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How to choose an MBA concentration

Thursday, February 21, 2019
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How to choose an MBA concentration
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Whether you're just finishing up your undergraduate education or are midway through your career, it's never too early or too late to get your Master of Business Administration (MBA). You might be trying to hone your craft, set yourself up for a promotion or increase your earning potential.

Once you've decided that you're ready to apply to business schools, you might have trouble deciding what area you'd like to focus on. Two major factors can help you decide on an MBA specialization:

  • Courses of interest
  • Career goals

MBA courses

When deciding which area of study you'd like to pursue, you might want to review course catalogs to determine which classes you'd like to take during your MBA. If you find yourself drawn to courses in entrepreneurship, you may want to pursue a concentration in a relevant field. Or if you'd like to take more courses in economics, you might decide to pursue an MBA in Economics or Finance.

young man standing with pen and notebookAn MBA can help you hone in on a specific area of concentration, making you more marketable in the job market.

Career prospects for different MBA degrees

The most important component to consider when deciding between different concentrations is the career path you'd like to pursue after completing your MBA. We have compiled a selection of careers you might select in each of the popular specialties, alongside their average salaries as reported by PayScale:

The concentration you choose for your MBA does not necessarily tie you down to a certain career. Just because you pursue a master's degree in marketing doesn't mean you can't go on to pursue a lucrative career in finance. However, taking additional courses in your area of concentration can hone specialized skills and provide you with relevant industry insight before entering the business sphere.

All about the dual MBA

MBAs are considered to be one of the most well-rounded advanced degrees. One way they can become even more versatile is when they are combined with another graduate degree to create a dual program. The most popular dual MBA programs include:

  • MBA/MPH: MBA + Master of Public Health
    • Ideal for individuals who want to pursue management positions within healthcare organizations
    • Offered by Boston University's Questrom School of Business
  • MBA/JD: MBA + Juris Doctor
    • Fosters business leaders with legal expertise and lawyers with a business sense
    • Offered by Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management
  • MBA/MA: MBA + Master of Arts
    • Allows you to gain expertise in two distinct fields in less time than it would take to complete two separate graduate degree programs
    • University of Colorado Boulder offers:
      • MBA/MA in Theatre and Dance
      • MBA/MA in Anthropology
      • MBA/MA in Germanic Languages

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