs contain some standard courses that most MBA programs feature, some MBA degree specializations can give you some of the same training and experience as the Change Management specialization. Some of the most similar MBA specializations to Change Management include:

  • Leadership MBA
  • Business Management MBA
  • Communications MBA
  • Organizational Leadership MBA
  • Operations Management MBA
  • Human Resources Management MBA

Why should you choose a Change Management MBA degree program over one of these related degrees?

If you want the lion’s share of your career impact to be radically improving the lives of workers and overall organizational health, Change Management MBA’s are a great option. While some of these degrees can help you reach these objectives, none are as focused on them as an MBA in Change Management. While you’ll leave your mark on any organization you work for with the right motivation, experience, and education, Change Management is an opportunity to go above and beyond the hierarchal bureaucracies that already exist at organizations and install new structures, systems and practices that make them unrecognizable from their previous incarnations.

These related degrees are far more likely to push you into working within existing systems, with less leverage and opportunity to create lasting change. The closest among them are the MBA’s in Leadership, Organizational Leadership, and Operations Management.

Assuming you’re still on board for finding the best Change Management MBA program (among other MBA options) for you:

How Can We Help You Get a Change Management MBA

With the vast number of MBA programs and MBA specializations at your disposal, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in your search for one, even in a particular area like change management. Fortunately for you, at MBACentral we’ve done a lot of work to give you a head start in your hunt. We’ve written articles, guides, rankings, among many other resources that will assist you.

Some of what we’ve written includes:

That’s just a drop in the bucket of the work we’ve done here at MBACentral. There are many more rankings, answers to frequently asked questions, in-depth guides like this one, and career profiles, among other resources. We’re continuously writing new MBA content, so check back whenever you can for more assistance. If you find a school through any of our content that you feel is a good match for you, it’s beneficial to follow the links we provide to their website and learn more about their offerings. While you’re on any school’s website, you can contact their support staff, who will happily give you more information about their programs that can significantly help you through your application process.

What if you can’t attend school in person, or at a residential program? No worries:

Can You Earn a Change Management MBA Online?

MBA’s have become a popular online degree option. They were one of the first degrees to be offered in a distance format, and with the prevalence of the Internet, those offerings have significantly expanded. That trend has also impacted Change Management MBA programs, and as mentioned above we’ve ranked ten of the best online Change Management MBA’s. So what are the advantages of attending a Change Management MBA online?

Some of the perks include:

  • Location: Instead of needing to live in somewhere specific, online Change Management MBA programs offer the opportunity to work and study from anywhere you have an Internet connection. If you want to work in a particular state after graduating, earning an MBA online from a school based in it can help you significantly.
  • Schedule: Online MBA programs give students flexible scheduling options including asynchronous classes. This lets you attend class, do coursework and complete exams on a schedule that works with your ongoing responsibilities. This flexibility allows you to maintain your 9-5 employment hours and saves you money on commuting and housing costs that are common in traditional college and university programs. Speaking of which:
  • Price: Online programs save you money on commuting and housing fees. They’re designed for people who want to do work, earn their degree and get new benefits in the workforce as quickly as they can.

How Do You Get in to a Change Management MBA Program?

Applying and being accepted into a graduate school program can be incredibly stressful. If you haven’t been in school for a while, it can be especially hard to get back into the groove. However, if you break down the steps you need to take to enter an MBA program into smaller sections instead of focusing on it in its overwhelming entirety you’ll be far more successful in the application process and have an easier go of it internally as well. Here are some of the steps you should take to get into a Change Management MBA, assuming you’ve already earned a Bachelor’s degree:

  • Take the GMAT: MBA applicants may need to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) depending on the program they’re interested in. The GMAT is a standardized test which measures your analytical, writing, and quantitative skills, in a business practice context. To learn more, see our In-Depth Guide to the GMAT.
  • Consider your needs: MBA programs require lots of hard work. Even if you take one online, they’re expensive. Before you apply to any MBA programs carefully examine what you’re looking for in one. The earlier section on this is a good place to start, but go deeper on what you need, including parameters, expectations, and whatever else is important to you. To see all of your options, check out our Online MBA program rankings.
  • Research Schools: Once you’ve followed the previous steps it’s time to start looking at schools. You are welcome to our rankings to simplify this process. Again, if any of the schools we recommend seem like a good fit for you, check out our links to their websites and ask for more information.
  • Apply: After looking deeply into Change Management MBA programs and picking options you’re confident you can get into (safety schools), ones you think you’d be accepted to (targets), and your absolute top choices (reaches), you are ready to apply. Whenever possible talk to professors, admissions counselors, and academic advisors of any school you’re interested in applying to.

Now let’s take a look at what you’ll get out of a Change Management MBA program once you graduate:

What Jobs Can You Get With a Change Management MBA Degree?

  • Top Executive: Top executives like CEOs and COOs are the most senior administrators at their organizations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that top executives make an average annual salary of $104,980, and there are currently 2,572,000 positions employed in the United States, which is expected to increase by 8% over the next decade.
  • Management Analyst: Management analysts, also called consultants, work with organizations to examine organizational efficiency and improve it. They make an average annual salary of $83,610, and there are currently 806,400 people working in these roles. That’s expected to increase by 14% over the next decade.
  • Administrative Services Manager: Here you’ll work to manage organizations in numerous ways. BLS found people in these roles make an average annual salary of $96,180, and there are currently 281,700 of these positions, which is predicted to increase 10% over the next decade.
  • Human Resources Manager: In these roles you’ll serve as a bridge between employees and management. Responsibilities include recruiting talent, negotiating, hiring and firing, and solving workplace conflicts. They earn an average annual salary of $113,300. There are currently 136,100 of these positions, which is expected to increase by 9% over the next decade.

There are many more potential options for Change Management MBA graduates, and it’s far more likely that your title, responsibilities, and earning potential will not be the same as for graduates of other MBA programs (in a good way).

Change Management MBA’s in Conclusion

We hope you’ve found this MBACentral guide extremely helpful. To see more of what we’ve written, please check out:

Further Reading