Different Types of MBA Specialisations You Can Study in 2023

The business world is very attractive to people who want to make it big and aren’t afraid to take risks and assume responsibility. Whether you want to be a manager at an international corporation or start your own business, an MBA degree is a great choice to:

  • expand your knowledge
  • sharpen your skills
  • meet like-minded business people and entrepreneurs
  • learn how to approach business situations from different perspectives

General or regular MBA programmes include courses in Finance, Marketing, Management, Strategy, Economics, and so on. They have a holistic approach and don’t focus on one subject in particular. The professors’ goal is to make you an overall better businessman/businesswoman and provide the necessary support to take the next step in your career.

But what if you want to take an MBA and specialise in a certain subject, like Marketing or Finance. Is it possible?

Yes! There are many specialised MBA courses, designed to advance certain skills which are relevant in your chosen business area. Here are some of the most popular MBA specialisations:

1. MBA in General Management

MBAs in General Management are very popular and teach students skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and risk management. These skills allow future graduates to occupy management or administrative positions in different types of organisations (private, public, NGOs).

Some of the courses you will take include Professional Development, Business Analytics, Project and Quality Management, Marketing Management, Economics for Managers, Organisational Behaviour, etc. After graduation, you can apply for various management and administrative positions:

  • Business Development Manager – 72,100 USD/year
  • Real Estate Manager – 77,100 USD/year
  • Risk Management Manager – 94,100 USD/year

Most MBAs in General Management take 1 or 2 years to complete. You can also find online MBAs in General Management.

2. MBA in Marketing

MBAs in Marketing are a great choice if you’re interested in a managerial or administrative marketing position. While the Marketing MBA includes general business courses, it places a high emphasis on developing your marketing-related skills and knowledge.

Typical subjects include Marketing Research, Branding, Advertising Management, Product Development, Digital Marketing, etc. After graduation, you can occupy various positions. Here are a few popular examples:

  • Marketing Manager – 64,850 USD/year
  • Market Research Director – 79,000 USD/year
  • Director of Sales – 90,950 USD/year

MBAs in Marketing take 1-2 years to complete. If you cannot enrol in a traditional on-campus programme, you can look into online MBAs in Marketing.

Young people in a business meeting

3. MBA in Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management is one of the most popular MBA specialisations. This MBA degree allows students to take their human resource skills to the next level while gaining a better understanding of business administration, strategy, and other business-related subjects.

Popular courses during an MBA in Human Resource Management include Organisational Behaviour, Negotiation, Business Law, Managerial Finance, and others. Here are a few examples of jobs you can apply for after graduation:

  • Human Resources (HR) Manager – 66,900 USD/year
  • Employee Relations Manager – 75,400 USD/year
  • Human Resources (HR) Director – 88,000 USD/year

MBAs in Human Resource Management take 1 or 2 years to finish. You can also find online MBAs in Human Resource Management, which allow you to have a more flexible schedule and handle other responsibilities as well.

4. MBA in Consulting

MBAs in Consulting combine traditional business courses with classes on Business Strategy, Organisational Behaviour, Business Communication, Consulting, Negotiations, Ethics, and others. This approach allows students to better understand the impact of business dynamics and human relations.

Consulting MBAs are a great fit for people who enjoy verbal and written communication, who are good listeners and know how to evaluate actions and provide feedback. With an MBA in Consulting, you can enjoy high-paying jobs, such as:

  • Business Development Manager – 72,200 USD/year
  • Business Consultant – 73,500 USD/year
  • Management Consultant – 87,200 USD/year

It normally takes 1-2 years to complete an MBA in Consulting. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to apply for an on-campus degree, you can explore online MBAs in Consulting.

5. MBA in Entrepreneurship

MBAs in Entrepreneurship aren’t for everyone. If you decide to start your own business or take charge of a family endeavour, you need to be very ambitious, perseverant, and willing to take on big responsibilities.

In addition to the general business courses, Entrepreneurship MBAs also include classes on Business Innovation, Generating Start-up Ideas, Venture Feasibility, Sustaining a Start-up, Resource Management, Entrepreneurial Strategies, as well as Product Design & Marketing.

After graduation, most students either start their own company or choose to use their new skills and knowledge to better manage their existing start-up. If you want to work for another company, you can choose from various roles. Here are a few examples:

  • Management Consultant – 87,200 USD/year
  • Senior Product Manager – 123,600 USD/year
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – 156,900 USD/year

Like most MBA degrees, MBAs in Entrepreneurship takes 1-2 years to complete. You can also find online MBAs in Entrepreneurship.

6. MBA in Finance

If you want to study a Master of Business Administration and you enjoy working with numbers, budgets and have great attention to details, an MBA in Finance might be what you’re looking for.

