Which Specialization Is the Best Fit for an MBA Degree?

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Students attending business school today are faced with a selection of specializations that are intended to boost their professional competency within a given area. By allowing students to specialize, the process of earning an MBA can be tailored to an individual’s specific career goals. Moreover, business schools have kept pace with technological developments through newer, tech-focused specializations. With many options to choose from, it is important to understand fields of specialization that can make MBA graduates stand out to employers. This article will examine three such fields of specialization and help you pick the best MBA field for you.

What Is an MBA Degree?

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. The coursework for this degree spans a range of business-related topics, such as accounting, economics, decision analysis, and organizational behavior. For employers, an MBA signals a candidate is knowledgeable in many different areas of business and is qualified for management-level positions. According to Investopedia, MBA degrees are useful for individuals who hope to work in management or as a entrepreneur. Those who earn MBAs can work in a variety of different fields, and specializations can impart specific skills that will help them within particular fields. Here, we will discuss three different fields for MBA graduates.

Which Field Is Best in MBA Specializations?

There are many options available for MBA students when it comes to specializations. Here, we will explore three areas in which we have observed sustained job growth.

Management Information Systems

According to Bizfluent, a management information system (MIS) is a computer system for making informed decisions. The system collects and stores data regarding the business, and it typically includes tools that allow professionals to interpret the data in meaningful ways. These programs can help businesses perform essential functions such as projecting sales forecasts, managing inventory, monitoring costs and stock prices, and tracking production. MIS has become increasingly important to all types of organizations, and it has become a rewarding field for MBA graduates to enter. There are a variety of systems:

  • Transaction processing systems, which allow for the storage of both batch and real-time processing in a searchable interorganizational database.
  • Management support systems, which perform analysis on the data gathered from a transaction processing system in order to extrapolate strategic considerations.
  • Decision support systems, which use real-world modeling to assist managers in making decisions about the organization.
  • Expert systems, which use newer technological modeling techniques such as artificial intelligence in order to automate the decision-making process.

Jobs in the MIS sector are expected to grow 12 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Job titles within this sector include chief information officer, chief technology officer, IT director, and IT security manager. These roles are responsible for the effective administration and/or maintenance of an organization’s computer systems. Moreover, these roles oversee teams of IT professionals. The median pay for management roles in information systems was $142,530 in 2018, according to the BLS.

Marketing

Managers within the marketing field are key players in organizations, as they oversee the ways in which customers are exposed to a product or a service. Moreover, technological developments have dramatically changed how consumers interact with organizations, as entities such as Amazon and Twitter become indispensable arenas for communication and outreach. Clearly, this field of MBA specialization can foster professional skill sets that enable recipients to succeed within a quickly changing economic landscape.

Managers in the marketing field develop strategies for marketing campaigns, oversee budgetary allocations, meet with clients, negotiate contracts, and actively communicate with different department heads in order to meet project goals. Managerial roles can be split into three separate categories:

  • Advertising managers, who oversee staff that develop advertising.
  • Promotions managers, who oversee promotions intended to increase sales by offering purchasing incentives.
  • Marketing managers, who develop price points and assess competitor viability.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that advertising and promotions managers earned a median salary of $117,130 in 2018, and marketing managers earned $134,290. The rate of growth in this field is expected to be 10 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than the national average.

Finance

Financial managers focus on their organizations’ finances. Their work includes creating financial reports, cash-flow statements, and profit projections. They ensure their organization is operating within the confines of the law through their extensive understanding of business operations. Moreover, they help develop the strategies that their organization will pursue in order to maintain and increase its financial health. This is the best MBA field for students fascinated by finances in an organizational setting. Competent financial analysis is necessary across a broad spectrum of jobs. Types of financial managers include:

  • Treasurers, who control an organization’s funds, develop financial plans for acquisitions and mergers, and pursue strategies to increase revenue.
  • Cash managers, who oversee cash flow for an organization in order to determine whether there will be a surplus or a shortage.
  • Controllers, who prepare financial and/or special reports and oversee accounting, audit, and budget departments.

The median annual wage for financial managers was $127,990 in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And a growth rate of 19 percent is expected for jobs in this field between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than the national average. This growth varies between industries; as banking has largely increased its online aspect, branches are expected to close, yet there has been a marked rise in risk management since the end of the Great Recession.

Conclusion

The world of business is vast, and an MBA could be your first step toward a meaningful managerial role. If you want to find the best MBA field for you, look at your specific career goals and determine which role you can see yourself taking on. By choosing a specialization, MBA candidates can set long-term, attainable goals through detailed coursework that focuses on the area they are most interested in. New Jersey Institute of Technology offers an MBA with specializations in finance, marketing, and management information systems. With this degree program that is offered 100 percent online, you can earn your MBA from a top-tier university and gain applicable skills to advance your career and achieve your professional goals.

 

Sources

Bizfluent, “The History of Management Information Systems”

Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers”

Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Computer and Information Systems Managers”

Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Financial Managers”

Investopedia, “When Is an MBA Worth It?”

US News & World Report, Financial Manager Overview