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What is the Best MBA Specialization? Your Complete Guide

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Having trouble choosing an MBA specialization? Here’s your complete guide to the best MBA specializations.

There are over 30 different types of MBA specializations out there, and chances are that your school offers at least 3 or 4 of them, if not more. How ever will you choose? While the most popular MBA concentrations are finance, marketing and accounting, there are several factors that make the best MBA specialization. Read on to find out more!

 

 

Source: Pexels

 

 

Why get an MBA?

There are countless reasons to go back to school to get your MBA. You are likely familiar with the obvious reasons of increasing your salary or advancing your career but there are so many other reasons why you should get an MBA. Getting an MBA gives you the opportunity to gain new knowledge of the ever-changing business world, make invaluable new connections and the chance to learn from some of the best minds in business. And with tuition-free, online, and flexible options available at UoPeople, you really have no reason not to!

 

 

How to Choose an MBA Specialization

The most popular MBA concentrations are finance, accounting, marketing, general management, and entrepreneurship, but that doesn’t mean these are the right ones for you. Take stock of your passions and your strengths. Which of the above listed MBA concentrations gets you excited? Is there one that stands out? If so, research more about that MBA interest of yours. Make a list of your strengths and career goals and try to align your MBA specialization with those things. You will also need to think of the future, look at which fields on business are not only in demand now, but are expected to grow and which of these concentrations are offered at your school.

 

Read more here on your career options as an MBA graduate.

 

 

Types of MBA Specializations

Here are 19 of the top MBA specializations, explained:

 

 

1. Management

 

What is it:

 

The goal of an MBA in General Management is for graduates to be able to run the general operations of a company. Students study topics such as leadership, management communication and organizational behavior. This is one of the more general options for an MBA specialization.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$80,000 – $170,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

As this is the most open-ended of all MBA specializations, your job outlook is also very open. It will depend on the field you enter upon graduation.

 

Potential Careers:

 

General Management of both small and large companies, International Management, and working in the Financial Sector as well. The options are very open with an MBA in Management.

 

 

 

2. Marketing

 

What is it:

 

Marketing is one of the most popular MBA specializations out there, and for a good reason. Marketing is interesting, always high in demand and can have a great payout. Students learn about consumer behavior and creating advertisements and products that people want. Topics include branding, market research, consumer psychology and digital marketing.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$50,000 – $150,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

10% (Faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Marketing Managers/Directors, Market Research Analyst, Product Manager, Public Relations Manager, Advertising Manager, Brand Manager.

 

 

 

3. Strategy

 

What is it:

 

An MBA in Business Strategy will give you the skills you need in business theory in order to best understand what influences the success or failure of a company. This is a big-picture type of MBA specialization and will leave you with a wider range of careers to go into after graduation. You need to be an excellent problem solver and critical thinker, and you will likely study business analytics and theory.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$135,000-$146,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

10% (Faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Strategic Planning Manager, Business Analyst, Operations, Program Managers.

 

 

 

4. Finance

 

What is it:

 

An MBA in Finance is another popular choice for graduate students. Students will learn both theory and analysis of finances, as well as topics such as investments, portfolio management, fundraising, borrowing and international finance management.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$86,000 – $183,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

19% (Much higher than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Accounting Manager, CFO (Chief Financial Officer), Investment Banking Manager, Financial Analyst.

 

 

 

5. Human Resources

 

What is it:

 

If you see yourself in business for the long run and you are a people person through and through, HR might be the right MBA specialization for you. Human Resources management usually means the hiring of employees and training or managing them according to the company’s standards.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$60,000 – $120,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

9% (Average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Labor Relations Director, Training and Development Director, Chief Diversity Officer, Compensation and Benefits Director.

 

 

 

6. Entrepreneurship

 

What is it:

 

An MBA in entrepreneurship prepares students for a career in building a small business or enterprise, or to work as an executive in startups. Many entrepreneur MBA programs will allow program participants to select a specific industry as a focus for their studies.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$60,000 – $70,000 as an entrepreneur, $100,000+ for top executives in established companies

 

Job Outlook:

 

8% (Average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Company Founder, Business Owner, Operations Manager.

 

 

 

7. Operations Management

 

What is it:

 

An MBA specialization in Operations Management is similar to logistics or supply chain management. Working in operations management means overseeing, planning and implementing the entire process of production or manufacturing of goods and services. Students must be well versed in risk management and strategic thinking.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$60,000 – $100,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

-1% (Little to no change)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Supply Chain Manager, Purchasing Manager, Logistics Manager, Inventory Control Manager.

 

 

 

8. Consulting

 

What is it:

 

Getting an MBA in Consulting will prepare you to be a business consultant, which is a very wide-ranging position. Students studying consulting will likely take courses in business problem solving, communication and presentation skills, and a variety of other courses in business. Many students choose to go into consulting if they would like an open-ended but lucrative future in business.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$120,000 – $150,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

14% (Faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Business Consultant.

