Do you have a master’s degree in business administration? Are you considering a new career path? If so, consider looking for a job opportunity in the Chicagoland area. With its diverse array of industries and opportunities for people to pursue an MBA, the city of big shoulders offers a bright job outlook for those with an advanced degree.

According to World Business Chicago, the windy city has a number of industries, including health care, business and financial services, green energy and manufacturing. Chicago is also home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Walgreens, Boeing, Motorola Solutions, Sears Holdings, Exelon, Illinois Tool Works, Kraft Foods and McDonald’s. Established companies are also relocating their corporate offices to Chicago, while health care providers already in the area are expanding their facilities and services. These relocations and expansions will drive further demand for employees with MBAs as companies strive to manage their growth.

What careers can you find in Chicago with an MBA? Senior management positions, including roles as a company’s president, senior vice president or chief executive officer, typically require an MBA. Other positions that require the degree include business development managers, general managers, director of investment banking and corporate controllers. Certain roles may also require additional education and certification.

MBA programs in Chicago often offer students a chance to get outside the classroom — and even outside the country. Through hands-on experiences, students can learn how to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations. MBA programs may require students to participate in internships, allowing the students to broaden their horizons while also expanding their list of contacts. Some schools also have programs where students can head overseas to learn international business practices firsthand.

An MBA also enables students to major in a discipline, like marketing management, real estate, technology industry management and human resources management. This specialization allows the MBA student to develop an expertise in a certain field. Certain MBA programs also offer dual specialization, allowing a student to pursue a second degree simultaneously.

Pursuing an MBA can take anywhere between 12 months and five years, depending on a student’s course load. Many programs in Chicago offer full-time, part-time and weekend classes, allowing students to select a school that complements their work schedule.

Having an MBA can also help students find a job much faster. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 92 percent of 2012 graduates surveyed by GMAC were employed three months after graduation. Having additional education can open doors to job-seekers, especially those in the Chicagoland area.

Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at