The MBA is one of the most versatile graduate degrees. MBA students are prepared in the fundamentals of business administration and can often choose from many concentrations. While choosing a concentration is not required, it can be particularly beneficial for the experienced business professional who wants to develop skills relevant to a certain career field or industry.
Different universities have different MBA concentrations; before choosing a program, double check that the program has the concentration you want. Below is a comprehensive list of the most common MBA concentrations, typical coursework, and potential job titles.
As matters regarding finance and accounting become more important in the business world today, the role of accountants and auditors is critical. The accounting MBA concentration is always very popular as it teaches accountants and auditors how to properly examine and prepare financial records. Students learn how to ensure all financial records are accurate and also ensure the organization is run in a financially efficient manner.
Graduates with this concentration usually work as accountants, controllers, and auditors, either for accounting companies for for individual employers in virtually all industries.
An MBA concentration in forensic accounting offers students the skills they need to conduct a thorough investigation for the prevention and detection of financial fraud. This concentration allows the student to apply advanced accounting principles to investigations of financial abuse allegations within an organization or company. These professionals with this MBA will have the knowledge and skills to conduct forensic accounting investigations with computer technologies. Common courses are in foundations of forensic accounting and fraud examination, detection and prevention of fraudulent financial statements, legal aspects of fraud, and investigating with computers.
Common job titles are forensic accountant, accountant, accounting manager, fraud manager, risk manager, bookkeeper, and forensic examiner.
Cybersecurity and Information Security
An MBA concentration in cybersecurity teaches students how to protect important information that is stored on computer networks. They learn how to do this with specialized software that lets them keep track of who can access the data and who has done so. The information and cybersecurity field is growing in importance, so more universities are offering this concentration.
Most MBA graduates with this speciality work as information security managers or IT managers in technical companies as well as in companies in various industries that need to protect their computer systems from hackers and viruses.
As the US economy continues to grow and expand, more business professionals are opting to start their own companies. Many are choosing to earn their MBA in entrepreneurship. This specialty teaches them how to deal with business risks, maneuver through industry challenges and channel creativity and strategy into a successful company. A concentration in entrepreneurship covers vital business topics for startups and established companies such as finance, ethics, marketing, law, venture capital and more.
Most entrepreneurship majors in business school go on to become CEOs or founding members of their own companies. Others may have titles such as corporate operations officer (COO).
An MBA in finance is always one of the most popular concentrations. Career options for finance majors include working in corporate finance, investment banking, venture capital, asset management and private equity. Students will study topics, such as taxation, finance, accounting, statistics, economics and risk analysis. Students also learn about financial securitization, option analysis and examining derivatives.
Some of the common job titles for those in this concentration include finance manager, finance director, sales manager, financial analyst, controller, buyer and even corporate finance officer (CFO)
An MBA in strategy teaches students how to make the big picture executive and management decisions that can improve the performance of a company. Unlike most MBA concentrations that are in a specific business discipline, this concentration requires you to master business theory and the factors that make or break a company. This concentration is excellent for cultivating elite problem solving skills, typically taught through teaching the student through case studies. Many business schools with this concentration have strategy competitions where students prepare for real world strategy jobs.
Common job titles for this MBA concentration are CEO, CFO, COO, director, managing director, senior manager, strategy manager or director, manager of global brand strategy, financial strategy analyst, lead consultant, management analyst or consultant, business strategy manager and consultant for business strategy.
As the US population is aging and people are staying fit and active into their older years, the healthcare industry is seeing a boost in demand for many kinds of business professionals with skills in medical and healthcare service. These professionals may be referred to as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators. MBA students in healthcare care management learn about how a healthcare organization must conform to adaptations of healthcare laws, technology and regulations.
Students study topics vital to healthcare management including business data analytics, conflict management, marketing management, operations management, finance and accounting, policy and law, risk management, project management, and healthcare business ethics.
