What are the five most in-demand MBA concentrations? It’s a question most MBA candidates ask themselves before enrolling in a program; with pay and job security varying between specializations, choosing the right program is critical. As the business world changes, these specializations will also change, but for the next five years, here are the most important concentrations currently offered at some of America’s most prestigious business schools.
1. Human Resources
While perhaps not the most lucrative MBA concentration, human resources is nevertheless an in-demand specialization from companies who are looking to expand or alter the path of their business. Human resources MBA candidates are experts in building positive teams and creating an enthusiastic workplace atmosphere that encourages the development and advanced training of all employees. It continues to be an in-demand specialization because even with technology, people are what drive businesses forward. This specialization also opens the door for consulting positions for qualified candidates, which, in turn, allows them to have several workplace experiences prior to picking a company and investing in its HR structure.
2. International Business
As the business world becomes more globalized, there is a growing demand for MBA professionals that have a specialization in international business. Candidates who have shown proficiency in understanding multinational companies, international factors that affect a company regardless of where they are located, and cultural factors that may impede or hasten business deals, are valuable to all businesses. And with the influx of business that is currently completed on the internet through e-commerce or other services, an international business MBA graduate can fit the bill for a company interested in building a global reputation.
3. Supply Chain Management
MBA candidates who are looking for an in-demand concentration are advised to look at supply chain management. This is a subset of operations management that is now requiring its own specialization in order to keep up with demand for qualified candidate. Because supply chain management requires teamwork with both teams at a company, stakeholders, other businesses, or customers, these candidates are expected to have both analytical and soft skills in order to maintain a balance between all parties involved in any one team project. While the operations management concentration can offer this, only a supply chain management specialization provides companies with the expert that they need.
Strategy is one of the new in-demand MBA focuses and more employers are depending on this specialization in order to remain competitive in the marketplace. A Strategy MBA focuses solely on strategy, providing companies with capable managers who can analyze problems and come up with viable solutions that make sense for the company. As the business world changes, becoming more decentralized in terms of strategy in order to keep up with technology advancements, professionals who can demonstrate their proficiency in strategy will find themselves in high demand, both in the public and private sectors.
5. Health Care
While it may not be obvious to most, one of the most in-demand concentrations for MBA candidates is health care; this is also listed as a medical industry specialty. Because the healthcare industry is going through a variety of changes, especially in the private sector, it is becoming more important for companies in the field to consult with professionals that have both a business and healthcare background. Choosing this degree specialization allows students to earn a higher net income right after graduation while also providing them with the opportunity to travel all over the country and the world in order to find the right job.
An MBA is an important graduate degree for any professional who wants to work in the business sector. From strategy to supply chain operations, the MBA provides the field with experts in every specialization possible, with more specializations making appearances at the graduate level every year. These are the five most in-demand MBA concentrations but remember: a specialization is only as important as the candidate who earned that concentration designation.