MBA concentrations and dual degree MBA programs are designed for business professionals who want to build a career or enter into a leadership position within a specific industry or business sector. These programs offer the foundational coursework of traditional MBA programs, in addition to focusing on one aspect of the greater business operation or within niche, specialty, or emerging markets.
While a general MBA delivers the fundamental skills and knowledge that can be applied to any business, an MBA concentration or a dual degree program can prepare graduates for the challenges and nuances specific to the industry of their choosing. Because the business world is vast and diverse, so too are the offerings for these types of programs.
Explore the wealth of MBA concentrations and dual degree programs below.
Accounting & Finance
While most online MBA programs offer an introduction to accounting and finance, students who wish to pursue careers in accounting, auditing, economics, or financial analysis can opt for a concentration. Additionally, because many of these careers require professionals to earn certifications in their line of work, these programs help prepare students for various examinations, such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams.
MBA in Accounting
While basic accounting training and a CPA certification are useful, a prospective accountant with an MBA may be even more valuable to a company. These specialized business degrees provide holders with instruction in management, ethical decision-making, analysis, and communication, among other subjects.
MBA in Finance
There are various MBA programs in finance and financial services throughout the United States, available both on campus and online. This guide showcases some of the most notable and three outstanding faculty members from universities offering some of the programs outlined.
MBA in Taxation
All governing bodies depend on public financing to fund the services they offer to the citizens they represent. As a result, there’s a strong demand for expert mediators to manage those transactions, including those with an MBA in taxation.
Online MBA in Economics Programs
An MBA in economics helps students explore their local economy and its effects on business. Students dive deeply into policymaking, financial markets, purchasing power, and pricing indices.
Engineering & Technology
Engineering and technology MBA programs are one of the fastest-growing types of programs offered today. As technology moves away from its own siloes and impacts all industries, business professionals who have a solid understanding of operations, project management, innovations, and engineering are increasingly in demand.
MBA in Computer Science
Engineering students may be wondering whether to pursue an MS and MBA, as both these programs can offer various specializations that can combine their interests in business administration and science. One such specialization is an MBA program in computer science that integrates computer science aspects with the management field.
MBA in Construction Management
Earning an online MBA in construction management can help emerging leaders in construction or business earn the high-level industry knowledge, business expertise, and people management skills necessary to keep a construction business thriving.
MBA in Engineering Management
Earning an online MBA in engineering management can be attractive to students and professionals seeking an off-campus, remote option for completing coursework. It can put these individuals in line to secure higher ranking positions in leadership or even enhance one’s salary prospects.
MBA in High Technology Management
While basic high-tech training and certification have their place in today’s market, candidates with an MBA offer more value to companies of this nature. These specialized degrees provide additional instruction in management-level responsibilities, as students are trained in ethical decision-making, analysis, technology application, and communication.
MBA in Project Management
Project managers are becoming a growing presence in the workforce, found in various organizations. They ensure the successful execution of multiple projects by reducing the risk of failure and minimizing costs, inspiring and motivating employees, and building productive and efficient teams.
MBA in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)
While a bachelor's or master's degree in a STEM field is undoubtedly a worthy pursuit, students can also consider taking up an MBA in a STEM-related field. Why? The challenges faced by large corporations and organizations are often complex and multi-layered. It is not enough for their leaders to be masters of one discipline alone.
General Management & Organizational Leadership
An MBA specialization in general management and organizational leadership can help natural-born leaders and ambitious professionals take the next step in driving positive change within teams and companies. Students in these programs receive training in applied psychology disciplines such as organizational behavior, as well as in leadership, corporate strategy, and negotiations.
MBA in Consulting
In a competitive marketplace, someone who backs up a true interest in helping other businesses succeed with actual know-how and qualified insights and management techniques can be immensely valuable. In response to this need for valuable, third-party insight, many MBA programs offer concentrations in management consulting.
MBA in General Management
Perhaps no other concentration within business schools has changed so dramatically over the years as the general management concentration. Thirty years ago, students mostly received training in the applied psychology discipline known as organizational behavior, but today’s management programs tend to focus on leadership and corporate strategy, along with tactical skills like negotiation.
