If you are considering going back to school for your Master of Business Administration (MBA), one of the choices you will need to make is which concentration you should pursue. MBA concentrations focus the emphasis on your education and give you additional insight beyond the core business classes. Because the MBA is a generalist degree, some students prefer to dig deeper into subfield of study like finance or marketing for example.
What Are MBA Concentrations?
An MBA concentration is a group of courses that provide a focus to the degree. While most MBA programs cover the same general management-related materials, many also have a concentration option that allows the student to focus their studies on a particular subfield. Concentrations can also be viewed as specializations that help tailor the student’s education.
Concentrations provide additional emphasis and insight to the degree path without sacrificing the number of classes needed to fulfill the degree requirements. Concentrations guide the selection of electives and optional classes, so you graduate with a focused education.
How to Choose a Business Concentration
To choose an MBA concentration, MBA students should first consider their career goals. Is there a particular area they wish to focus on as their career develops, is there an area they want to transition to? What about you?
Perhaps you wish to see yourself in a management position. Maybe you want to start your own business someday. Maybe you have a passion for completing successful projects. Or maybe you simply love IT. The answers to these questions can help you find an area of study that fits. Your career goals are the areas where you should tailor your MBA degree with the right concentration.
As you consider concentrations, you should also consider the particular business school’s known strengths. This can help you choose a concentration that will help you benefit the most from your education. If a school is particularly strong in finance, for instance, and you have an interest in finance, then you could choose that concentration. Research the school as you research concentrations to see where you can get the most value.
Finally, look at your weaknesses as a business professional. Everyone has weaknesses and addressing those through your graduate training will make you stronger. Choosing a concentration or specialization that touches on those weaknesses can make you stronger in business, adding to your skills.
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Best MBA Concentrations
MBA students have a wide range of concentrations they can consider as they head to graduate school. These concentrations focus on everything from tech to general management. Students can choose a concentration that fits their goals to tailor their MBA education to their future career paths. Some popular choices include:
This concentration teaches the student how to lead effectively. An MBA is often the degree needed to launch a management career, so if this is your goal, a concentration in management can give you the strategic management skills you need to be successful in this role. An MBA in Management remains a popular choice with MBA students because of the strong general management foundation it provides.
For students who dream of being business owners, an entrepreneurship concentration can help. It teaches the nuts and bolts of running a business, how to see projects through from idea to completion, and how to innovate in the business world. Many graduates with a concentration in entrepreneurship go on to start their own companies or to run their current companies more effectively.
Successful businesses must know how to manage finance. A concentration in finance helps students learn how to manage the finances of an organization, organize and analyze financial statements, create and manage financial portfolios, and apply financial principles to an organization to reach financial success. An MBA with a concentration in finance can help prepare the student for a career as an investment analyst, financial manager, or financial executive, among other roles.
Those who take a concentration in marketing learn how to reach potential customers effectively with the message of their brand. They study what makes customers choose to make a purchase, how to effectively tap buying motivations to make customers choose their product or brand, and how to delve into the marketing research to really get to know their target audience. MBA graduates who specialize in marketing often end up in product development, market strategy, and product research roles.
5. International Business
The world is becoming smaller and smaller as technology connects people across the globe. An MBA with a concentration in International Business helps business professionals learn how to interact with and reach international audiences. In addition to traditional MBA courses, this concentration looks at global politics, cross-cultural business issues, and mergers and acquisitions across cultural boundaries. Many programs with an international business concentration have an internship or study abroad option that requires some time in a foreign country.
6. Project Management
Leadership in business comes in many forms, and not all leaders manage people. Some manage projects. Project management as a concentration teaches students how to lead project teams to see an entire project from start to finish. These professionals are detail-oriented and learn how to guide not only a project, but also the people running it. This field is in high demand, and the Project Management Institute estimates 22 million new project-oriented jobs will enter the market by 2027.
7. Information Systems
For the tech-savvy MBA student, a concentration in information systems makes sense. Information systems are those tech-based systems that businesses need to survive and thrive. The concentration teaches students to use and understand this tech so they can pursue leadership roles in the IT market. MBA students who graduate with a concentration in Information Systems can become IT project managers and software project managers.
8. Real Estate
In business, real estate and real estate acquisitions can mean transactions worth several million dollars. Trained business professionals who understand real estate are vital in these transactions, and that is what an MBA with a concentration in real estate can help you learn. After graduation, these students go on to become real estate development managers, leaders of real estate acquisitions departments, real estate appraisers, and similar roles that connect the business and real estate worlds.
Business leaders are not necessarily managers. An MBA with a concentration in Leadership offers a well-rounded look at how to be a leader in the business world. This concentration focuses on the daily interactions business leaders have with their teams or employees and how to use those interactions to help reach critical business goals. This concentration focus on leadership techniques and methods, how to build trust, and how to lead an organization. After graduation, these MBA students go on to fill roles as supervisors, managers, directors, and executives.
10. Corporate Innovation
Leaders in business must be innovators. This concentration focuses on how to bring innovation to business at the corporate level. C-level executives often benefit from training in corporate innovation because those that can think outside of the box are often the ones who have the most success in an ever-changing business world. Graduates with a concentration in corporate innovation can give their organizations the leg up when launching a new product, opening a new facility, or creating a new organizational structure.
Find the Best MBA Concentrations at Post University
If you are considering earning an MBA, the best MBA concentrations are those that fit your goals and desires for your education and career. Post University has a number of options for your consideration with top concentrations like Entrepreneurship and Finance. With both online and on-campus MBA degrees, Post University also gives you the flexibility you need to complete your degree while you stay on the job.
Reach out to the admissions team at Post University to learn more about our MBA programs. You can also browse available concentrations or register online.
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