Getting a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is a life changing career choice. Of course, it only opens up more jobs for you. However, it will also allow you to climb the corporate ladder and land a top executive position. It is a serious investment and it is possible for it absolutely to be worth the time and money you need to put in.
Most MBA programs have a similar structure and take two years to complete. The first year is to provide students with a core level of knowledge in areas such as mathematics, accounting, strategy, finance and management. After the first year, most people proceed to specialize in a specific area of their choice. A specialization is essentially what your MBA is focus is. While an MBA provides an overview of most business functions, a specialization allows you to double down your knowledge and experience in a particular field. While you do not have to specialize, it is highly recommended as it will make you an expert in your field and therefore more valuable to potential employers.
Deciding what to specialize in can be difficult for some as it requires them to reconcile their interests with the potential gain provided by that particular specialty. For example, an MBA in finance will likely pay more and provide more advancement opportunities than an MBA in Agribusiness, even though agriculture may be your passion.
Here are some of the more popular MBA specializations:
MBA in Finance
An MBA in Finance is one of the most versatile specializations available. As one could imagine, finance applies to nearly every facet of any business and therefore is applicable to many different jobs. Further, according to U.S News, MBA in Finance graduates can expect to start with a salary of $109,000. You will take a variety of classes ranging from investment strategy, economics, marketing, financial theory and even risk management.
MBA in Marketing
In 2018, US companies spent around $223 billion on advertising which is expected to grow in the coming years. Marketing is an absolutely crucial aspect of business- it is how a business conveys its product to its market. Therefore, the demand for MBA graduates who are uniquely trained to conceptualize and develop marketing plans is going up. Recent grads can expect to make around $102,495 in salary and bonuses their first year in the workforce- making it one of the highest paying MBA specializations.
MBA in Entrepreneurship
If you have the desire to lead and manage business enterprises, then an MBA in Entrepreneurship may be the perfect fit for you. It is particularly helpful to those who want to start their own business or take over a family business. This MBA focus provides you with a broader view of all the different business functions. Additionally, teaching you how to run small businesses and the laws associated with starting or running a company. Possible positions include senior project manager, product manager, or management consultant and earn around $106,000 a year.
MBA in Operations Management
Operations management is all about designing and implementing helpful business practices in order to maximize efficiency and productivity. It involves the examination of certain business processes and evaluating how those practices could be made better. More efficient systems and less time wasted means more money saved for the company. Those who enjoy this career path will typically be very detail oriented. The typical salary for an operations research analyst is around $83,390 a year, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.
MBA in Healthcare Management
Healthcare management is the intersection point for business and healthcare. It primarily focuses itself around running healthcare systems; whether that be a hospital, insurance provider or nursing home. The typical coursework for a student in this program includes human resource management, managerial economics, marketing and quantitative analysis. It will also include classes which help students understand the complex nature of federal, state and local healthcare regulations as well as covering public health policies and ethics. According to the BLS, medical and health services managers can expect to make an average of $113,730.
How do I pick my concentration?
When deciding your area of focus, you should always consider your goals and interests first and foremost. While the education is broad, MBA specializations are a great way to perfect your knowledge in one area. There is little to no point picking a concentration that you would not enjoy, even if it pays well. Now, if your main objective is to get a high paying job, then that should be a major consideration. Having an MBA in general is going to take you a long way, so your decision should be based on what you want for yourself. Have more questions? Check out our other blogs!