Earning your MBA means you’re ready to dive deeper into the inner workings of the business world. But here’s something most prospective MBA students don’t realize: there are many different business specializations.

When you choose an MBA program, you’ll have to decide what specialization is right for you. It’s important to consider your potential salary and future job prospects, but it’s even more important that you know which MBA specializations fit your skills, interests, and potential. 

The following are some of the most popular MBA specializations. As you learn a little more about them, you can determine which might be a good fit for your future.

Accounting

Accounting is one of the basic building blocks in business. Without it, it’s impossible for businesses to run – accountants are responsible for financial reports, overseeing that reporting, and all financial records. It’s a key position in managing the financial documents of any business, and accounting experts are needed in every industry.

What You’ll Learn

If you choose accounting as your specialization, you’ll learn how to manage personnel and financial resources, how to forge business relationships, and how to systematically solve problems. You’ll focus on assessing financial situations, making tough financial decisions, and correcting finance-based issues.

Is It In Demand?

MBA graduates with a focus or specialization in accounting are in high demand. They can take on positions like Accounting Manager, which earns an average median salary of $68,089 per year. You could also become a CFO and earn as much as the average median salary of $371,548 annually.

General Management

Every business needs a management team – and it’s management that’s in charge of the most important decisions. If you’d like to be in charge of decision making at a high level, general management could be the right MBA specialization. If you’re confident, love challenges, and are comfortable leading others, general management will allow you to take charge.

What You’ll Learn

As you study general management in your MBA coursework, you’ll learn a wide variety of different management skills. You’ll learn about different management and decision making perspectives, understand how these can be applied to businesses in many different industries and fields, and gain a high-level grasp of how businesses are organized. 

Is It In Demand?

General management is one of the most popular MBA specializations chosen by students. You can embark on a management career after graduation, such as management consulting, organizational leadership, and manager positions in roles from finance to strategy to operations. And many MBA general management grads enter six-figure careers right after graduating.

Human Resources

While human resources might be a division of a company that doesn’t get much attention during the usual day to day, it’s a crucial component of any business. Companies rely on HR teams to manage their workforce. And if you choose a specialization in human resources, you’ll become an expert in hiring, managing, and keeping a business workforce running smoothly. 

What You’ll Learn

Because human resources personnel are critical in leading businesses to success, you’ll study how to lead and organize an HR department. MBA human resources specializations allow you to prepare for leadership within HR, so you’ll learn how to manage employees, oversee recruitment, hiring, training, and development, and create performance assessments, compensation structures, and exit materials. You’ll also gain insight into managing the relationships between employees and the management team.

Is It In Demand?

HR professionals are a key piece of any company, and they’re highly valued in every industry. You’ll be in demand with an MBA in human resources, and you’ll be prepared to enter leadership roles within HR teams. Positions like HR manager, which earns a median annual salary of $65,596, or recruitment coordinators and benefits managers will be a great fit.

Entrepreneurship

If there’s a single MBA specialization that’s winning over countless students, it’s the field of entrepreneurship. In today’s business environment, entrepreneurs and their skills are highly valuable. They come up with the new, innovative concepts that turn into bustling businesses and successful products. And if you’re looking for something that’s creative and right on the cutting edge, this is your specialization.

What You’ll Learn

Entrepreneurship is tough to master, but it can be taught. In your MBA coursework, the entrepreneurship specialization introduces you to the knowledge and strategic skills needed to launch startups, create network connections, and bring ideas and concepts to life. You’ll learn business models, deal with potential roadblocks and common problems, and develop the skills to handle market assessments.

Is It In Demand?

Entrepreneurs are highly valuable, whether they work independently or within larger businesses and companies. They’re able to channel their creative ideas in many ways – and becoming an entrepreneur gives you excellent flexibility. While it’s common for independent entrepreneurs to need to make ideas successful before they collect income, the average salary they rake in is $85,646.

How to Decide on Your Specialization

Choosing an MBA specialization takes effort. It’s important to choose a specialization you like that can keep your interest for years.  

It’s also important to think about other factors and influences. If you’re struggling to figure out whether a specialization like non-profit work, accounting, human resources, organizational management, or another choice is best for you, try considering the following:

Your Personality Type: What’s the best fit for your learning style and personality? Are you a natural leader, or are you a bit shy? Do you love networking? Are you someone who enjoys frequent challenges?

Your Future Goals: Where do you see yourself and your career? Did you choose to earn an MBA to become a business executive? Do you want to own and run your own company? Or would you prefer to work with finances and staff?

Business Trends: The business world is constantly changing. Right now, technology is a driving field that’s shaping every industry. It’s a good idea to consider future trends.

Your Experience: The majority of MBA students have years of experience on their resumes. What did you do in your previous jobs that you enjoyed? What are you good at? Can a specialization teach you more about something you know well?

Your Skills: What are you good at? If you’re highly skilled in certain areas, you may be able to find a specialization that fits perfectly.

No matter what your post-MBA future might look like, a specialization can help you become more educated, knowledgeable, and experienced. And the right specialization will prepare you for a long career leading others as an expert in certain areas. By taking the time to research different specializations, you’re sure to find one that’s a great match.

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