How to Choose the Best MBA Specializations for Your Dream Career

woman studying

Planning a career as a vintner? The Bordeaux Management School in France offers an MBA in Wine. Is sports your passion? An MBA in Football in Liverpool might be just the ticket. Aspiring fashionistas can receive an Executive MBA in Fashion just down the M6 in London.

The proliferation of these and other MBA specializations has sparked a conversation among academics as to whether developing such niche knowledge is the point. The thinking goes that pursuit of a master’s degree is a time to focus on deeper thinking versus specific job skills. Others contend that that specificity makes sense in today’s increasingly specialized economy.

For example, some experts believe a specialized MBA can give students an advantage in the job market over generalists, particularly if students are working toward a career in a specific industry. A specialized MBA lets them accumulate that unique knowledge and at the same time learn skills that touch every department of a business. That understanding is crucial for those who want to advance in management.

MBA specializations to fit today’s world

MBA specializations are nothing new. MBA’s in finance and business economics have been around for decades, for example. In recent years, the sheer variety of specializations, such as global management, reflects the modern intertwined global economy, while a concentration like information systems acknowledges our technology-driven society.

MBA specializations are perfect for students who have already charted their career paths – a great fit for working adults who often have their goals clearly defined before pursuing an advanced degree.

These specializations still include basic courses that give students the broad-based knowledge they need to understand all aspects of business – incorporating a broad perspective that many specialization critics fear is being lost with a narrowed focus on a specific topic.

Specialization lets learners focus on an area where their passion lies while gaining exposure to new developments in their field. That’s especially true in a hot specialization such as environmental management or information systems. Organizing principles in those areas are fluid and subject to change as quickly as the latest scientific data are published or the newest operating system is released.

MBA specialization also can be a big boon for career shifters. Someone who holds a bachelor’s in communications and has worked in the media for years might need to build up new skills for a career in a more lucrative field. An MBA in marketing lets working adults catch up with their newly adopted industry, while developing a comprehensive skillset that gives them a credential as a future manager and leader.

A marketing specialization can scale across a number of industries, as can other MBA specializations like project management or organizational leadership. Programs such as these teach mindsets and thought processes that are the same whether the student plans on working at a vineyard, soccer arena, or catwalk.

Choosing a specialized MBA program may be the answer for you if you’re looking for an interesting career that lets you do something different every day. You don’t have to settle for a traditional MBA program anymore.

 

Written by Ashford University staff.

Certain degree programs may not be available in all states. For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed each program, and other important information, please visit ashford.edu/pd/omba.

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