Other job titles for a healthcare management MBA could be hospital administrator, sourcing executive, pharmaceutical project manager, practice manager, healthcare CEO, hospital CFO, and operations manager.
Most students with an MBA in human resources become a human resources manager or director. Some may even become a vice president of human resources. The job is to plan, direct and coordinate the various HR and administrative functions of a company. They also are responsible for recruiting, interviewing and hiring new staff, and working with top managers on strategic plans for the company.
Typical subjects of study in the HR MBA concentration are leadership, organization change management, employment and labor relations law, negotiation and dispute resolution, and compensation and benefits planning.
Other possible job titles include recruiting coordinator or director, compensation manager, benefits manager and human resources consultant.
Six Sigma Quality
The MBA concentration Six Sigma Quality offers students the knowledge and skills they need to set up proper quality assurance in business processes. Six sigma methodology works in support of organizations in operational efficiency that has to do with process and systems engineering, supply chain management, logistics, operations management and procurement. Students learn ways to apply the Six Sigma methods to the analysis, identification and problem solving that relate to process deviations and inefficiencies.
Possible courses are applied statistics for managers, Six Sigma Quality management, and project management. Job titles include advanced analytics manager, manager of operations, process excellence manager, financial analyst, manager of manufacturing operations, director of market development, VP of supply chain, senior solutions engineer, research and insights manager, manager of procurement.
International Supply Chain Management
An MBA in international supply chain management exposes students to supply chain management and organizational operations from a worldwide perspective as it focuses on real world situations and best practices. Students will learn about logistics, strategies, inventory management, and global supply chain management. This specialty will prepare the student to work in a career of operations, production and logistics.
Possible courses include international operations, international strategic sourcing and logistics, and international operations and supply chain management. Jobs include operations manager, supply chain manager, logistics manager, business operations analyst, operations performance analyst, financial analyst, operations research analyst, management consultant, VP of supply chain operations, and management consulting manager.
This concentration prepares the student to make more optimal and scientific decisions based upon application of quantitative techniques and tools. This is necessary because the business world is becoming more data driven and complex, so the application of quantitative tools and techniques is more important. Businesses understand the value of managers who can combine the use of facts and data with judgment and experience to make better business decisions. Business recommendations that are based upon hard data analysis are more easy to accept by upper level managers.
Possible courses are quantitative analysis for decision making, management science through spreadsheets, and applied statistics for managers. Job titles include finance manager, finance and business insights manager, financial analyst, asset liability manager, operations manager, quantitative investment analyst, financial reporting analyst, and investment banking analyst.
Major changes have occurred in the music industry in the last decade with the spread of digital markets. So the music industry has changed so that it now includes several new business approaches and strategies. An MBA with a concentration in the music business deals with the key skills that are needed to be successful in the music industry, such as campaign strategies, social media marketing, and digital music distribution. This degree provides managers, artists and business professionals with skills that they need to stand out in the competitive music business.
Common courses include music business structure and strategies, music business leadership and ethics, music business finance and music marketing strategies. Possible job titles are music publisher, music manager, producer, concert promoter, A&R director.
An MBA with a concentration in economics helps students to learn how to deal with all of the data that is being produced, collected and analyzed by businesses and other organizations. Because of the rapid advances in technology, skills and knowledge that are needed in the economy today are changing all the time, and mathematical and analytical skills are more important for business success. Businesses grow and succeed in part because of workers that understand mathematics, spreadsheets, statistics and econometrics. Higher demand in companies for people who can make strategic decisions based upon macro and micro economic data shows the need for professionals with skills and education in applied economics to fill the talent gap.
Required courses may include mathematics and statistics for economics, microeconomics theory and analysis, and macroeconomics theory and analysis. Job titles include economist, director of finance, finance manager, financial analyst, operations manager, corporate financial officer, and budget analyst.