MBA in Human Resource Management (HRM)
Every company, regardless of size or industry, needs a human resources team. Human resources (HR) managers inform organizational policy to attract and retain the best talent and create a healthy, loyal, and happy workforce. Company and employee problems like high staff turnover and dissatisfied team members not only negatively impact morale, but also drain company resources, time, and money.
MBA in Nonprofit Management
An MBA in nonprofit management prepares students for leading nonprofit organizations' unique challenges and opportunities. Nonprofit organizations must manage finances, staff, marketing, and strategy. The core MBA curriculum applies well, but adding a concentration in nonprofit management brings in a service-minded approach that considers the sector’s nuanced differences.
MBA in Organizational Leadership
An online master's in business administration (MBA) can greatly assist professionals interested in helping and inspiring employees and guiding companies toward success. Compassion, the desire to help others, and effective communication are all required for a leadership position in business, and an MBA in organizational leadership can help professionals obtain one.
MBA in Product Management
Companies and founders will hire product managers to help manage the complicated and often lengthy process of getting products to market efficiently. While most MBA programs offer some classes in product management, it is possible to complete an MBA with a concentration in product management. Many of these specialized MBAs will focus on footwear and apparel or software.
MBA in Strategy & Strategic Management
An MBA concentrated in strategy and strategic management is a valuable asset for established business professionals looking to expand their career potential by giving them the skills to not only step confidently into senior management positions, but also to set strategic goals and provide key leadership for their teams and companies.
Government & Criminal Justice
For professionals pursuing careers in law enforcement, government, not-for-profit organizations, and private companies, an MBA that specializes in government and criminal justice can be the key to career advancement. Many kinds of companies and organizations are looking for professionals with dual expertise in business and the justice system.
MBA in Criminal Justice
A variety of past practices can stand to be reexamined through the lens of 21st-century approaches to law and order. For those excited by the idea of leading change in how our nation approaches prosecution, incarceration, law enforcement, and public safety, an MBA in criminal justice can be an invaluable asset.
MBA in Cybersecurity
Companies will need high-level insight into what hardware, software, and processes must be established or replaced to maintain effective defenses against cybercriminals. For those interested in helping businesses keep data secure, an MBA in cybersecurity can lead to a purpose-filled, challenging, and lucrative career path in a fast-growing field.
MBA in Fraud & Forensic Accounting
While many corporate fraud scandals have shaken the world, recent technological advances have made financial crime easier to detect and prosecute. While a degree in accounting can help individuals track the financial and operational health of a company, a master of business administration (MBA) with a focus on forensic accounting can arm these professionals with the technological and analytical skills to tackle financial crime.
MBA in Law
In the interconnected and globalized world of the 21st century, employers increasingly value professionals with various skills, experience that crosses industry thresholds, and a demonstrated commitment to continued professional development. The worlds of business and law especially appreciate individuals who possess skills from both spheres.
MBA in Public Administration
For those who haven’t settled into a specific career track, graduates with a public administration MBA might find themselves with a broad range of job options in both the public and private sectors. Graduates who gain early on-the-job experience with organizations that might provide viable long-term career options find themselves better able to refine their choices and set objectives for their long-range careers.
The healthcare industry is going through unprecedented growth. It is currently the largest employer in the United States, and healthcare jobs are expected to account for 18 percent of all new jobs created in the decade preceding 2026 (BLS). For this reason, MBA students specializing in healthcare are among the most sought-after professionals in the industry.
MBA in Healthcare Informatics
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job openings for medical and health service managers to swell 32 percent between 2020 and 2030—much higher than the national average of 8 percent. With technology constantly advancing and legislation requiring many healthcare institutions to digitize their records and systems, the demand for professionals in the healthcare informatics field will only continue to grow.
MBA in Healthcare Management
Healthcare is one of the fastest growing fields. Between 2016 and 2026, the number of jobs in healthcare is expected to increase by 20 percent in the United States, much faster than the average 7 percent for all U.S. jobs. This makes a specialization in healthcare management an attractive option for prospective MBAs.
MBA in Nursing
Nurses who advance into leadership positions are well-equipped to provide a balance of the compassionate, practical, and holistic perspectives needed to run healthcare organizations, and run them well. And to advance into those leadership positions, nurses are increasingly turning towards business-focused graduate degrees like the MBA.
