What M.B.A. Specializations Are in Demand?

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Business people shaking hands

Earning a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree has long been viewed as an essential component of high-level business success. Employers view the degree as proof of a potential employee’s knowledge and skills, and some employers may consider having it as a prerequisite for certain positions. While an M.B.A. might be a requirement for candidates to be short-listed, an advanced degree in one of several M.B.A. specializations in demand could make a candidate stand out even more. For individuals interested in pursuing a degree from a reputable M.B.A. program, exploring these specializations and the career paths they may forge could be a crucial part of their degree-earning process.

Why Pursue an M.B.A.?

Earning an M.B.A. provides individuals with the opportunity to deepen foundational skills and competencies essential to business success. The typical M.B.A. curriculum features courses designed to hone specific leadership skills found in high-level business employees, such as motivational skills, which are vital for encouraging others to strive for a specific vision.

The management skills and prestige that accompany an M.B.A. can lead to advanced career opportunities that may otherwise be out of reach. They can also lead to noticeable financial gains. According to PayScale, the average annual salary for an M.B.A. holder is $85,000. (Note: All PayScale averages reported are at the time of writing.) Several factors affect the salary, such as years of experience and job location.

Why Pursue an M.B.A. Specialization?

While pursuing a general M.B.A. can be beneficial, pursuing a specialized M.B.A. can expand an individual’s career interests and increase their earning power even further. Attaining a specialized M.B.A. demonstrates expertise in specific areas considered critical to a company’s overall success. It can also provide an individual with a better chance to shape their career in an area that piques their interest.

Some M.B.A specializations may correlate to certain professions that typically command high salaries. For example, specializations associated with strategic leadership tend to pay more because the average salary of those roles is typically higher than salaries in other professions. A specialization’s  uniqueness may also play a role in determining pay level. For example, there aren’t as many individuals specializing in health care as there are in accounting, and this relative scarcity may add extra value to their services.

The M.B.A. Specializations In Demand

The demand for individuals with M.B.A. degrees never wanes, but some specializations tend to draw greater interest. These concentrations are generally associated with business practices that translate well over a wide variety of industries, such as technology, manufacturing, and nonprofit.

Finance

Developing solid economic strategies is a fundamental part of business success. Earning an M.B.A. with a finance specialization can put graduates at the forefront of this critical component of business. Typical courses associated with this specialization focus on essential concepts, such as accounting and data analysis. PayScale reports that the average annual salary for this specialization is $96,000.

Marketing

Individuals who gear their M.B.A. studies toward marketing can expect to explore positions that emphasize business growth strategies. Courses linked to marketing usually touch on essential skills fundamental to creating and executing marketing campaigns, like project management and communication. PayScale reports that the average annual salary for this specialization is $94,000.

International Business

Technology and the internet have shrunk the world from a business perspective. The international business concentration has given rise to the demand for M.B.A. holders with expertise  in overseeing business strategies that cross international borders. The courses offered in this concentration examine concepts like finance and operations, but from a global perspective. PayScale reports that the annual average salary for this specialization is $89,000.

Information Technology

Gathering, analyzing, and storing data have dramatically changed with the increased use of computers, and technology’s inevitable progression guarantees that the changes won’t cease. M.B.A. graduates with an information technology (IT) specialization can become stewards of a company’s essential data in numerous ways, from developing new IT systems to deploying cybersecurity techniques. Courses associated with this concentration focus on core IT concepts such as data management and computer science. PayScale reports that the average annual salary for this specialization is $107,000.

A Degree with Numerous Possibilities

Attaining an M.B.A. is an outstanding step for individuals who are serious about pursuing a high-level business career. A specialization within an M.B.A. program could lead to even greater opportunities, not to mention a higher income. Learn how the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Masters in Business Administration program can enable you take full advantage of your opportunities.

Sources:

Forbes, “Is Getting an Online MBA Worth It?”

Investopedia, “5 MBA Skills Employers Look for in Grads”

Investopedia, Master of Business Administration

New Jersey Institute of Technology, Masters in Business Administration

PayScale, Master of Business Administration Degree

PayScale, Master of Business Administration, Finance Degree

PayScale, Master of Business Administration, Information Technology Degree

PayScale, Master of Business Administration, International Business Degree

PayScale, Master of Business Administration, Marketing and Management Degree

The Princeton Review, Most In-Demand MBA Specializations

U.S. News & World Report, “Enhance Earnings with an MBA Specialization”

U.S. News & World Report, “What an MBA Degree Is and What You Need to Know”