Not all MBAs require students to choose a specific area of focus. Some business schools offer general business theory and practice, while other degree programs are tailored for students who know that they want to go into a specific area of expertise such as finance, human resources, or healthcare administration.
A specialized MBA program may give you a leg up…if you know what you want to do with your career. If you choose a general business MBA program, though, you will likely still have the opportunity to select classes that will build your expertise in an area of specialization.
We took a look at three of the most common MBA specializations, and the career paths you can take with them. Read on to learn more!
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Nearly 10 percent of all MBA students choose to specialize in marketing. This concentration combines rigorous training in business skills with creativity and communications savvy.
An MBA in marketing will prepare you for a high-level marketing job, and there can be a lot of flexibility in your future career path. That’s because talented marketers are in demand everywhere, in industries as varied as banking, pharmaceuticals, entertainment or healthcare.
So, how much can you earn with this concentration?
PayScale reports that with an MBA in marketing, one of the highest paid titles you could go on to hold is vice president (VP) of marketing, with an average annual salary of $156,380. Or you could work as a senior marketing manager, and expect a salary around the average of $121,941 per year.
Finance is by far the most popular MBA concentration, according to US News. In 2016, they reported that nearly 20 percent of all MBA students choose to focus on finance. That’s double the percentage that choose a popular concentration like marketing!
An MBA in finance will prepare you to work in investment banking or financial services. According to PayScale, some of the highest paying job titles open to MBA finance graduates include chief financial officer (CFO) and vice president (VP) of finance. In either of these jobs, the average salary in 2017 was around $150,000 per year.
Those big paychecks reflect the massive amount of responsibility that people in these jobs hold within their organizations. And when you add in bonuses and other forms of compensation, the take-home pay in these roles is even higher!
Have you ever considered starting your own company? Or accepting a high-level job working for a startup? With an MBA in entrepreneurship, you’ll be trained for just these kinds of career paths.
MBA programs in this area of concentration teach you everything you need to know about creating a new business, including financing and managing your venture.
And whether you end up founding your own company, or working for an existing business, you’ll be able to command a great salary with this area of expertise. In 2017, graduates with MBAs in entrepreneurship earned annual salaries of around $126,869 working as management consultants, or $128,440 as senior product managers, according to PayScale.
Keep in mind, though, this doesn’t include startup founders who get a big payday when they sell their companies, or who hold valuable equity in their companies.
In addition to these top MBA specializations, you could also choose areas like strategy, ethics, entertainment, supply chain management, health care management, media or international management. Selecting the right MBA program can set you up for a satisfying and successful career!