The concentration in internet marketing will provide you with the skills and training that is needed to enjoy a career in the internet marketing industry. This concentration will give students the exposure and information to tools that are vital to successful marketing on the Web. Students will be introduced to tactics and strategies to develop the best marketing techniques online, and so they understand different online marketing channels and are able to explore and understand advanced search engine marketing and search engine optimization.
Required courses may include strategic internet marketing, websites and search engine marketing and online marketing channels.
The MBA concentration in marketing readies a student for a career in sales, advertising and marketing. You will explore market research, advertising, branding, and consumer behavior. Students also learn how to translate the knowledge they obtain into marketing strategies and techniques in the field. Students take courses such as promotions management, consumer behavior and marketing and brand management.
Typical job titles are marketing director, marketing manager, product manager, marketing consultant, marketing research analyst, sales manager or director and marketing communication manager.
The MBA with a concentration on international finance will provide you with focused study on international corporate finance, capital markets overseas as well as international investments. Students will study subjects that are concerned with global investment and commercial banking, as well as global portfolio structure and diversification. Also, you will learn about financial data and current international markets to predict the effects on public and private global organizations.
Required courses may include international corporate finance, international capital markets and investments, and advanced topics in international finance. Possible job titles are finance manager, financial analyst, finance consultant, finance director, management analyst, financial operations manager.
The MBA concentration in project management offers students the skills needed to efficiently and effectively manage projects from beginning to end. Students will explore the theories, methods and real world practices that help them to initiate, plan, execute and control a business project. Students also explore project management problem solving and decision making, as well as gain the skills that they need to eventually earn their PMP designation, which stands for Project Management Professional.
Typical coursework for the project manager MBA concentration is project management, seminar in project management, quantitative analysis for decision making, and project management for PMP certification.
Possible job titles are project manager, project engineer, senior project manager, and project coordinator.
The MBA concentration in information technology deals with the important role that information technology plays in the support of daily business operations and business decision making to achieve key business objectives. Students will focus on the management of various aspects of IT, such as the relationships between process and structure in the management of projects, and how to manage IT functions in an organization. Common courses for the information technology concentration are advanced information technology, management of information technology and enterprise resource planning.
Common job titles for this MBA concentration are IT manager, IT director, computer and information systems manager, data analyst, cybersecurity analyst and operations research analyst.
An MBA concentration in Athletic Administration is intended for students who want the rigor of an MBA as well as courses focused on athletic administration. Students in this major will explore knowledge relevant to a career in intercollegiate and interscholastic sports, as well as information about careers in recreational athletics. This concentration provides students with the skills they need that are needed to be employed in the athletic sport industry as well as understand the many challenges that are faced by sports administration workers every day.
Required courses may include sport and society, principles in athletic administration and advanced topics in athletic administration. Job titles may include athletic administrator, sports manager, director of sports activities, public relations manager or coordinator, team manager, recreation manager.
Community Economic Development
The MBA in community economic development is intended to provide you with the skills and knowledge to assist marginalized communities and their members to boost their quality of life. This program provides you with a holistic view of solving problems by addressing political, social and cultural influences that can affect the success of community economic development programs.
Possible courses include housing policy and development, urban neighborhood revitalization, financing community economic development, and community building and organizing. Job titles include community organizer, community health manager or coordinator, public health director, budget analyst, financial analyst, county economist, city manager.
An MBA with a concentration in business intelligence focuses on the use of big data in all kinds of business environments. It also covers material related to foundational analytics. This degree is intended to build upon your industry experience in data analysis and to expand upon it. The MBA core courses take looks at the functional and analytical aspects of business management, while business intelligence courses look at data analytics and how data is applied to various business environments.
Common job titles are business analyst, business manager, finance manager, operations manager and product manager.
The MBA concentration in healthcare informatics has a focus on integrating technology effectively in healthcare organizations. Students learn about the current state of healthcare technology and how the healthcare industry uses information systems. They also will learn about the challenges that healthcare organizations face when they are integrating and introducing new technology systems, and how to do so to provide the best care to patients. They also study analysis, design and implementation of major IT systems in healthcare. Common classes are in healthcare informatics, social and organizational issues in healthcare and advanced information technology.
