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do you add mba after your name

do you add mba after your name

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Master of Business Administration

A Master of Business Administration (MBA; also Master’s in Business Administration) is a graduate degree focusing on business administration, investment management.  The core courses in an MBA program cover various areas of business administration such as accounting, applied statistics, human resources, business communication, business ethics, business law, strategic management, business strategy, finance, managerial economics, management, entrepreneurship, marketing, supply-chain management, and operations management in a manner most relevant to management analysis and strategy. It originated in the United States in the early 20th century when the country industrialized and companies sought scientific management.

Earning an MBA is a milestone in your professional career. An MBA opens a world of possibilities in regards to job opportunities and promotions. Since you have earned an MBA, you might want to add those three letters after your name in an email signature of a business card. However, there are some occasions where it is appropriate to add the word MBA after your name and some other where it is not recommended. This article will go over best practices for many different cases. Generally, you want to find a middle ground: avoid underselling yourself, but also avoid making it seem like you are bragging or implying than a Master’s degree is required.

How to Add MBA After Your Name

But, before we get into the details…how do you add the word MBA to your signature? First, type your name as usual. Immediately after, add a comma, space, and the word “MBA” Here is an example, “John Johnson, MBA”.

As part of your MBA, you might have also completed a concentration or emphasis such as Marketing, Operations, or Human Resources. Some professionals complete multiple concentrations during their MBA program. In general, you should not list the concentration details after your name. Stating MBA will suffice.

Also, there are many different types of MBA programs. For example, there are executive MBAs, online MBAs, Internationational MBAs, and standard MBA programs. And the details and structure of each program type vary across institutions. As a general rule, there is no need to describe the details of your degree (unless it is a resume); the word MBA is enough.


Make sure you highlight your academic achievements in your resume, especially your MBA. This is the most crucial time when you should emphasize the word MBA. Since you are job searching or at an interview, you must always try to improve the recruiter and earn the position.

do you add mba after your name
do you add mba after your name

Conference Speaker Events

Conference speakers or panel discussions are the main highlights in conferences. If you have been invited as a guest speaker, you can include MBA as part of your signature. If you are not sure, other speakers are adding title information after their name, feel free to ask the event organizer.

It can be useful for attendees to learn about your academic background before they attend a talk. Then, they can have a better idea of the theme of your presentation. And will be more likely to ask you questions related to the business aspect of your talk.

Should you put MBA behind your name on your LinkedIn profile?

Last week, three friends/colleagues/clients graduated from business schools locally here in MSP with advanced degrees–MBAs.

A tremendous achievement. A great honor. And another step in their lifelong commitment to always getting smarter as a professional communicator/marketer.

Not coincidentally, all three work on the corporate side, where the MBA has almost become a prequisite of sorts for senior-level jobs.

In chatting with a few other people in the last week, the topic came up: Should I put the initials, MBA, after my name on my resume and/or LinkedIn profile?

Good question, right?

We’ve all seen it both ways. And, I believe this really comes down to a personal decision, but it’s a good question right?

What’s appropriate? Is it lame to put the initials after your name? After all, I know some PhD’s that don’t even use the Dr. title (even though they clearly are entitled to it). So, what makes sense?

Here are the big issues/questions/concerns, as I see them:

You don’t want to come across as too self-promoting

Probably the number-one issue. I mean, if it were me, this would be my top issue. I just wouldn’t want to come across as too in your face about it. Even though, clearly, it is deserved.

On the other hand, you don’t want to bury it either

If I were getting an MBA (and to be clear, I am not),I probably don’t put the initials after my name–I just call it out under the “Education” section on my resume/LI profile. For me, that would feel right. BUT, would recruiters, colleagues, managers and executives then have a propensity to miss it since that would be buried at the bottom of my resume or LI profile? That would be a concern.

Do you really NEED the credit?

