Choosing a Master’s in Business Administration specialty can be daunting, especially if you enjoy all of the specialties equally or don’t favor one over the other. If this is the case, and even if it’s not, you’ll want to consider what matters most to you — security or opportunity? These two concerns not only determine which of the five MBA specialties are best, but which one is right for you.
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Marketing has a reputation as being one of the most exciting business school specialties — the most fun. Since its primary concern is advertising or selling and promoting a business’ products or services, the job is always changing – never the same. Because marketing plays such an important role in business, companies will always need marketers. However, due to its popularity, the marketing job market is saturated.
People pursuing marketing degrees far exceed job demand, leaving many marketers searching for jobs when the market is tough. On the other hand, talented marketers are hard to come by and are sought after since they drive revenue. So, if marketing is your unique talent, you’ll always have a steady job despite the job market.
Finance puts you on the track to affluence, not necessarily wealth. Obviously, finances are a necessary part of every business. Ensuring that the business is financially stable, expenses are paid, and resources are allocated well is the responsibility of someone in finance.
Becoming CFO — Chief Financial Officer — is a prestigious affair, and finance positions are more readily available because the market is less saturated with finance MBAs specialties such as marketing. Also, financial analysis and reporting are in demand and unlikely to change in the future.
A human resources master’s degree – HR – is not as glamorous or lucrative as some other specialties, but it is necessary. It’s a crucial component of any business — part of the overhead. Although it ranks lower in security than some of the other specialties — finance, for example – it is nevertheless a good business specialty because it will always be required. So, if working with people appeals to you, then consider an MBA with a specialty in Human Resources.
Operation management is responsible for handling the operational problems of the business and providing solutions through insights, processes, technology, and tools. If you’re planning to become a COO – Chief Operating Officer — this specialty is for you.
An MBA with a focus on accounting is one of the most practical and popular specialties. The MBA accounting specialty readies you for the CPA exam – Certified Public Accountant, and prepares you for a job in accounting administration. With a specialty in accounting, you can become an auditor, financial manager, and, of course, an accountant. Financial statements and bookkeeping will always be in demand, as will accounting.
So, job security is better than in some other occupations. If you know that you want to specialize in accounting, choose a school specializing in it. According to U.S. News and World Report, the University of Texas-Austin is the top school for an MBA with a specialty in Accounting. The University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) is the second, though there are also many other great universities that offer accounting degrees in PA.
Not all MBA schools require a specialty, but if you’re going to choose one, choose a thing that interests you or matches your most significant concern – job security or opportunity.
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