How to Choose an MBA Concentration – And What Each Unlocks

MBA Concentration

Individuals have chosen to pursue their Master of Business Administration degrees for decades in order to gain expert training in best business practices, effective decision making, better skillsets and tools to further themselves in their careers. An MBA effectively opens doors for better prospects at companies that come with better benefits and higher salaries. Having an MBA behind your name is seen as a surefire way to climb the corporate ladder successfully.

Management and leadership opportunities are often afforded to individuals who have an MBA, especially in highly competitive environments. A well-regarded business school MBA can land you that dream job you aspire to, help you develop a better professional network, or help you perform better in your current position.

How to Choose an MBA Concentration

A number of factors will influence your MBA concentration decision. Factors such as which industry you currently work in, future possibilities of transferring, entrepreneurship prospects, job security, affordability, current work demands, your age and whether you will be doing your MBA online or part-time are all important.

As undertaking an MBA is a considerable investment, it is a decision that should not be entered into lightly. Choosing which concentration to focus on will require the same level of thoughtfulness as that of deciding to pursue your MBA. It is important to understand that although an MBA is not impossible to achieve, it is challenging, especially if you have a demanding job, children or other responsibilities that demand time and energy.

The best way to choose an MBA concentration is to decide where your passion lies and see if that lines up with your future goals. If you are looking at moving from the financial industry to the tech industry, you may not want to specialize in accounting or business law. Be sure of what goals you want to achieve and choose a specialization that lines up to your current and future needs.

The Most Popular MBA Concentrations

There are more than 20 MBA concentrations that an individual can focus on, and you can find out more about them here. The great thing about pursuing an MBA is that many MBAs provide dual specializations or concentrations which further upgrade your capabilities and prospects within the job-market. One of the most popular concentrations is general management, which provides an effective and comprehensive program to better equip an individual in any business environment.

If you work in an international company or conglomerate, considering an international business concentration will serve you better as you can align business goals across international borders. This is an up and coming specialization as global businesses are growing exponentially.

If you are aiming to specialize in operations or become an executive within your company, a strategic management concentration may service you well as you can focus on long-term business planning and strategies. If you are thinking about becoming your own boss or have a great startup idea, an MBA in entrepreneurship is the specialization you need. As work from home opportunities become more popular, you could take your skills to the next level by choosing to specialize in consulting when you pursue your MBA.

If you are financially driven and motivated, you might consider specializing in consulting, financial services, technology, healthcare or consumer package goods MBA concentrations, as these have been identified as the five sectors that pay better than others. MBA graduates in these sectors earn higher salaries than their peers in other sectors.

More about the MBA in Accounting Concentration

There are two major fields of accounting, namely the management aspect of it and secondly, the financial aspect. The flexibility of an MBA in accounting offers analytical skills, decision making skills, business law, auditing theory, taxation and financial accounting. Positions that can be unlocked in this field include chief financial officers, auditor heads and specialization fields such as anti-money laundering. Typical curriculums in this specialization include tax planning, decision-making, strategic accounting, financial statement analysis and forensic accounting. An MBA in accounting will open a vast range of doors for you as you pursue career excellence. With a median salary for an auditor starting at $68,150 to the median salary of $121,750 for a financial manager, you will never be underpaid with this MBA behind your name.

More about the MBA in Cybersecurity Concentration

As our digital and technological world evolves, so do the needs and specializations within the MBA sphere. Getting an MBA with a concentration in cybersecurity can unlock high-paying jobs at many top firms or tech startups that are earmarked for success. Pave your way to becoming a chief information officer or information security analyst if you are interested in this field.

Alternatively, consider an MBA in information technology, which can also unlock the same potential IT leadership roles as a cybersecurity specialization can. Choosing either of these concentrations affords you the advanced and high-tech skills that your position will demand of you. The IT sector is a lucrative industry which means individuals that specialize in this sector can expect to earn substantially more than other MBA specialization graduates.

More about the MBA in Financial Services Concentration

Develop powerful skills and hone yourself as a financial expert with this concentration. An investment specialist or trader or chief financial officer usually choose to undertake this MBA concentration. If you are working for a Fortune 500 company, or your goal is to work for one, this MBA concentration is essential for opening those promotion doors for you. With studies showing that a career growth outlook in this specialization is as much as 19%, job security and financial stability are almost guaranteed. The median salary for a financial manager, analyst or personal financial advisor varies between $84,300 to $125,080.

More about the MBA in Health Administration Concentration

Healthcare professionals, or registered nurses who wish to move upwards in their career, will usually choose to specialize in health administration. The need for this specialization is increasing year-on-year, so those in the healthcare industry would do well to graduate with this MBA concentration. If your goals are to apply for senior positions within hospitals, clinics or big pharma companies, you can kickstart the process by pursuing your MBA in health administration. Positions such as a hospital administrator, practice manager or pharmaceutical project manager are within your reach in this concentration. The median salary for a graduate in these positions ranges from $57,649 to $98,350.

More about the MBA in Human Resources Concentration

If you are interested in human capital and resources, and wish to become an HR specialist, manager or labor relations specialist, a human resources concentration is your best bet. Gain decision-making skills, organizational know-how and leadership skills in this program which you can use to your advantage in your career. This curriculum typically covers marketing, economics, ethics, policy making, workforce management, HR law and much more. The Human Resources sector impacts employees’ lives which is what makes having a specialization in this sector attractive to those already in the industry. Aim to be a chief human resources officer by choosing a concentration in HR. The median salary you can expect when graduating is between $60,350 and $119,120.

More about the MBA in Marketing Concentration

One of the more popular specializations lately is the MBA in marketing. The marketing, media and advertising sector is a highly competitive one, which means that succeeding in this field becomes increasingly difficult, especially in such a dynamic and creative market. Graduating with your MBA will cement your chances of being considered for promotions or in your endeavor to become a marketing general manager, sales manager or chief marketing officer. Up your game in consumer behavior and engagement by focusing on completing your MBA marketing degree. The median salary you can expect with an MBA in marketing ranges from $63,230 to $129,380. Expect to spend at least 14 months completing this concentration online, with specific admission requirements.

More about the MBA in Project Management Concentration

Project management is required in every business sector and industry and if you are one currently, you will understand how many doors will open to you once you have an MBA in project management. Take your planning, process and operations management to the next level with a specialization in this field. The sought-after positions in project management are: project manager; senior project manager; project manager director; business operations specialist; or an administrative services manager. The median salary range in these professions range from $70,000 to $120,000.

It is no secret that graduates with an MBA concentration have a competitive edge within the industry they are in. Their expertise and valuable skillsets gained through a specialization contribute to their success in their lives and careers. As concentrations are more focused and specialized, graduates are more likely to succeed in their careers due to these specializations being more advanced than general ones. The greatest advantage to an MBA concentration is that companies that hire are looking for individuals who are not afraid of hard work, challenges and display a certain tenacity of a go-getter. MBA graduates are just such individuals which make them highly sought after in any industry. Get started on your career progression today and enroll for your MBA.


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