You might have noticed that several MBA-pursuing students represent themselves as MBA candidates in their resumes. What does it mean to be an MBA candidate? If you think about the same question, this guide can help you.
Additionally, you can call yourself an MBA candidate in your resume if you currently pursue an MBA program. Mostly, those students call themselves candidates who have completed their program but haven’t got the degree.
This specific idea is true for MBA, PhD, and other courses. However, most MBA students mention themselves as candidates on their resumes or job applications. The term ‘MBA candidate’ also refers to someone who has enrolled in an MBA program and is pursuing to complete a degree.
So, it’s just a way to tell others they are just working toward an MBA degree. Let’s dig deeper into this perspective.
Why are MBA Students Addressed as Candidates?
An MBA candidate indicates that the respective student or person has already finished the assigned MBA coursework and is still waiting to receive an MBA diploma and formal graduation. Why is it called MBA candidate?
Most MBA students would like to call themselves candidates because they want to mean they have enrolled in an MBA program. Moreover, they also indicate that they haven’t received their degree and that the program is on its way.
Hence, a student can clarify their position with the term ‘MBA candidate’. If you haven’t received your MBA degree, you can mention yourself as an MBA candidate on your job application or CV.
On the other hand, many MBA students use the term ‘MBA candidate’ to advertise themselves. Those students will receive a professional-level degree after completing the designated coursework.
After all, the term ‘MBA candidate’ sounds catchy and great for business college advertising purposes. MBA programs use this exact term to lure more and more students into entailing an MBA degree. And, an MBA degree is a product that costs students a lump sum of money, and it benefits business colleges and universities.
What Do You Mean by The Term ‘Candidate’?
Usually, the term ‘candidate’ refers to someone who has completed all their coursework and classes but hasn’t received a degree. For example, PhD students can call themselves candidates if they have completed their coursework and have not obtained their PhD degree.
What’s an MBA candidate, then? This means an MBA student has completed most coursework and is now set to compete against professional individuals.
Can You Use The ‘MBA Candidate’ Term on Your Resume?
Generally, you can use the term ‘MBA candidate’ on your resume, and there’s no harm. The term ‘MBA candidate’ simply means that you are pursuing an MBA program currently and haven’t received the diploma yet.
On the other hand, it may be significant to show that you are pursuing some degree as part-time or full-time. Hence, you must mention that you are enrolled in an MBA program. The most straightforward way to declare this is to address yourself as an MBA candidate.
Why is it called MBA candidate? If you don’t like to call yourself an MBA candidate, write ‘MBA in Progress’ on the resume. Here is another alternative: ‘Master of Business Administration degree candidate – expected completion on [Month and Year]’.
On the other hand, some believe that it’s not appropriate for MBA students to call themselves candidates. Since candidates sound only applicable to doctoral students. In addition, candidacy doesn’t exist at the master’s level. That’s why some experts suggest avoiding using the term ‘MBA candidate’ in the resume.
So, you can write ‘MBA in progress’ on your resume or job application to avoid conflicts. However, it’s fine for doctoral students to mention themselves as candidates in their job applications or CVs.
What Does ‘MBA Candidate’ Imply on Resumes?
If you decide to address yourself as an MBA candidate there, here are a few implications. What does it mean to be an MBA candidate in an entry-level job or position? An MBA degree for an entry-level job might make you overqualified.
However, it’s not a rule. On a related note, mentioning your MBA-pursuing journey can be a green flag from your employer. They might be interested in your academics, skills, etc. Some employers might say they will get back to you after you complete your MBA and earn the degree.
And, you might not hear from them ever. Therefore, learn specific skills to help you prove yourself valuable to employers. In addition, a substantial work background can also assist you in securing a satisfactory job profile.
So, you can add your accomplishments, such as knowledge of Excel, coding skills, Python coding, starting your own business, and more. The more valuable skills and experiences you can include in your resume, the higher your chances are that you will bag an expected job. After all, only mentioning your MBA degree might not get you what you want.
Would You Use ‘MBA Candidate’ in an Email Signature?
You might have to communicate with different companies’ staffing agencies, recruiters, or HRs when applying for jobs. In that situation, you might have to use the term ‘MBA candidate’ in your email signature as they require your full disclosure on the application.
Otherwise, you might not use ‘MBA candidate’ in an email signature. This is because it might appear to be attention-seeking and pretentious. So, avoid using ‘MBA candidate’ in an email signature. Additionally, it’s better not to use the term ‘MBA candidate’ on your resume if you are just an MBA student. Instead, mention your MBA program with the completion timeline.
Differences between an MBA Student and an MBA Candidate
Resumes for MBA candidates might require this exact term if the aspiring student is near the completion of the diploma. However, using the term ‘MBA candidate’ is not justified. Here, we have mentioned the primary differences between an MBA student and an MBA candidate:
- An MBA student is somebody who has enrolled in an MBA program. Whereas, an MBA candidate is a particular person who has completed all the MBA-entitled coursework but hasn’t received the diploma.
- So, an MBA student has to complete all the classes and coursework. However, an MBA candidate has already completed all the required coursework.
- MBA students can’t generally participate in qualifying or competitive exams. MBA candidates can participate in qualifying exams.
- Additionally, MBA students can become MBA candidates once they complete their coursework. On the other hand, MBA candidates can become MBA graduates once they receive an MBA degree or diploma.
How Much Do MBA Graduates Make?
The salary of an MBA graduate can vary from one company to another and from one state to another state. On average, you can expect to earn anywhere from $58K to $94K, depending on which company in which state you choose.
Additionally, your salary will depend on your skills, previous experience, and similar factors. However, the term ‘MBA candidate’ is only acceptable in certain circumstances. So, think wisely before putting it in your resume.