Without effective branding and messaging, many businesses would fail. Marketing is a crucial component of a thriving business. It enables companies to connect with customers, and ultimately empowers a company’s teams leading sales, product development, and broader business strategy. Overall, online MBA candidates with marketing expertise are in high demand.
MBA in Digital Marketing & Social Media
According to research from Oberlo, US digital ad spending is expected to hit $239.89 billion in 2022. This is a 13.6 percent increase from 2021, during which expenditure totaled $211.20 billion. US ad spending on digital channels is forecast to continue rising over the next few years. It is projected to increase to $270.73 billion in 2023. By 2025, it will surpass the $300-billion mark and account for over 75 percent of all media spending.
MBA in Marketing
While the internet has made it easier for people to enter the field of marketing, it has also increased the demand for professionals with specialized skills and knowledge. An MBA in marketing provides professionals with contemporary and traditional marketing know-how and skills, giving them a competitive edge in a crowded field.
In addition to the concentrations profiled above, online business schools offer others which specialize in a particular industry or field. Many of these programs are designed for industry experts to gain business and leadership expertise for career advancement or for professionals seeking to move into a specific industry.
MBA in Data Analytics & Business Intelligence
Especially in business, there is a need for people who can dig deep into the analytics, make sense of the numbers, and provide business leaders with the information necessary and relevant to growth. Business intelligence (BI) is a field of study that prepares professionals to access and make sense of data so that it can be strategically useful to a business.
MBA in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
To accommodate a growing number of professionals seeking more flexible scheduling for class times and assignments, online MBA programs are on the rise. Earning an online MBA in ERP can pay off. In fact, these degree-holders can use this expertise to advance in the workforce as a manager, consultant, or even a database administrator, three of the many roles seeking candidates with ERP skills.
MBA in Entrepreneurship
It’s important for aspiring entrepreneurs to arm themselves with the knowledge and experience it takes to start a lasting business. Earning a master of business administration (MBA) in entrepreneurship can provide a strong foundation of business skills, networking, and mentorship to assist people in bringing good ideas to fruition.
MBA in Hospitality Management
An MBA is a great option for students interested in hospitality management who want to further their studies. With an MBA, graduates can find employment in industries like leisure and recreation, spa and wellness, food and beverage, hotels, tourism, and event planning.
MBA in Insurance & Risk Management (IRM)
Risk touches every organization. Those who know how to manage it, avoid it, and cope with it, are indispensable. Whether it's through implementing computer-based simulation models, tuning organizational management practices for a more nuanced approach, or efficiently outpacing waves of regulatory and market disruption, the financial industry needs risk management professionals educated in the forward-thinking paradigms.
MBA in International Business
An MBA with an international focus can teach a business professional how to adapt, communicate, stay organized, and remain focused on commerce through differences in background, culture, and nationality. Earning an MBA in international business can also help a student understand the bigger picture of the modern business world by teaching how minor cultural differences and larger national policy decisions impact business relationships.
MBA in Music Business Management
Today's music business professionals need to be versatile and flexible to stay abreast of new trends and developments, anticipate how they will affect the industry, and respond in the best interests of artists, consumers, and entrepreneurs.
MBA in Real Estate
Housing is a basic necessity, and the real estate industry, even after slumps and the Great Recession, continues to flourish. Considering the vast number of industry opportunities, many universities now offer dedicated MBA programs with a concentration in real estate.
MBA in Sales & Sales Leadership
Graduates from MBA programs with a concentration in sales and sales leadership often become sales managers. It’s a lucrative profession: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a sales manager is $142,390 per year.
MBA in Sports Management
The sport experience is following all the major global trends: digitalization, internationalization, and data-driven analytics. As the sports industry continues to evolve, so too will its job demands. An online MBA in sports management equips professionals for the industry as it is today and what it will be tomorrow.
MBA in Supply Chain Management
Many MBA programs also allow students to specialize in some areas, such as operations, logistics, and supply chain management. This field, in particular, might be an exciting choice for aspiring students who are interested in sourcing, supply chain operations, logistics, and the movement of goods.
MBA in Sustainability
MBA programs that offer a specialization in sustainability prepare graduates to lead efforts in maximizing efficiency and profit while maintaining high standards of integrity in matters of energy, environmental impact, and resource management.