That’s the question, right? Is this about the credit–or, is it about the journey and the knowledge you gleaned? I think there’s ample gray area here, but this is a legit question. If it is really all about the journey and your desire to improve yourself, it shouldn’t even matter if anyone sees the MBA on your resume of profile. And I think for many people, this is their approach (I think about my friend Allan Schoenberg here, who is always quick to point out that his MBA was all about the journey–and I don’t see him listing those initials after his name). But, many people want the credit, too. After all, it is a lot of work. And, they want the credit, because ultimately, they want a better job. And that’s why they did it.

To add to Gautam’s answer, when you are dealing with the public more often you are differenting yourself often. MBAs especially, because they are marketing themselves through that differentiation (versus a MS in Chemistry, where having a Masters is rarely relevant to your conversations.) Everyone I talk to wants to see me through the lens of my having an MBA. So it would make sense that MBAs would include the title only slightly less often than, say, a JD would, but way more than a MA or MS.

do you add mba after your name
do you add mba after your name

Another huge point, an MBA is often considered a terminal degree. “I have a Masters in Psychology” either means “I’m part way into a PhD in Psychology” or “I dropped out of the PhD in Psychology track.” There is no stopping point after a Masters in a field with a PhD required to get a job. Lawyers went even a step further, making their relative MBAs (their JDs) doctorates so they woudln’t have to deal with it. A PhD in Law can’t even practice law without a JD. MBAs are similar–a Doctorate in Business is not considered superior to an MBA, and does not make it easier to get a job doing MBAish work. In fact, none of my professors, not one, had a PhD in Business (they had PhDs in other things or MBAs.)

Plus, yes, MBAs probably do it defensively because of people constantly telling us our degree isn’t as real as their Masters–that an MBA is just a codification of obviousness–the way many also see degrees in education or psychology or theology. Every page of Quora has at least one person saying “well, my startup obviously needs the best programmers we can possibly get, but I think we’ll just fake the business side!” People are somehow shocked to realize that everything you know about programming, every moment you spent staring at a book, every time you bled out your eyes trying to figure out an equation–I did all that with corporate strategy.

To me a big reason why the economy fell in 2008 was people playing with the financial markets because they thought their puritanical lemonade stand skills were enough to run a business (including the business of an investment property or to own shares in a company.)

How to Use an MBA Title After Your Name

Earning your Master’s in Business Administration can qualify you for a promotion and is certainly noteworthy. However, it doesn’t necessarily warrant bragging rights every time you put your name on something like stationary, your signature or your business card. Only add your MBA after your name if it is common practice for the situation and informs the other person of something he needs to know, and doesn’t already know.

When to Use an MBA After Your Name

Business administration doesn’t require a license, specific training or credentials, so people do not need to know you have an MBA. Using the credential unnecessarily might make employers think you lack confidence or are a rookie. It is not common practice to put your MBA after your name in most cases. Listing your MBA on your resume makes sense, and is where employers will look for it. There are some exceptions, such as if you work in academia or are contacting new clients for the first time — that’s where your MBA adds credibility, so go ahead and add it.

do you add mba after your name
do you add mba after your name

How to Add an MBA After Your Name

Add your MBA after your full name, separated by a comma — for example, “John Doe, MBA.” You may choose to include periods when abbreviating the degree as “M.B.A.,” but they are not usually necessary. Your organization may have its own style guide and dictate that periods are not used, in which case “John Doe, MBA” will suffice. Be consistent with any writing style or style guide you are using elsewhere on the document.

Adding Your MBA to Your Business Card

According to Eric Jackson, writing for Forbes, putting your MBA on your business card is a big “no-no.” You wouldn’t list your associate or bachelor’s degree on your business card because it is not common practice. Similarly, it is not common practice to add your MBA.

Advertising MBA Specializations

Sometimes it is valuable to list your MBA area of concentration after your name or on your business card. Examples of areas of concentration include an MBA in accounting, health care administration, international business, finance or marketing. You can list this as “John Doe, MBA in Marketing.”

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