MBA specializations – what are they?
MBA specializations are focused concentrations of study within a business school’s MBA program. They typically require students to take a certain number of additional classes, and they may also allow students to complete a thesis or dissertation.
Many business schools offer MBA specializations, but not all. Some MBA specializations are open only to specific students, such as those who already hold undergraduate degrees in particular fields or hold certain levels of experience in the workplace. Students who want to pursue an MBA specialization often have a specific area of interest that they want to delve into more deeply, whether marketing, finance, or another topic.
MBA specializations can help students prepare for careers in specific industries or sectors. They may be helpful if you’re looking to transition into a new job after earning your graduate degree.
MBA specializations allow you to focus on one area within your business education to gain more experience with that subject matter than you would through general coursework alone.
There are several different MBA specialisations, including those that focus on a specific industry and prepare students for international careers.
Business administration and management master’s programs offer concentrations or specialisations in accounting, finance, marketing, human resources and entrepreneurship. These programs are designed to build upon the knowledge obtained during undergraduate studies.
Some business administration and management degrees may offer a concentration in a particular business area, such as finance or marketing. These concentrations often require students to take a few additional courses beyond the core curriculum for their degree program.
An MBA specialization may also prepare students for international careers. By studying abroad and gaining experience working with multinational corporations and organizations, students can develop an understanding of international business practices, customs, and etiquette.
Why are MBA specializations important?
MBA specializations are a great way to gain more knowledge and skills in your area of interest.
If you’re looking for a career change, an MBA specialization is the perfect way to make that change happen. With an MBA specialization, you can focus on your area of interest, whether finance, marketing, or operations management — whatever area you need to gain expertise in.
You may be wondering why it’s essential to specialize in your MBA program. After all, isn’t the whole point of getting an MBA to learn how to apply your knowledge across different industries?
The answer is yes — but there are times when it makes sense to focus on one particular industry or subject. The best reason for doing so is that it allows you to develop deep expertise in your chosen field. An MBA degree shouldn’t be just about gaining general knowledge and skills; it should also prepare you for specific jobs within a particular industry. This will help you stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs after graduation.
Another reason why it makes sense to specialize in your MBA program is that many employers expect candidates who’ve earned MBAs from top schools to have some kind of specialization before they hire them as employees. An MBA specialization can help you gain specialized knowledge that will make you stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs after graduation. It can also help employers see what interests you most so they know how best to match you with open positions within their organizations.
How to choose an MBA specialization
You can choose any specialization within an MBA. You don’t need a background in that domain.
In fact, many of the best-known MBA programs offer multiple specializations. Some of these programs have one or two specializations that are particularly popular and well-established. Some are newer, with fewer students and fewer data to support their value. Others may be experimental, such as the new data science specialization at MIT Sloan School of Management.
You can find lists of specializations offered by business schools on their websites or on TopMBA’s MBA programs page.
Specialization requirements vary between schools, but most require you to complete approximately 10 courses (four core courses and six electives). The core courses are designed to give you a deep understanding of the field you choose to focus on as well as exposure to other areas of business that might be relevant to your future career path. Elective courses are typically developed by faculty members based on their research interests or teaching experience.
A list of popular MBA specializations
MBA specializations vary by school and by the program. Some schools offer specializations that are available only to full-time students, while others allow part-time students to enroll as well. Some schools offer more than one specialization option for each concentration area.
Some popular MBA specializations include:
- Finance — This specialization prepares students for careers in investment banking and corporate finance positions. Many business schools also offer related concentrations such as accounting or economics. Courses may include options like “Financial Reporting” or “Advanced Corporate Finance” that focus on topics like mergers and acquisitions or capital budgeting decisions
- Accounting – Accounting focuses on the principles and practices involved in maintaining financial records for various organizations, including corporations, non-profits, and governmental agencies. It also covers areas such as auditing and taxation.
- Advanced Management: This specialization focuses on strategy development, organizational design, leadership development, and human resources management issues facing today’s managers. Students will also learn how to apply these concepts within real-world situations through case studies and hands-on projects involving teamwork with fellow classmates
- Business analytics: This specialization focuses on using data and analytics to help companies improve performance. Business analytics is typically taught through courses such as marketing research methods, data mining, predictive analytics, and advanced business intelligence systems.
- Management information systems (MIS): MIS courses focus on how technology affects business processes, organizational strategies, and decision-making in an organization’s daily operations. MIS courses may cover topics such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), business process management (BPM), or application development platforms like SAP or Oracle ERP Cloud Enterprise Edition (ECE).
- Corporate Strategy – This specialization focuses on strategy development for companies at all levels within organizations, including strategic planning and implementation skills needed to successfully implement strategies over time. Courses may cover topics like Strategic Management Global Strategic Management & Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship & Technology Management & Organizational Behavior (OB).
- Marketing (MBA) – Marketing managers need to be able to understand consumer behavior in order to develop effective strategies for their organizations. This specialization teaches students how marketing works in today’s global economy and how they can apply marketing principles to their own careers. A marketing MBA gives students the tools they need for careers in brand management, sales, marketing research, advertising and promotion management, and public relations within companies or organizations of all types.
- Operations Management (MBA) – An operations management specialization focuses on improving efficiency by reducing waste and increasing productivity through better supply chain management, inventory control, and production management.
- Technology management — This specialization teaches students how to manage technology-based organizations. It covers topics such as enterprise architecture, information security, business process management, and project management.
- Healthcare management — This specialization teaches students how to manage healthcare organizations as well as their complex regulatory environment. Students learn about health insurance billing systems, medical billing systems, and hospital administration practices.
- Real estate — This specialization focuses on real estate investments, including commercial real estate development and residential real estate investment analysis and management. The curriculum includes business development strategies for owning and managing commercial real estate properties; property valuation; financial modeling; construction methods and techniques; leasing techniques; accounting principles related to real estate assets; risk controls for real estate assets; legal issues related to real estate assets.
- Human resources management (HRM) – This specialization focuses on the unique needs and challenges facing HR professionals in today’s business environment. Students will gain an understanding of areas such as employee compensation, training, development, and recruitment. Some schools also offer certifications in human resources management after completing this specialization.
- International business (IB) – This specialization provides students with an overview of how businesses operate around the world, including how they interact with each other within different countries or regions. Students will learn about topics such as global marketing strategies, international finance, and foreign exchange rates when studying this specialization.
- Financial Technology (FinTech) – The FinTech MBA specialization is designed for students who want to learn about the financial technology sector and all its potential applications in business. This program offers real-world experience through internships, along with coursework that covers topics like blockchain technology and artificial intelligence (AI).