10 High-Paying MBA Specializations

There are many high-paying MBA specializations that each offer exclusive career benefits and personal advantages. According to Fortune magazine, the MBA is the most popular graduate degree because it drastically increases the likelihood of business success and financial stability. Graduate degree holders are statistically more likely to earn more than those who have undergraduate degrees. A graduate degree like the MBA offers intangible benefits of increased social mobility and career flexibility. It also decreases the probability of unemployment and career dissatisfaction. In short, an MBA is an academic insurance policy for careers that is enhanced by one of the following popular specializations.

1. Accounting

This specialization offers in-depth knowledge of accounting techniques for budgeting, management, business operations, regulatory compliance and tax planning. Students will acquire advanced knowledge of financial reporting standards for publicly traded companies and information analysis for corporate annual reports and SEC filings. This will help students to better understanding financial trends and performance. Students will learn intricate knowledge of the United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Common classes include managerial accounting, financial controls and strategic leadership.

2. Entrepreneurship

An entrepreneurship specialization will teach students how to start new or rejuvenate existing service and product oriented businesses. Students will acquire knowledge of funding strategies, legal decisions and compliance requirements for business start-ups, mergers, expansions and reorganizations. This degree will include classes on organizational planning, strategic decision making, small business leadership and product and service innovation. Students will be exposed to business plans, seed financing, personal branding, concept development, social entrepreneurship and small business marketing.

3. Environmental Management

Corporate sustainability and social responsibility has risen to the top of executive agendas in the business world. All companies are increasingly expected to reduce their impacts on natural environments and social communities in which they work. This is challenging because they must still earn an adequate ROI, satisfy shareholders and remain competitive in their industry. This degree teaches business leaders how to carefully craft sustainability-based strategies that can drive new markets, revenue streams, customer loyalty and financial performance. Students may learn about business ethics, sustainable finance, green procurement, climate management and government funding incentives.

4. Finance

A finance specialization gives students exposure to corporate, investment and financial institutions. Students receive the skill sets and management tools needed for large-scale finance decision making and investment. Students will learn about business evaluations, enterprise forecasting, investment analysis, quantitative methods and macroeconomic markets. They may also learn about financial innovations, commodity derivatives, global management and mergers and acquisitions. Students will learn how to reduce operating costs, institute new internal controls, oversee new venture operations and educate employees about regulatory compliance.

5. Healthcare

This MBA specialization will teach students how to manage health care organizations in the 21st century. These graduate health care specializations tend to focus on new trends like health informatics, business analytics and big data tools. Students learn how technology systems, integrated models and evidence-based research can produce quality outcomes for patients and organizations. Electives may cover health care-based marketing, financial management, regulatory audits and facility maintenance.
This specialization in health care trains students to construct business models and maintain successful organizations through forecasting, optimization and quality control.

6. International Business

Global business is quickly becoming standard commercial transactions for most companies around the world. This specializations trains graduates to work abroad and for international companies. Students learn about international trade, marketing, legal topics, business negotiations, talent management and corporate governance. Students are introduced to cross-cultural dynamics, psychology and management. This prepares them to successfully communicate and collaborate with employees from across the globe. Classes on international taxation, accounting, human resource and decision makings ensure students’ career success.

7. Information Systems

An information systems specialization is a universal degree that applies to almost every career path. Computer, software, network and information systems are ubiquitous parts of society and business. Managers who oversee non-technical departments must now understand information systems functioning and management. Information systems impact financing, trading, marketing, manufacturing, management, business operations and customer service. Students may learn about comparative product research, emerging technologies, integrated systems and customer relationship management. This degree may prepare graduates for careers as software developers, system administrators, database analysts, technology executives and chief technology officers.

8. Marketing

Marketing now encompasses sales, advertising, customer service and consumer psychology. Marketing is all about building long-term relationships between companies and clients through various channels. These include traditional fields like television, newspapers and radio as well as new solutions through blogs, email and social media. Graduates learn how to successfully communicate with current and potential customers. Students will develop a deeper understanding of customer, industry and market issues in order to properly solve them through innovative answers. Popular MBA classes for this concentration include marketing research, behavior, dashboards, communications and management.

9. Strategic Management

Strategic management degrees examine the development and execution of tactical plans. Students learn about strategic planning, resource allocation, leadership tools, organizational dynamics and goal setting and achievement. With this MBA specialization, students will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to develop and implement provocative and groundbreaking strategies. Students may learn about business consulting, organizational development, project management, risk analysis and performance administration. Many graduates go on to become independent consultants who work with corporations.

10. Technology Management

A technology management concentration will help students to gain a better understanding of business driven technology systems and solutions. Students will better understand how enterprise technology is a prime driver of business strategies and enabler of business success. This MBA specialization may include classes in Internet trends, cyber-security, mobile technologies, consumer privacy and information systems management. This degree may include classes in IT systems development, business intelligence, performance management and visionary IT leadership.

Related Resource: 10 Highest-Paying Jobs for Information Technology Grads

A specialized MBA is the best way to secure a stable career and a lucrative future. Other high-paying MBA specializations include business intelligence, change management, global leadership and human resources administration. A few schools offer unique MBA specializations available in risk, insurance, commodities, sports, taxation and entertainment management.