Top 25 MBA Concentrations [2020 Ultimate Guide]

We've ranked the Top 25 MBA Concentrations based on salary, job growth, career satisfaction, and long-term prospects. Make an informed choice: Start here!

We’ve ranked the Top 25 MBA Concentrations based on salary, job growth, career satisfaction, and long-term prospects. Make an informed choice: Start here!

MBA Concentrations

Not all MBA concentrations are created equal.

While an MBA program will provide some basic training in these sub-fields, it’s usually best to choose a concentration that you have some prior experience with, even if it’s minimal. Plus, some may require that experience before you can pursue a specific concentration. At the very least, this list can open your eyes to all the possibilities that are out there.

What Are the Best MBA Concentrations?

Choosing an MBA concentration in an area that sparks your interest will provide you with more specific job prospects upon completion of the course, but what type of career could you expect to find yourself in afterward, at what level of seniority, and with what type of salary?

These are all important questions to consider when choosing a concentration to ensure you make the best decision for your future. This list details some of the best MBA concentrations that have a high chance of securing you a future job with an impressive compensation package.

  1. Information Technology – $142,530
  2. Management Information Systems – $142,530
  3. Internet Marketing – $132,620
  4. Finance – $127,990
  5. Agri-Business – $123,860
  6. Human Resources – $113,300
  7. Healthcare Administration – $99,730
  8. Economics – $104,340
  9. International Business – $104,340
  10. Business Administration – $96,180
  11. Forensic Accounting – $90,500
  12. Management – $83,610
  13. Nonprofit Management – $83,610
  14. Business Analytics – $83,610
  15. Supply Chain and Logistics – $74,600
  16. Environmental Management – $71,130
  17. Accounting – $70,000
  18. Entrepreneurship – $68,350
  19. Small Business – $68,350
  20. Marketing – $63,120
  21. Project Management – $64,040
  22. Retail & Sales Management – $67,600
  23. Sports Management – $60,370
  24. Real Estate – $58,340
  25. Hospitality Management – $54,240

Our ranking of the best MBA concentrations is based on average annual salary and expected job growth.

1. Information Technology

IT manager working on his computer

  • Average Salary: $142,530 per year
  • Job Growth: 11%

As well as working on core business skills, an MBA in IT will provide training in information security, technology management, and systems development.

This is a sector that is growing year on year, as more businesses increase their online presence and transfer their operations to computer systems.

If you have a strong technological background with a desire to advance your career in IT management, then an MBA with a concentration in information technology might be a good match for you.

Job prospects in this field include roles such as systems managers, IT managers, and chief technology officers.

2. Management Information Systems

system analyst checking data in control room

  • Average Salary: $142,530 per year
  • Job Growth: 11%

An MBA with a focus on management information systems is designed to give graduates an edge over their competition, with a practical skillset based on both experience and theory.

Course topics will include system analysis, resource management, corporate finance, and strategies. This course offers great versatility to graduates, with potential careers in systems analysis, information and data analysis, and systems development.

If you have a strong foundation in IT that you can build on, an MBA in management information systems may work for you.

3. Internet Marketing

marketing director having a meeting with his team

  • Average Salary: $132,620 per year
  • Job Growth: 9%

This course aims to develop skills in digital media marketing, strategic product placement, and online customer engagement.

Upon completion of an MBA with a concentration in internet marketing, a graduate will be well placed for a career in improving brand growth via online platforms.

Having accomplished an MBA, you can expect to earn, on average, $60,000 a year more than those who only have a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Course topics can include social media optimization, customer relations, and online branding.

Career opportunities suited to this type of MBA include roles as social media manager, digital marketing manager, and marketing director.

4. Finance

financial manager working on her laptop in a cafe

  • Average Salary: $127,990 per year
  • Job Growth: 16%

An MBA in finance will focus on budgeting and financial best practices while still covering a broad business-based topic range.

This degree will give students the skill set they need to find senior-level careers in professional roles, including potential job titles such as financial manager, financial advisor, and financial analyst.

As every business, big or small, relies on good financial practices to perform well, graduates can expect to find themselves with a financial job in almost any sector. This type of MBA will appeal to those with a mathematical mind who enjoy problem-solving.

5. Agri-Business

agribusiness owner checking on his plants in a botanical garden

  • Average Salary: $123,860 per year
  • Job Growth: 6%

The agricultural industry is huge, so with an MBA in agricultural business, you will be well-prepared for a future career in farming, the food industry, or within the government.

