Master of Business Administration

Earning a master of business administration can lead to advancement in a current career. Here, we outline program options and specializations.

Master of Business Administration

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Earning a master of business administration (MBA) can help learners expand their career, grow their professional network, and boost their earning potential. MBA degree-seekers gain skills in management, economics, and problem-solving. Graduates may pursue business careers or start their own business.

Full-time students can earn an MBA degree in two years. Accelerated programs take less time. Students can complete an MBA degree online or in person. Some programs use a hybrid format. Learners can also customize their MBA with a specialization. Some options include finance and supply chain management.

Read on to learn about master of business administration programs, including degree options and popular MBA specializations.

What Do You Do With an MBA?

MBA programs help learners develop skills in management, marketing, and finance. Some employers prefer candidates with an MBA. Professionals with an MBA earn an average annual salary of $91,000, according to Dec. 2021 Payscale data.

MBA degree-holders can pursue careers in many business sectors. They may work for corporations, nonprofits, or government agencies. MBA graduates can often pursue jobs that align with their personal interests. For example, learners with a passion for numbers can pursue financial management careers.

How Much Can You Make If You Get an MBA?

Graduates with an MBA degree may work as top executives, health services managers, or management analysts. These careers pay more than the median annual salary of $41,950 for all occupations.

Top executives, such as chief operating officers or chief executive officers, make a median annual salary of $107,680, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These executives work across industries, including construction, insurance, and manufacturing.

Medical and health services managers earn a median annual salary of $104,280. These professionals manage the business side of healthcare providers, such as private practices and hospitals. The BLS projects jobs for these managers to grow 32% from 2020-2030, which is much faster than average.

MBA graduates may work as management analysts. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $87,660. Management analysts assess companies' efficiencies and work to improve them. The BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 14% from 2020-2030, which is much faster than average.

What Kind of MBA Degrees Are Available?

Many schools offering MBA degrees provide full-time, part-time, and online options. Some schools also offer MBAs for business professionals, such as executive MBAs. Keep in mind that not every school offers every type of MBA. Students should choose the MBA type that aligns with their career goals.

  • Full-Time MBA

    Students pursuing an MBA degree full time typically do not continue working. Full-time enrollees can earn an MBA in two years. Learners complete coursework over four semesters, allowing them to complete internships or summer jobs. Some full-time degree-seekers work part time.
  • Part-Time MBA

    Students pursuing a master of business administration part time need 4-6 years to complete their degree. Part-time MBA programs provide flexibility. For example, enrollees can often complete classes in the evening after their workday.
  • Executive MBA

    Executive MBA (EMBA) programs can help experienced professionals gain new skills and further their careers. Most enrollees have 10 or more years of experience. EMBA programs usually run part time and take two years to complete. Students can continue working while earning this degree. Some employers pay for their employees' tuition.
  • Accelerated MBA

    Enrollees can complete an accelerated MBA in 11-16 months. Most programs do not offer semester breaks and require a high level of intensity. Learners pursuing this type of master of business administration usually need extensive work experience. Some students prefer accelerated MBA programs to save money. Enrollees only pay for a year of tuition.
  • Online MBA

    Students who pursue an MBA degree online benefit from convenience. Most online MBA programs run asynchronously, allowing enrollees to complete coursework when it fits their schedules. Some online MBA programs also include in-person classes. An online format means degree-seekers can attend top programs without relocating.

MBA Specializations

Many MBA programs offer specializations. Sometimes called concentrations or tracks, specializations allow enrollees to explore a business niche based on their interests or career goals.

See below for common MBA specializations. Keep in mind that specific offerings vary by school. Students interested in a certain track should ensure their desired school offers this option or a similar alternative.

  • MBA in Accounting

    Students interested in managing money might pursue an MBA in accounting. Unlike a typical accounting program, an MBA program in accounting teaches learners how to analyze finances with a company's business model in mind. Graduates may work as certified public accountants, financial managers, corporate controllers, or account managers.
  • MBA in Finance

    An MBA in finance provides students with a richer understanding of companies' finances. Graduates may work as chief financial officers, investment bankers, or presidents of corporate finance. These professionals analyze and make executive decisions about companies' finances. The combination of business and financial skills offers degree-holders a competitive advantage in the workplace.
  • MBA in Supply Chain Management

    Earning a master of business administration in supply chain management can prepare students for leadership roles in distribution. These programs pair leadership and business skills with supply chain knowledge. Degree-holders may work as transport coordinators, supply chain consultants, or distribution center managers.
  • MBA in Strategy

    MBA programs in strategy teach students how to navigate and change a company's strategies to adapt to new challenges. While many specializations train students for specific careers, MBA programs in strategy prepare enrollees for many careers. Students learn problem-solving skills and how to apply them to business decisions. Graduates may work as chief operating officers, operations managers, or investment fund managers.

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