This type of MBA combines traditional business courses with classes on Fund Management, Investments, Fundraising, Portfolio Management, Corporate Budgeting, Investment Analysis, etc. Some of the most popular careers for graduates include:

  • Financial Advisor – 58,800 USD/year
  • Accounting Manager – 71,200 USD/year
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – 132,800 USD/year

You will invest 1 or 2 years in a Finance MBA. There are also online MBAs in Finance you can apply for.

7. MBA in Operations Management

MBAs in Operations Management develop the students’ analytical skills and teach them how to use mathematical models and systems. This knowledge allows future graduates to improve the quality of products and services while reducing production costs.

These are some of the specialised courses you’ll take: Business Analytics, Mathematical Modelling, Data Logistics, Analysis & Interpretation, Operations Strategy, etc. Here are several jobs for graduates with an MBA degree in Operations Management:

  • Supply Chain Analyst – 59,900 USD/year
  • Operations Manager – 64,700 USD/year
  • Supply Chain Manager – 82,200 USD/year

You’ll finish an Operations Management MBA in 1 or 2 years. Don’t have enough time for a traditional degree? You can always check out online MBAs in Operations Management.

8. MBA in Management Information Systems

MBAs in Management Information Systems teach future graduates how to design, implement, and use various advanced programmes and systems which manage the constantly growing amount of data used by companies.

Management Information Systems (MIS) are used to collect, store, and organise information. Based on the analysis of this information, users can generate detailed reports and use them to evaluate the overall performance, make changes, and offer feedback.

During an MIS MBA, you can expect to take courses in Business Analytics, E-Strategy & Management Information Systems, Data Management, Data Visualisation, Risk Management & Decision Making, etc. After graduation, you can work as a:

  • Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst – 67,900 USD/year
  • Information Technology (IT) Consultant – 78,700 USD/year
  • Information System (IS) Manager – 83,400 USD/year

Most MBAs in Management Information Systems take 1 or 2 years to complete, but you can find some programmes that last longer. You can also apply for online MBAs in Management Information Systems.

Employee analysing business graphics and reports on his computer

9. MBA in Global Management

The Global Management MBA (or International Management MBA) is another popular specialisation among Masters of Business Administration. Courses focus on helping students understand the differences between cultures and how international/multinational organisations need to adapt their approach to different countries and markets.

In addition to the regular Business Administration classes, you can expect to study subjects like Business Analytics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Global Management, Global Economics, International Legal and Tax Framework, International Accounting, and others. After graduation, you can choose from numerous work opportunities, such as:

  • Marketing Manager – 64,850 USD/year
  • National Sales Manager – 83,000 USD/year
  • Senior Business Analyst – 84,600 USD/year

You will normally finish an MBA in Global Management in 1 or 2 years. If you have other responsibilities, you can choose an online MBA in Global Management and study from the comfort of your home.

10. MBA in Engineering Management

MBAs in Engineering Management teach future students how to make better business decisions while taking into account engineering concepts, practices, and systems. Students learn how to compare different engineering solutions, evaluate risks, and implement solutions that improve the performance of organisations from highly technical engineering areas.

You can study subjects like Innovation and Leadership, Research Strategies, Performance Measurement, Manufacturing Methods, Product Development, Experience Design, Systems Lifecycles, etc. After graduation, you will find numerous job opportunities, such as:

  • Project Engineer – 68,500 USD/year
  • Engineering Consultant – 79,500 USD/year
  • Engineering Project Manager – 92,300 USD/year

MBAs in Engineering Management usually take 1-2 years to complete. You can also explore online MBAs in Engineering Management.

11. MBA in Technology Management

MBAs in Technology Management are ideal for students who are passionate about technology and understand its potential, impact, and risks. This type of MBA teaches future graduates how to find new ways through which software and hardware improve the efficiency of companies, products, and services.

While you will take business and management courses, there will also be classes on Technological Innovation, Building Effective Teams, Professional Communications, Technology Management, Research & Development (R&D), Manufacturing Strategy, etc. After graduation, you can choose from jobs like:

  • Information Technology (IT) Consultant – 78,700 USD/year
  • Product Development Manager – 81,400 USD/year
  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – 159,600 USD/year

You know the story by now: it takes 1-2 years to graduate with an MBA degree in Technology Management, and you can also find online Technology Management MBAs.

Find specialised MBAs abroad

Which is the best MBA specialisation?

You cannot look at one MBA specialisation and claim it is the best. They all provide value and help business people advance their careers. Perhaps, you should try to figure out which MBA degree is the best for your needs and plans. You could try answering a few questions, like:

  • What’s the next step I want to take in my career?
  • Am I sure I want to continue on this career path? Do I want a change?
  • If I want a change, which MBA specialisation can help me get there?
  • Does my budget align with the tuition fees of this MBA degree/specialisation?
  • Do I want to focus only on studies? Or do I want to keep working while studying?
  • If I want to keep working, is a part-time or online MBA degree flexible enough?
  • What do other MBA alumni have to say about this MBA specialisation/degree?

If you don't know where to start, here are a few business schools we recommend for MBA studies:

There are also good online options you should consider:

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