Your roles could include agribusiness owner or manager, agricultural operations specialist, financial officer, or agricultural sales manager, to name a few.

An MBA with a focus on agri-business will have a curriculum based around farm finances, leadership, food marketing, and best business practices. It will be well suited to anyone with an interest in food production who wants to gain a more agricultural specific skill set.

6. Human Resources

human resource managers interviewing a job applicant

  • Average Salary: $113,300 per year
  • Job Growth: 7%

An MBA in human resources would benefit those who want to fast-track their career to a senior level of human resources.

Modules will cover areas such as business ethics, operation management, and employee development, with an emphasis on practical business skills within the workplace.

After completing an MBA in human resources, graduates typically go on to take up roles as human resource managers, relationship managers, human resource consultants, and directors of human resources.

7. Healthcare Administration

health services administrator assisting a patient in the reception area

  • Average Salary: $99,730 per year
  • Job Growth: 18%

More healthcare business managers are in demand since an aging population is causing an increase in medical occupations. Therefore, an MBA in healthcare administration is a wise concentration choice if you want job security on completion of your degree.

This course will look at business management from a healthcare perspective, incorporating modules on handling budgets, policies, and finance at hospitals, hospices, and residential healthcare facilities.

Upon completion of this MBA, you could land a career as a director of health services, a medical services manager, or a health services administrator.

8. Economics

economist working in his office

  • Average Salary: $104,340 per year
  • Job Growth: 8%

Economics programs teach business skills from a financial perspective, with modules concentrating on economic theory, economic principles, economic trends, and best practices.

You will learn about consumer behaviors, pricing, supply and demand, local economies, and the global marketplace, as well as gaining skills surrounding quantifying and analyzing data.

After accomplishing an MBA in economics, most people typically secure jobs in financial roles, such as a behavioral economist, a market research analyst, or a data scientist. Careers in this sector carry attractive wages, with average salaries being over $100,000.

9. International Business

global trade managers meeting in a conference room

  • Average Salary: $104,340 per year
  • Job Growth: 8%

International business MBAs prepare students for professional careers on a global level.

Course modules will focus on international finance, import and export regulations, the global finance market, as well as global supply chains. Practical skills are developed over theory, giving graduates a step up into the world of international business.

Career opportunities following completion of an MBA in international business include roles in various sectors as global trade managers, international sales managers, and in global marketing.

10. Business Administration

business administrators meeting in a conference room

  • Average Salary: $96,180 per year
  • Job Growth: 7%

A master’s in business administration will give the student a broad scope of knowledge to further establish themselves as a serious business professional.

Topics covered will include financial analytics, strategic decision making, and leadership development. Career prospects for this MBA are wide-ranging, and after accomplishing this course, you can expect to be fast-tracked to a senior role in your chosen sector.

If you are looking for a prestigious degree to give you a good grasp of all areas of business administration, helping you further your professional career, then this would be a viable option. After completing this MBA, people typically go on to occupy roles in finance, analytics, or management.

As a non-sector-specific MBA, this degree offers endless possibilities in terms of future careers.

11. Forensic Accounting

forensic accountant checking documents and working on her laptop

  • Average Salary: $90,500 per year
  • Job Growth: 12%

A career in forensic accounting involves investigating financial crimes, including money laundering, tax fraud, and online fraud.

With the rise in computer-related financial crimes on the rise, it’s no surprise to see that employees with expertise in forensic accounting are in high demand.

You may be drawn to forensic accounting if you have excellent attention to details, an inquisitive or suspicious nature, and an analytical thought process. An MBA in forensic accounting will also require you to have integrity, and a strong grasp on data and statistics processing.

Topics you can expect to cover in a forensic accounting MBA include information security, fraud detection, and business ethics.

12. Management

office manager having a meeting with her team

  • Average Salary: $83,610 per year
  • Job Growth: 14%

If you are naturally drawn towards leadership roles and exhibit good people management qualities, you may be well-suited to an MBA with a concentration on management.

This type of MBA will develop your leadership skills, hone staff management skills, and prepare you for practical life as a business manager or high-level executive.

Topics covered will look at conflict management, building customer and employee relations, developing staff, and effective communication, among other things.

