The Top 10 MBA Specializations

There are key functions required for every business to succeed. From research and development to logistics, marketing, HR, and IT, there is a lot for a business owner to manage.

Whether you’re interested in having your own business or becoming a consultant for others, gaining an MBA can be a great first step. These qualifications give you everything you need to succeed in different departments within a business.

There’s also the option to specialize during your qualification and solely focus on a specific function. That way, you can offer much more value to that particular department rather than knowing a little about a lot of different areas.

To be an effective manager, you can choose from a wide selection of specialisms, but to give you an idea as to what’s available, here are the top ten MBA specializations.

Most courses are one or two years long, with the second year focusing on more specialist subjects and the first offering an overview of how a business works.

How to choose an MBA specialization

Obtaining an MBA is good for any professional looking to progress in their career or to launch their own business.

The tricky part is knowing what type of specialization might help you achieve your dream career.

There are several things to consider in the selection process.

The first is to consider your goals or interests. What do you hope to gain from your qualification? What is it about business that interests you? Where do you see yourself in five or ten years’ time?

It’s also worth noting that different specialisms will have different career prospects. Before diving into any course, you should ensure that you know where it may lead and what doors it can and can’t open.

You should also take a look at reputable colleges for study, even if you hope to study your MBA online. If you end up going into consultancy or applying for a role at your dream company, having a qualification from a recognized organization will impress potential employers and clients.

How long does an MBA take?

How long your MBA will take will depend on how you plan to study and whether you want to specialize.

Most full-time courses take around two to three years. If you’re looking to study your MBA around other priorities, it could take anywhere up to six years. There’s also the option to go for an accelerated MBA which takes just a year.

The top 10 MBA specialisms

Finance

With an MBA in finance, you’ll have expert knowledge in financial management, corporate acquisitions, banking, corporate financial planning, and much more.

You could easily turn your knowledge into a full-time role as a consultant or advisor or use it to progress in your current company.

What jobs can I get with an MBA in finance?

  • Financial analyst
  • Account manager
  • Bank manager
  • Business analyst
  • Chief financial officer
  • Financial consultant

Marketing

Marketing is a popular choice for those looking to complete an MBA. While anyone can teach themselves marketing online, it’s another thing to have these skills structured and recognized by companies.

You might have eight years of experience working in marketing, but as soon as you try to apply for another role, you may find yourself underqualified. An MBA in marketing could solidify your knowledge and remove any doubt about your skills from potential employers.

If you wish to pursue a career in sales or marketing, you should definitely consider the marketing MBA. In the course, you’ll learn everything from product development to branding, consumer behavior, and digital marketing. You’ll have the toolkit to provide marketing services to both big and small businesses – giving you plenty of hiring potential in the future.

What jobs can I get with an MBA in marketing?

  • Marketing manager
  • Brand manager
  • Corporate sales
  • TV producer
  • Digital media analyst

HR management

Human resources management is in high demand. Businesses that prioritize their human resources will see much higher rates of success and employee retention. 

Specializing in human resources management will put you in good stead for a lucrative career. You’ll learn the ins and outs of recruiting, managing, and retaining talent for your business, how to handle sensitive information and all about business or HR-related challenges.

What jobs can I get with an MBA in HR?

  • Senior human resources consultant
  • Director of employee experience & communications
  • Director of global engagement and culture
  • Employee relations manager
  • HR manager

International business

Rather than limiting yourself to a national business, an MBA in international business could see you working just about anywhere in the world, helping businesses to grow themselves into global brands.

You’ll learn exactly how businesses can earn foreign currency and develop the best management skills to go with it. As an extension to the MBA’s core functions, you’ll learn how finance, marketing, and other key departments work on an international scale.

What jobs can I get with an MBA in international business?

  • International foreign policy advisor
  • International finance manager
  • Import/export consultant
  • International marketing manager
  • Financial analyst

Banking & financial services

Slightly different from the finance MBA, these courses provide you with technical and managerial knowledge in banking and finances on a global scale.  You’ll learn all about analyzing trends in the market and how your business can profit from them. You’ll also serve as a key problem solver and have the tools and techniques to back it up.

What jobs can I get with an MBA in banking or financial services?

  • Investment banker
  • Loan officer
  • Financial consultant
  • Chief financial officer
  • Business relationship manager

Business analytics

Big data and analytics have become huge over the past decade, and the industry is only getting bigger. If you can master an MBA in business analytics, you’re on the right path to a hugely lucrative and varied career.

From working with universities, private businesses, corporate organizations, and even the government, business analytics offers plenty of potential. On the MBA course, you’ll learn why big data is so important for business, as well as how you can mine the data to create the best analytics and actionable feedback for businesses to thrive across the world.

What jobs can I get with an MBA in business analytics?

  • Business analyst
  • Business intelligence manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Customer insights manager
  • Financial advisor

Environmental studies

As the world strives to become more sustainable, social responsibility for large businesses is more prevalent than ever.

Specializing in the environmental side of business could see you making the world a better, happier, and greener place. You’ll work with businesses to implement environmentally conscious policies, track down local suppliers for raw materials and reduce their carbon footprint – all while keeping their business thriving.

As there’s so much focus on this industry at the moment, you’ll certainly have a lucrative and rewarding career ahead.

What jobs can I get with an MBA in environmental studies?

  • Environmental consultant
  • Natural sciences manager
  • Environmental engineer
  • Environmental health officer
  • Health & safety officer

Healthcare

An MBA in healthcare is becoming a popular course due to the shortage of nurses, practitioners, and managerial professionals in the healthcare industry.

This MBA will focus on preventative healthcare, pharma management, health insurance, and hospital administration, so you could see yourself in charge of the full running of your local facility.

The course could lead to employment in both a hospital and an insurance setting.

What jobs can I get with an MBA in healthcare?

  • Healthcare consultant
  • Strategic project manager
  • Hospital administrator
  • Pharmaceutical brand manager
  • Healthcare policy analyst

Agribusiness management

Agriculture is a key aspect of human survival. In a specialist MBA, you’ll learn the ins and outs of agriculture and food engineering as well as biotechnology and the advances in the field.

The need for agribusiness is growing, so you could see yourself having a great and hugely interesting career.

What jobs can I get with an MBA in agribusiness?

  • Agronomy sales
  • Agribusiness owner/manager
  • Agriculture operations specialist
  • Plantation manager
  • Large farm manager

Entrepreneurship

If you love the idea of launching your own family business or want to help business owners thrive, this specialism could certainly help.

You’ll be able to help family businesses strengthen their functions as well as expand beyond their wildest imaginations. You’ll learn everything you need to manage smaller, more close-knit businesses.

What jobs can I get with an MBA in entrepreneurship?

  • Senior product manager
  • Management consultant
  • Growth hacker
  • Lecturer
  • Business reporter

Most graduates with an MBA can also find themselves enjoying a pay increase or promotion in their current employment. When studying an MBA rather than a master’s in a particular subject, your knowledge is directly related to business situations – making you more attractive to employers. In fact, you can often find yourself earning more with an MBA than the equivalent master’s.

There is a lot of potential for anyone that studies for an MBA. You just need to decide on where you’d like to specialize. Alternatively, you can choose to do a standard MBA and select additional modules of interest along the way.

And since they can be completed within just a few years, you could easily be on your way to world domination within the next decade.

Dee