5 Innovative MBA Degree Specializations

Earning a Master of Business Administration, or MBA, degree does more than prepare students for management positions. While MBAs can qualify you for high-level decision-making positions, they also support jobs in finance, startup investment, technology development, human resources, academic research and other areas.

Here are five unique MBA degree specializations that may lead to careers in one of these interesting domains.

1. Entrepreneurship and Innovation

This specialization focuses on building career skills students will eventually apply when they become entrepreneurs. Many curricula also impart lessons that might prove useful for those who invest in startups and similar entities through private equity or venture capital.

Entrepreneurship MBA specializations incorporate courses like how to found and manage growing firms, family-owned businesses and privately-held companies. They also touch on the specifics of different forms of finance, startup structures and relevant corporate development practices. Even if they don’t plan on starting their own firms after they graduate, students who pursue this degree specialization may increase their options for self-directed advancement.

2. Media Management

According to Harvard Business School, only 2 percent of 2015 MBA graduates worked in entertainment and media. New media, however, is an undeniably growing force in the business world. Although it was once largely the domain of those seeking careers in the entertainment industry, the media management MBA specialization is becoming more relevant in all fields.

Media management specializations are commonly combined with mass communication, cultural studies and social media studies. Students with these credentials remain essential to companies that want to get up to speed with the information-driven times.

3. Energy and Clean Tech

Renewable energy businesses have unique concerns that traditional power management firms may not have to deal with. In addition to dealing with laws that may create difficult climates for growth, green energy companies often have to manage unique intellectual property, custom manufacturing processes and other issues.

As you might expect, this field’s strong growth demands oversight, and the demand may be transforming the traditional MBA landscape. Students who pursue degrees with alternative energy specializations stand to benefit from courses that cover typical market paths for clean tech, regulatory concerns, financing and common legal issues.

4. Environmental Management

Environmental management is a fitting complement to the growth of the clean energy sector. As more companies move away from fossil fuels and dirty technologies, the impetus to clean up humanity’s existing messes is becoming stronger. Environmental management MBA students learn about entrepreneurship in eco-conscious companies, conservation investment funding and other important concerns that allow modern entities to reduce their footprints.

Notably, this specialization offers opportunities for interesting coursework and research in the wild as well as internships with organizations like the U.S. Forest Service. Those who seek public-sector employment or jobs as civil servants may choose this field as a starting point.

5. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is an opportunity-filled field, especially for MBA candidates. Because more companies are relying on data to track customer behaviors, performance metrics and business information, protecting privacy is a growing concern.

Cybersecurity is still a relatively young field, so businesses need MBAs who can offer innovative solutions to their unique data issues. Grad students who possess undergraduate experience in IT may find this specialization is a great way to boost their career advancement.

MBA specializations provide numerous opportunities for unique research, internships and field work. They also open up a good number of career paths. Combining a specialization with your master’s degree may make it easier to transition into a specific job marketplace.