13. Nonprofit Management

directors of nonprofit organization in a meeting

  • Average Salary: $83,610 per year
  • Job Growth: 14%

An MBA with a focus on nonprofit management prepares graduates for senior roles within the social sector, with a plethora of skills designed to implement strategies to increase productivity and maximize resources.

Just like businesses, non-profit organizations require knowledgeable professionals to navigate budgets, strategies, and management.

With an MBA in nonprofit management, you can have a positive impact on social campaigns or social services, while also enjoying a lucrative and rewarding career. Potential job roles include director of fundraising, NPO program organizer, and NPO executive director.

14. Business Analytics

business analyst working on her computer in an office

  • Average Salary: $83,610 per year
  • Job Growth: 14%

Business analytics is an attractive concentration for MBA students when you consider how rapidly the market is expanding in this area, with job growth increasing at a rate of 14% each year.

This degree will focus on business skills and data analysis, teaching students how to effectively process and predict data. You can also expect to learn about finance, leadership, and developing business in the global marketplace.

With an MBA in business analytics, you will be well-prepared to secure a job in an analytical career, such as systems analyst, business analyst, solutions architect, and data processing.

This degree would be a good match for those with an analytical mind who enjoy working with data, IT systems, and number crunching.

15. Supply Chain and Logistics

supply chain manager giving instructions to his staff

  • Average Salary: $74,600 per year
  • Job Growth: 5%

As well as providing students with a solid foundation of business principles, an MBA in supply chain and logistics will have a focus on manufacturing, marketing, logistics, purchasing, warehouse management, and quality control.

Careers leading from this course include supply chain manager, logistics engineer, warehouse manager, and logistics planner.

Those selecting an MBA in supply chain and logistics will need to have good organization skills, be good at problem-solving, and have a keen interest in the subject matter.

16. Environmental Management

environmental engineer installing solar roof panels

  • Average Salary: $71,130 per year
  • Job Growth: 8%

With an increased awareness of climate change, businesses around the world are focusing on their environmental impact and policies, which is leading to a greater demand for employees with an environmental background.

A career in this area will be significant and rewarding, both financially and personally. An environmental management MBA will prepare students for careers in environmental science, environmental engineering, and sustainability roles.

Modules will focus on environmental regulations and standards, sustainable business practices, and corporate responsibility. This degree would be well-suited to anyone conscious of climate change who wants to make a positive impact while also building themselves a lucrative career.

17. Accounting

accountant working in her office

  • Average Salary: $70,500 per year
  • Job Growth: 6%

An MBA in accounting covers a broad scope of business practices, but also focuses on the details of accounting and teaches students the skills they need to take on an accountancy-based employment role.

Unlike a master of science in accounting, an MBA in accounting covers a wider business topic range, giving the student more opportunities and job possibilities upon completion. Topics covered will include cost management, leadership skills, and marketing.

Graduates of an MBA in accounting typically go on to occupy careers in bookkeeping and accounting, or secure roles as financial analysts, business executives, or financial advisors.

You might want to consider an MBA with a concentration on accounting if you enjoy mathematics and statistics.

18. Entrepreneurship

young entrepreneur working on her laptop

  • Average Salary: $68,350
  • Job Growth: 7%

This MBA is designed to give proactive self-starters a foundation of knowledge from which they can go on to fulfilling careers in senior professional roles, or start up their own businesses.

Course topics will include leadership skills, financial management, statistics, strategies, marketing, communication, innovation, and business planning.

This course is suitable for those in business who want to work for themselves, or who wish to escalate up their professional ladder at an accelerated speed.

19. Small Business

small business owners checking inventory on his clipboard

  • Average Salary: $68,350
  • Job Growth: 7%

An MBA in small business will equip the student with the core essentials required in business administration, as well as developing their business knowledge from a small business perspective.

Topics covered will include small business finance, leadership, planning, marketing, and development strategies.

This is a course that would suit anyone looking to invest in their own small business or start-up, as well as those currently running a small business who feel they would benefit from a specific improved skill set.

20. Marketing

marketing manager encouraging his team to share their ideas during a meeting

  • Average Salary: $63,120 per year
  • Job Growth: 20%

An MBA in marketing will provide students with the core skills of business administration, as well as covering marketing topics in detail. Course modules may include digital content marketing, brand awareness, consumer relationships, and marketing research methods.

Following completion, graduates can secure positions such as marketing manager, communications officer, or brand manager.

