In today's competitive job market, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is associated with career advancement and higher earning potential. As the business environment continues to evolve, professionals and entrepreneurs are increasingly recognising the value of specialised knowledge and expertise. Therefore, MBA programmes with specialisation in specific fields have become popular.
In this article, we explore the benefits of MBA specialisations, how you can choose an area of focus for yourself and the highest-paying options that can take your career or business to new heights.
5 Reasons You Should Obtain an MBA Degree
1. Solid business knowledge
MBA programmes are designed to equip learners with comprehensive knowledge of business and management. MBA graduates are prepared either for entrepreneurship or top roles in different industries. Their understanding of the dynamics of the business environment enables them to make informed decisions that align with an organisation’s goal.
2. Higher salary
Obtaining an MBA degree is a wise investment decision. MBA graduates are preferred for top roles across industries with a significant increase in earning potential. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), MBA graduates earn 77% more than those with bachelor’s degree qualifications. Therefore, obtaining an MBA degree is an effective way to increase your earning potential.
3. Enhanced employability
MBA students acquire practical skills and theoretical knowledge of various aspects of business that increase their career prospects, such as leadership, finance, marketing, general management and communication. 90% of full-time MBA graduates gain employment before graduation. Those who retain their jobs also gain salary raises, promotions and bigger career opportunities. Therefore, enroling in an MBA programme is one of the profitable decisions you can make.
4. Valuable connections
MBA programmes provide valuable networking opportunities for learners. Students make new connections with their peers in similar industries or fields, with the potential to gain job opportunities, mentorship, new insights, recommendations and partnerships. The connections made can also keep you abreast of industry trends and developments.
5. Switching career path
One of the benefits of enroling in an MBA programme is that it can provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to switch your career path in line with your goals.
With the popularity of online MBA programmes in specific areas of specialisation, making career transition has become easier. Online specialised MBA programmes allow you to retain your job while you study and acquire relevant skills for your next career move.
What is an MBA Specialisation?
A general MBA programme adopts a comprehensive business curriculum that provides students with knowledge, theories, principles and skills in various aspects of business such as management, marketing, communication, finance, operation and leadership.
On the other hand, an MBA with a specialisation offers a curriculum that is tailored to your industry, field or area of interests, in addition to providing you with foundational knowledge of business, management and leadership development.
Why Choose a Specialised MBA?
Opting for a general MBA has its pros and cons. For example, you may be preparing for a career in any industry. Nevertheless, you are unlikely to have as deep an understanding of a given industry as you would with a specialised MBA. At the end of the day, whether a specialised MBA is right for you depends on your career goals.
To help you take an informed decision, below are possible reasons for choosing a specialised MBA.
1. You have a clear understanding of your career path and the field or industry of your choice, such as marketing, finance, healthcare or human resources. Therefore, you need an in-depth knowledge of that field or industry.
2. You already have significant years of experience in a specific field or industry and you would like to pursue leadership roles in highly competitive companies.
3. You want to expand your knowledge of a discipline in addition to acquiring solid business education.
4. You want to make a career switch to a definite discipline or industry.
5. You want to qualify for promotion to top leadership positions that require specific knowledge and skills in your organisation.
How to Choose an MBA Specialisation
If you are considering a specialised MBA degree, below are factors to keep in mind in choosing a specific field.
1. Interests and strength
One of the primary considerations in choosing an MBA specialisation is aligning it with your interests, passion and strengths. By pursuing a specialisation that genuinely excites you, you are more likely to enjoy the coursework, engage deeply with the subject matter and excel in your studies. Your passion and genuine interest will drive you to put in the extra effort required to succeed.
Additionally, leveraging your existing strengths and skills in a specific specialisation can give you a competitive advantage in the job market and make you a valuable asset in that field.
2. Earning potential
While financial gain should not be the sole determining factor, it is important to consider the earning potential associated with different MBA specialisations. Certain specialisations tend to command higher salaries due to industry demand, market dynamics and the level of expertise required. Researching and knowing the salary range and growth prospects for each specialisation will help you to make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals.
3. Job prospects
The job market is dynamic and different MBA specialisations have varying demand levels based on industry trends, economic conditions and emerging opportunities. It is essential to evaluate the job prospects in your desired specialisation to ensure that there are ample career opportunities available upon graduation. Consider factors such as industry growth, job market stability and the demand for specialised skills in your desired field. Conducting thorough research and speaking with professionals in the industry can provide valuable insights into the current and future job prospects.
4. Career goals
Your long-term career goals play a crucial role in choosing an MBA specialisation. Consider where you see yourself in the future and how a specific specialisation can help you achieve your goals. For example, if you aspire to work in investment banking, a finance specialisation would be more relevant.
If you have a passion for marketing and aspire to become a brand manager, a marketing specialisation would be a suitable choice. Aligning your specialisation with your career goals ensures that you gain the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in your desired field.
In general, it is important to strike a balance between these factors when choosing an MBA specialisation. While earning potential and job prospects are significant considerations, they should be weighed alongside your personal interests, passion and strengths.
Highest-Paying MBA Specialisations
Obtaining an MBA degree is an investment in your career and future. As such, it is important that you consider earning potential in choosing your specialisation alongside other factors listed above.
To help you make an informed decision, find below in-demand and high-paying MBA specialisations, including their career prospects.
1. Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The MBA with specialisation in entrepreneurship and innovation provides learners with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully manage and grow a business. This area of specialisation is ideal for candidates who want to acquire entrepreneurial skills and own their businesses or help to expand existing businesses.
Students are trained to develop ideas for innovative solutions to problems through new products, services or strategies. Therefore, they are often preferred for top positions across industries with huge earning potential.
Common careers for graduates of this specialisation and their yearly salaries in top-paying companies are:
1. Chief Executive Officer, Penna [£157,331]
2. Business Development Manager, AvA-v [£78,707]
3. Business Consultant/Analyst, Oscar [£87,153]
4. Product Manager, Meta [£100,574]
One of the highest-paying specialisations, the MBA in Business Management prepares learners for leadership roles across industries and functions. Students acquire skills, knowledge and techniques in a wide range of subjects like finance, marketing, operations, strategy, organisational communication and business ethics.
Graduates of this MBA specialisation are valued for their versatility. Their career prospects are almost limitless, though some positions may require individuals with specialist knowledge or a management graduate with significant experience.
Marketing is essential for creating brand awareness and promoting products and services. Marketing campaigns help to generate sales, revenues and profits, ensuring that an organisation maintains good financial performance and succeeds in the competitive business landscape.
An MBA in Marketing will equip you with skills for developing, implementing and evaluating marketing strategies across multiple channels. You will be qualified for jobs in different industries with a huge financial reward.
Common roles with yearly top salaries are:
1. Marketing Director, Square One Resources [£112,944]
2. Sales Director, NCS [£123,692]
3. Brand Manager, BAT [£56,609]
4. Marketing Manager, Accenture [£65,093]
5. Advertising Manager, BMS [£34,067]
4. Human Resources
An MBA with a concentration in human resources is designed to help you become an effective people manager, developing and implementing effective workplace policies and strategies.
In addition to acquiring strong leadership and communication skills, you will be trained to help organisations attract and retain world-class talent. You will develop the expertise needed to drive productivity and improve overall organisational performance. Human resources specialists work across industries and are among the highest-paid professionals.
Career roles in human resources with top yearly earnings include:
1. Human Resources Director, BMS Performance [£140,000]
2. Compensation and Benefits Manager, SSE PLC [£63,247]
3. Human Resources Manager, Nigel Wright Group [£56,727]
MBA in Finance is another high-paying area of specialisation. You will obtain solid knowledge and skills in financial management, financial analysis, financial planning and risk analysis. You will be able to analyse business and implement strategies for achieving financial goals. You will manage accounts to help organisations achieve strong financial performance. Graduates of MBA in finance are trained for entrepreneurship and jobs in venture capital, corporate finance, global banking and finance and investment banking.
Available career options including top yearly salaries are:
1. Finance Director, Sellick Partnership Limited [£124,998]
2. Senior Financial Analyst, HFG [£71,781]
3. Financial Analyst, J.P Morgan [£61,129]
4. Risk Manager, Places for People [£110,000]
5. Chief Finance Officer, [£104,330]
6. Healthcare Management
Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries. Therefore, there is a high demand for healthcare managers with strong business acumen. This has made the MBA in healthcare one of the highest-paying specialisations.
If you opt for this specialisation, you will be trained to excel in healthcare administration and management, including insurance, law and finance. Healthcare management specialists work in hospitals, clinics, government agencies and multinational companies.
High-paying career opportunities in healthcare management and their yearly salaries include:
1. Medical Director, Cygnet [£175,000]
2. Healthcare Consultant [£75,139]
3. Healthcare Manager, NEL Commissioning Support Unit [£64,324]
7. Project Management
Earning an MBA degree in project management will equip you with cutting-edge skills in strategic planning, implementing, coordinating and supervising projects. You will gain expertise in effective communication, budgeting, reporting, presentation and resource management. You will also learn to collaborate, lead and manage teams.
Graduates of this programme are trained to take up high-paying leadership positions in different industries. High-paying project management career options include:
1. Director of Operations, SSE PLC [£144,922]
2. Project Manager, Société Générale [£86,822]
3. Project Director, Project Resource Ltd [£122,050]
4. Regional Manager, The Invictus Group, [£66,824]
8. Renewable Energy and Sustainability
In a bid to combat the challenges posed by global warming and climate change, there is a demand for sustainable energy solutions across industries. As organisations begin to evolve and embrace environmentally friendly practices, there is a high demand for professionals who can build the business of the future. This has made the MBA with specialisation in renewable energy and sustainability one of the highest-paying degrees.
You will gain solid knowledge of advances in technologies, identify and harness opportunities in the dynamic business environment. In addition, you will gain insights into the global energy markets, help organisations drive sustainable business practices, achieve financial success and make an impact in the global society.
Available career opportunities in renewable energy and sustainability and their yearly salaries include:
1. Sustainability Engineer, Jefferson Wells [£124,112]
2. Sustainability Manager, IAC [£91,997]
3. Renewable Energy Consultant, Greentech [£50,000]
Achieve more with a specialised MBA
Obtaining an MBA in your chosen field or industry is a surefire way to acquire advanced business skills, switch your career path, strengthen your network, enhance your employability and increase your earning potential. Explore our catalogue of online MBA specialisations to begin a self-paced learning journey while keeping your job.