MBA Specializations in Demand

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The business world is always evolving. Economic fluctuations, technological innovation, and changing government regulations can cause business strategies to shift with little notice. Navigating this uncertain landscape takes strong leadership, the foundation for which students can develop through an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

With several MBA specializations in demand, such as finance, marketing, and human resources, students can focus on the areas that interest them most. Specializing can help MBA graduates stand out to employers, gain in-depth expertise, and build satisfying careers.

A financial manager presents an investment plan to executives.

General management specialization

An MBA focusing on general management helps prepare students to oversee business operations. Coursework focuses on developing strong leadership and project management skills, teaching graduates to keep companies running smoothly, from shaping a company’s human capital to devising growth strategies to reach new customers.

Administrative services manager

Administrative services managers develop, coordinate, and oversee business activities to ensure that organizations run smoothly. They establish goals and deadlines, manage facilities, and supervise administrative staff. Those in the role may also analyze organizational strategies to ensure regulation compliance and operational efficiency.

In addition to strong leadership skills, the role’s core competencies include solid analytical and communication skills and attention to detail. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that administrative services managers made a median salary of $98,890 in 2020.

Human resources manager

Human resources managers oversee a company’s workforce strategies, often acting as the mediator between employees and management. They typically coordinate staff recruiting, hiring, training, and development. These professionals also oversee key elements associated with workforce employment, such as payroll, benefits, and corporate culture.

To be successful, HR managers should possess strong leadership, interpersonal, decision-making, and organizational skills. The 2020 median salary for human resources managers was $121,220, according to the BLS.

Sales manager

Sales managers oversee an organization’s sales teams, establishing sales goals based on analyzed market data. They also coordinate sales training programs, assign sales territories, and set sales strategies and quotas.

Strong leadership, customer-service, analytical, and communication skills are fundamental for the role. According to the BLS, sales managers earned a 2020 median salary of $132,290.

Financial services specialization

MBA graduates who specialized in financial services are integral to an organization’s short- and long-term economic decisions. They can have a demonstrative impact on how a company conducts business and forges growth and maintenance strategies.

Financial manager

Financial managers oversee a company’s immediate and long-term financial health. They use their knowledge of market trends, tax laws, and industry-specific regulation to help shape economic strategies designed to maximize profits and attain specific goals. They analyze statements and reports to find vulnerabilities in economic strategies and craft solutions.

Financial managers should be detail-oriented and have strong math, analytical, organization, and communication skills. The BLS lists the 2020 median salary for the role at $134,180.

Financial analyst

Financial analysts provide investment advice to both businesses and individuals. They evaluate financial data and study economic trends to determine a client’s value and make recommendations based on their findings.

In addition to strong math and analytical skills, computer literacy, attention to detail, and communication skills are essential to the role. The 2020 median salary for the role was $83,660, according to the BLS.

Personal financial advisor

Personal financial advisors help individuals manage their finances as a whole, ranging from mortgages and insurance to estate planning, college savings, and retirement. They also research potential investment opportunities and provide recommendations.

Personal financial advisors should have strong math, analytical, sales, and interpersonal skills. According to the BLS, the 2020 median annual salary was $89,330.

Marketing specialization

MBA graduates with a marketing specialization play a big role in helping companies grow. Their understanding of consumer behavior, tech-driven innovation, and branding power can help them build strategies that attract and retain customers.

Marketing manager

Marketing managers devise strategies to create interest in a company’s services or products. They’re team players who often work with art directors, advertising sales agents, and financial staff members to build cohesive campaigns that maximize reach while minimizing cost.

In addition to creativity, marketing managers should have strong analytical, organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills. The BLS lists the 2020 median salary for the role at $142,170.

Public relations manager

Public relations managers oversee materials designed to improve or enhance a client’s or employer’s public image. They can develop PR campaigns shaped to maximize reach to targeted audiences, deploying a wide range of tactics, from press releases to promotion programs.

These professionals should have strong leadership, writing, speaking, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. The 2020 median salary for the role was $118,430, per the BLS.

Market research analyst

Market research analysts study and monitor various forms of data to determine the sales potential of a product or service. The data they collect and analyze helps them determine key metrics on sales and marketing trends that can then inform strategic, highly targeted campaigns.

Market research analysts need to have strong analytical, critical-thinking, and communication skills, as well as attention to detail. The BLS lists the 2020 median annual salary for market research analysts at $65,810.

Build a brighter business future

MBA graduates can make a significant impact in the business world, and choosing an in-demand MBA specialization allows them to target that impact.

Maryville University’s online Master of Business Administration, which features 12 diverse and in-demand concentrations, can help equip you with the knowledge and skills to be a business force. Our program offers a deep foundation in several core elements of business, including finance, human resources, and marketing.

Learn how Maryville can help prepare you for your dream career.

Recommended Reading

The Future of Business Ideas for 2020 and Beyond: Creativity Meets Data Analysis

How to Get an MBA: Resources & Tips

Soft Skills: Why Businesses Crave Them

Sources

G2, “What It Takes to Become a Great Sales Manager (+ Salary)”

Houston Chronicle, “What Are the Duties of Financial Managers?”

Investopedia, “Becoming a Financial Analyst”

Investopedia, “Is an MBA Worth It?”

Investopedia, “Master of Business Administration (MBA)”

Investopedia, “What Do Financial Advisors Do?”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Administrative Services and Facilities Manager”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Financial Advisors”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Financial Analysts”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Financial Managers”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Human Resources Managers”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Public Relations and Fundraising Managers”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Market Research Analysts”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Sales Managers”