When you’re looking to invest money into your future career, a Master of Business Administration is a great way to ensure your future success. Even if you end up switching careers, people with MBA degrees are still considered more knowledgeable and skilled because of their background in key skills like management, communication, and leadership. These skills are highly transferable and will only grow as a person becomes more experienced in their field.
Despite their many advantages, MBAs are inaccessible to some people because they’re extremely expensive. Depending on which school you’re enrolled in, you can expect to pay between $60,000 and $100,000 for your degree. If you’re still interested in pursuing an MBA despite the high cost, it only makes sense to enroll in a program that would give you the expertise necessary to break into a growing industry.
The most recent trend in MBA education is specialization. In the past, general business degrees were the most appealing because they allowed students to move between industries with ease. While general management is still a popular choice for students, rapidly changing development is forcing schools to add new specialization courses every year. Finance, accounting, and marketing will always be popular, but specializations like international management and strategy are becoming more important in 2019, as companies desperately search for staff who can help them navigate the challenges of doing business in a globalized world.
If you want to ensure you’re getting an education in a career that will help you reach never-before-seen heights, consider some of these specializations, which will give you access to some of the most sought-after jobs in 2019.
1. General Management
Even though the post-MBA job market is becoming easier for graduates with specialized degrees, there are still more than enough jobs out there for generalists. Getting a degree in general management is still a great choice, especially if you already have five to 10 years of experience in an industry like tech or engineering. The combination of your industry knowledge, plus your education in general management strategies, finance, and business practices makes you an ideal candidate for any job within your chosen field.
If you’re interested in doing a general MBA, make sure you’re enrolled in a school that has a wide variety of classes, so you can ensure you’re really learning it all. Of course, top-tier schools like Harvard or Stanford are great all-around business schools, but the Ross School at the University of Michigan also has a great generalist reputation.
2. International Management
With so many companies doing business all over the world, it can be extremely helpful to have an MBA with a specialization in international management. This degree offers future employers value because of your international expertise, and also gives you plenty of freedom to work abroad or with a multi-national corporation, depending on your preference. Getting a degree in international management will involve taking classes in a variety of international-focused concepts like strategy and operations, as well as global business law.
The University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business was recently ranked number one for their international business specialization, with Harvard coming in second, and Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania in third. The UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business came in fourth.
An MBA in strategy is a particularly useful specialization in 2019 because it helps students develop a solid understanding of the decisions that are necessary to shape the future of large companies. This specialization requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills and creates leaders that are not only adept at managing their teams but are also able to navigate change and adversity with ease.
Many experts recommend that students who are interested in pursuing an MBA in strategy attend a school that has a higher percentage of mid-career and executive students. Many classes that students will take involve discussing strategic issues with their peers and having a wide variety of opinions and levels of experience is extremely important. In particular, INSEAD Business School in Fontainebleau, France, has an excellent international reputation.
After graduation, students can expect to work in fields that include strategic planning and product development.
The consulting industry has become extremely lucrative, as corporations seek people who can provide professional advice that also have a deep background knowledge of their field. As of 2018, the global market for consultants was a $272 billion industry, and that number has only continued to rise. By 2020, it’s set to hit around $290 billion. With corporations moving quickly, growth and change need to keep pace, and good consultants can help make companies more efficient, successful, and most importantly, profitable.
The highest ranked schools for a specialization in consulting include the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. After graduation, depending on your background, you can expect to be hired as a consultant in industries like real estate, finance, or technology.
5. Finance Leadership
If you’ve got a financial background and are interested in pursuing a degree that will bring you towards the management track, an MBA in financial leadership is a great decision. You’ll be able to take your analytical mind and passion for finance and learn how to tackle complex business problems by taking classes that will improve your leadership and management skills. Jobs like financial controller, financial analyst, and CFO are always in demand, and with the knowledge and education that you’ll get from a financial leadership MBA, you’ll be employable anywhere. Popular schools include Stanford, which has a great all-around reputation, as well as Columbia University in NYC, and research-focused MIT.
With so many people starting their own businesses, it’s more important than ever to have a great, well-rounded education that’s specifically engineered to develop excellent entrepreneurs. Even if you don’t start your own business, and instead work for an already-established company, the knowledge gained from an Entrepreneurship MBA is coveted by corporations who are actively looking for staff who are self-motivated, creative, and have the skills to manage all aspects of their business. Someone with an MBA in Entrepreneurship gives huge value to startups, who are looking for multi-talented individuals that can help get their business off the ground.
This is one of the newest MBA specializations, and while top-tier schools like Stanford and MIT have created excellent programs, the program at Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business is currently ranked number one.
Marketing has been a popular specialization for a long time and has an extremely well-developed curriculum. However, it remains one of the most necessary MBA specializations going into 2019 because of the ongoing importance of brand loyalty and customer acquisition. There are so many companies working today that the market has become saturated, and only the best marketing campaigns will attract and retain customers.
It is possible to get hired in lower-level marketing jobs without an MBA, but in order to receive more lucrative job offers and promotions, the degree is a necessity. Schools that are graduating some of the top minds in this field include the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
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