Some common job titles are health informatics consultant, health informatics director, nursing informatics manager, chief medical information officer, electronic medical record manager and healthcare IT project manager.
Supply Chain Management
An MBA in supply chain management teaches students about supply chain management and organizational operations from a domestic and global perspective with a focus on real world situations and best practices. Students also will study logistics, process strategies, inventory management, and supply chain management functions. Common classes are in domestic and international operations, strategic sourcing and logistics and supply chain management.
Common job titles are logistician, strategic planning manager, supply manager, product manager, supply chain manager, and operations manager.
An MBA concentration in sports management is intended to give students a education that is focused on relevant theory and practice so that they can be successful leaders in the sports industry. Students will have career opportunities in many areas of professional and intercollegiate athletics, as well as sports marketing and various entrepreneurial enterprises. They will explore how culture, society and sport are interrelated, as well. Common courses are sport and society, internationalization of sports business and management of sport organizations.
Typical job titles are sports manager, public relations manager, sports publicist, sports retailer, facilities manager and sports marketer.
An MBA in criminal justice can provide you with public and nonprofit sector business administration and public administration skills that you can use for a career in state and local government, security and corrections and law enforcement. Students will develop a solid understanding of business concepts and techniques with MBA core classes, and will also explore current topics and trends in the criminal justice and judicial systems.
Typical classes are critical issues in the criminal justice system, global terrorism and courts and judicial process.
Common job titles are correctional officer, correctional officer supervisor, police and detective supervisor, forensic psychologist, criminologist, criminal profiler, criminal investigator, police chief, forensic examiner, security manager and emergency management director.
An MBA in engineering management focuses on integrating systems and thinking concepts and systems engineering practices to devise better engineering management techniques and strategies. Students obtain knowledge to make informed and successful business decisions that will lead to enhanced performance, efficiency and effectiveness in technical engineering projects.
Common job titles are engineering manager, project manager, engineering project director, lead engineer, product manager, technical lead and construction manager.
An MBA in international business allows students to get a deeper look at the uncertainties, opportunities and risks that exist in the modern, international business environment. Students will apply international business concepts and principles, and learn how to integrate real world experiences so that they can assess global business problems in many cultural, political, social and economic concepts.
This concentration allows students to become better leaders and managers of domestic and multinational organizations. Common courses are multinational corporate environment, international market strategy, and managing international trade and finance.
Common job titles are import or export agent, translator, currency investment advisor, foreign sales representative, international project manager, international sales manager, regional sales manager.
Strong leadership skills are increasingly needed in the modern business marketplace. That is why an MBA with a concentration in leadership is important to help you to build upon your existing business skills and take a leadership role in your organization, or even start a new business venture. You will learn how to manage and motivate employees and tams, and learn how to use techniques and strategies to make changes in many leadership structures. This concentration offers added value for many positions in the corporate world, and also in government and nonprofit organizations.
Courses can include communication for leadership, leading change and psychology of leadership. Common job titles are broad and can include CEO or COO, project manager or director, president or vice president, customer service manager, finance manager, sales manager or director, administrative services manager, HR manager and branch manager.
With constantly changing commodity prices, resource scarcity, and more public scrutiny of business operations throughout the supply and value chain, getting to a higher level of social and environmental sustainability is important to managers and owners of companies. Getting an MBA in sustainability will provide you with the deep grasp of organizations, materials and markets to drive sustainability and transformative innovation. Common courses are in major environmental issues, energy and society, and environmental compliance and sustainability.
Common job titles are environmental manager or director, sustainability manager, climate change analyst, sustainability consultant, public relations manager, production supervisor and sustainability engineer.
- MBA Concentrations. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.snhu.edu/admission/academic-catalogs/coce-catalog#/programs/V1Cr4VIte/4kpBsmKnx