Four Things to Know About MBA Specializations

View all blog posts under Articles

After you decide to get your Master’s degree in Business Administration, how do you decide which aspect of business you want to specialize in? Here are some things to consider when taking the next step.

Career Options

One important thing to think about when choosing your specialization is what jobs will be available to you after graduation. Popular specializations such as Finance, Accounting, and Business Management will offer a large variety of career options due to the broad nature of the degree. Successful businesses will always need a financial manager or an investment banker. An accounting specialization gives you the freedom to choose private or public work. Business Management will be useful in any type of business and at any level of management.

Specializations like Information Technology and Social Innovation are much more specific. Information Technology qualifies you to work as a project manager or an information system manager. A specialization in Social Innovation could lead you towards starting a nonprofit organization. Ask yourself why are you pursuing your degree? Do you want to grow in your company and industry, or branch out?

Salaries

The salary of your career options could be the key to deciding which you’d like to aim for. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing managers made one of the top annual wages among management occupations at a mean wage of $133,700 in 2013, along with financial managers at $126,660, computer and information systems managers at $132,570, and general and operational systems mangers making about $116,090.

Accountants and social and community service managers ranked toward the bottom of the list, making about $72,500 and $65,750 annually.

Job Prospects

The job you’ve chosen makes a high annual salary and you have the skills to do it, but how many jobs are actually out there? The next step when researching various specializations is looking at the job prospects in each area of study. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the total number employees in 2013 for each job category. Out of every 1000 people, about 15 of them work in a general or operational management occupation, making it the top employed position in the management field. About 9 out of 1000 people are employed as accountants, about 4 as financial managers, and 1.3 in a marketing management position. Not even 1 out of 1000 people are employed as a social and community service manager, along with agricultural, funeral service, and gaming management holding the bottom three spots.

Future Expansion

In this generation of technology and advancement, it’s important to choose a timeless career, one that cannot be eliminated by advanced technology. Consider the accountant. When tax season rolls around, how many people still take their W-2 down to an accountant’s office rather than going online and doing their taxes at home? Now a position like a general manager is one that will be hard to replace, along with marketing managers and even financial managers. Consider these statistics when making the final decision and you will make the most out of your Master’s degree.