 

 

 

9. Accounting

 

What is it:

 

An MBA in Accounting will prepare students in business fields as well as in finance and accounting courses. Topics of study include cost management, business strategy, financial accounting, and managerial accounting. This type of MBA is appropriate for applicants with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, looking to broaden their knowledge or take the CPA exam.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$70,000 – $125,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

10% (Faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

CPA, Financial Analyst or Planner, Budget Analyst, International Accountant, Auditing Manager.

 

 

 

10. Environmental Management & Sustainability

 

What is it:

 

An MBA in environmental management and sustainability, sometimes nicknamed a “green mba” will give you a strong foundation in business administration as well as incorporating concepts of sustainability. Those who work in this field help businesses to develop eco-friendly practices and sustainable production or manufacturing methods.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$60,000 – $95,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

11% (Faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Environmental Sustainability Manager, Sustainability Specialist, Director of Sustainability.

 

 

 

11. Healthcare Management

 

What is it:

 

Getting an MBA in healthcare management is becoming increasingly popular as a choice for MBA students. Working in the healthcare industry can be both rewarding, stable and lucrative. Students in this MBA specialization will learn core business fundamentals as well as a crossover into health administration courses.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$90,000 – $150,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

20% (Much faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Hospital Administrator, Healthcare Consultant, Practice Manager, Hospital CEO or CFO, Health Information Manager.

 

 

 

12. International Business

 

What is it:

 

With this specialization, you will be able to lead companies in an increasingly globalized business world. International business gives students the abilities and skills to deal with various cultures and specialized business practices all over the world. Students learn international negotiation, global business trends and international corporate financing and accounting.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$90,000 – $100,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

10% (Faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

International Trade Specialist, Business Strategist or Analyst, International Consultant.

 

 

 

13. Information Technology

 

What is it:

 

An MBA in Information Technology will prepare you to be a business manager in a technology field. Combining business methods with technology studies, students learn topics such as robotics, data science or computer science in addition to business fundamentals.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$115,000 – $125,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

12% (Faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Information Systems Manager, Computer Systems Managers, Chief Information Officer, Systems Software Manager, Director of Information Technology.

 

 

 

14. Nonprofit Management

 

What is it:

 

An MBA in nonprofit management is for those wishing to manage in nonprofit or government sectors. This program is best for students already in or wishing to enter fields such as philanthropy, government or education. Students generally will take specialized coursework in ethics and social justice, board government and volunteer management, and organizational leadership.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$65,000 – $85,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

18% (Much faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Social and Community Service Managers, Director Network Development, Executive Board Director, Director of Community Action.

 

 

 

15. Risk Management

 

What is it:

 

Risk Management is the practice of managing enterprise risk most efficiently for shareholders. Students with this MBA will become experts in sustainable performance of an organization. Study topics are very focused on risk management and include courses such as financial risk management, macro-risk, enterprise risk, and corporate performance.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$130,000 – $140,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

10% (Faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Risk Manager, Risk Analyst, Financial Risk Manager.

 

 

 

16. Public Administration

 

What is it:

 

An MBA in Public Administration is the choice for many business-minded students who wish to go into government. This MBA can lead to a career in public policy or political science. Students will likely study topics such as public health, strategic planning, and budget analysis.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$50,000 – $85,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

18% (Much faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Policy Coordinator, Program Manager, Executive Director, Mayor, City Manager, Education Administrator.

 

 

 

17. Supply Chain Management

 

What is it:

 

Supply Chain Management is the process of planning, controlling and executing the flow of a product, service or good. Students with this MBA specialization will study topics such as business logistics, operations management, and global logistics.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$95,000 – $125,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

7% (Average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Logistician/Logistics Engineer, Supply Chain Manager.

 

 

 

18. Business Analytics & Statistics

 

What is it:

 

This is one of the fastest growing MBA specializations. With Big Data becoming a central part of business, there is need for people who are specialized in business analytics and statistics. Students must learn about data collection, statistical and pattern analysis, data mining as well as basic business topics.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$115,000 – $122,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

14% (Faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Business Analyst, Business Development Analyst, Systems Analyst.

 

 

19. International Marketing

 

What is it:

 

This global specialization focuses on consumerism, trade, production and competition in the field of marketing on an international scale. Students study foreign marketing, global business, and international communication alongside typical marketing courses.

 

Earning Potential:

 

$50,000 – $150,000

 

Job Outlook:

 

10% (Faster than average)

 

Potential Careers:

 

Marketing Manager, Market Researcher, International Consultant.

 

 

Source: Unsplash

 

 

So there you have it — your complete guide to the best MBA specializations. Best of luck choosing with so many amazing options, and happy studying!