This is a sector that is undergoing rapid expansion, with a growth in demand for employees with a strong knowledge of marketing and business practices.

This MBA would be a wise choice for anyone with an interest in brand or marketing management who wants to develop into a senior professional role.

21. Project Management

project manager preparing their notes before the meeting

  • Average Salary: $64,040 per year
  • Job Growth: 9%

With a concentration on project management, an MBA graduate will have developed a broad set of skills with an emphasis on practical project management.

The curriculum will include modules on finance management, project management strategies, and product development. It will suit a focused individual with good organizational skills and an interest in problem solving and leadership.

Typical job roles you could employ with an MBA in project management are project leader, project manager, and senior project manager.

22. Retail & Sales Management

retail managers checking their supplies

  • Average Salary: $67,600 per year
  • Job Growth: -6%

An MBA in retail and sales management is a good option for those already in the retail and sales management sector who want to fast-track their career to a more senior level.

As well as covering the core subjects of business administration, this MBA will focus in detail on leadership in a retail environment, staff management and development, finance, budgeting, and customer relations.

Emphasis is placed on practical skills over theory, enabling graduates to effortlessly slot into managerial roles within retail.

23. Sports Management

sports manager talking to soccer players

  • Average Salary: $60,370 per year
  • Job Growth: 11%

An MBA in sports management will approach business concepts that are sports industry-specific, covering management skills and leadership, finance, marketing, and business strategy.

If you want to excel in the sports management industry, an MBA in this topic is statistically the best way to accelerate your career and rise above those with master’s degrees in sports.

This course would be ideal for sports fans who want to work in the sports management field.

24. Real Estate

Real Estate broker closing a deal with a senior couple

  • Average Salary: $58,340 per year
  • Job Growth: 7%

An MBA in real estate equips the student with skills in leadership, communication, investment, finance, and risk management. If you have an interest in the business side of property, you might find this MBA appealing, with an increased likelihood of achieving a high earning career upon completion.

You can also learn about negotiation techniques, property appraisal, and legal contracts.

The career outlook following an MBA in real estate can include job roles such as real estate agent, real estate broker, and real estate appraiser, though some positions may require additional licenses.

25. Hospitality Management

hotel manager welcomes guest in the reception area

  • Average Salary: $54,240 per year
  • Job Growth: 11%

An MBA in hospitality management will focus on the practicalities of managing a hospitality service, including leadership, finances, and operations.

As the travel and tourism industry is growing, careers in the hospitality sector are on the rise, making hospitality management a fairly safe choice in terms of future career prospects.

Upon completion of a hospitality management MBA, you could secure a position as a hotel manager, an events coordinator, or a travel agent.

Questions Related to Choosing an MBA Concentration

Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have.

Does an MBA Have a Focus?

Yes, MBAs do have a focus, concentrating on a specific subject or industry while also providing a foundation of the core principles of business administration. MBAs offer numerous concentrations which will appeal to a broad spectrum of professionals.

What Is an MBA Concentration?

A concentration is a specialty area within the business field that most MBA programs either require or allow their students to choose based on their interests and future career plans. Because an MBA degree is so flexible in terms of career options after graduation, there are almost countless concentrations available to MBA students.

Depending on the program, some programs offer 10 or more concentrations that their students can choose from in completing their degree, while some only offer a small handful of concentrations. Online programs offer a variety of MBA concentrations as well.

What Are the Different MBA Concentrations?

MBA concentrations include a range of topics, from skills-based subjects such as accounting or marketing, which could be applied to almost any industry, to more industry-specific concentrations such as nonprofit management and hospitality management.

Do MBA Concentrations Matter?

Yes, MBA concentrations do matter. The concentration you choose for your MBA will greatly impact the career path you follow on the completion of your MBA.

It will prepare you for employment in your chosen field, and therefore should be considered carefully. Choose a concentration you are interested in, and that your personality is suited to. This will help you to thrive in your profession, and ensure that you enjoy it.

Is Choosing a Concentration for Your MBA Worth It?

Choosing a Concentration for Your MBA

Yes, choosing a concentration for your MBA is worth it. MBAs with specific concentrations are statistically proven to fast-track graduates into more senior levels of employment related to their concentration.

Choosing a concentration for your MBA can give you the edge against your competition when it comes to job applications, and drastically improve career prospects, so applying for an MBA program with a concentration you are interested in will reward you both short and long term.

Joy Cromwelle
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.
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