October 21, 2022  |  Purdue University Global

The outlook for professionals with master’s degrees is still bright, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It projects a job growth of 13.6% by 2031 for those with a master’s degree.

An online MBA with a special concentration can give you more targeted managerial experience in a chosen field. These MBA programs can be more flexible than some traditional MBA programs, allowing you to study while you continue to work.

Dr. Jack Deem, DBA, department chair at Purdue University Global’s School of Business and Information Technology, discusses the value of an MBA, different types of MBA concentrations, and more to know about an online MBA.

The Value of Earning an MBA with a Concentration

One of the main reasons to earn an MBA is to broaden your professional opportunities. If you have a specific career in mind, you might want to consider earning an MBA with a concentration. An MBA concentration adds classes tailored to a specific business area onto your MBA curriculum. At Purdue University Global, MBA students who opt for a concentration need to take four or more additional courses.

“Earning an MBA with a concentration really helps prepare you for that next step beyond entry-level positions,” Deem says. “It gives you a deeper dive into various disciplines that you can’t get with a regular MBA.”

Purdue University Global offers seven concentrations for its online Master of Business Administration program that can bolster your value to your workplace. This guide will help you determine which MBA concentrations are best for your career goals.

The Best MBA Concentrations to Consider

Finance

Employment in business and financial operations occupations is projected to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS. Demand is expected to remain strong due to globalization, a growing economy, increasing use of data, and a complex tax and regulatory environment.

With an MBA with a concentration in finance, you’ll learn how to analyze investment strategies for various markets and explore financial management issues that affect international businesses.

Some common career areas for graduates with an MBA in finance may include:

  • Corporate finance
  • Financial planning
  • Financial services venture capital
  • Investment banking
  • Portfolio management
  • Private equity or debt research
  • Risk management

>> Read: What Can You Do With an MBA in Finance?

Global Business

With an MBA in global business, you’ll learn the practical and research-based competencies needed to understand the impact of international differences in cultural, political, economic, and legal systems.

This concentration includes a study abroad option that will allow students to participate either virtually or in person as they work with organizations and scholars outside of the U.S. This real-world experience helps prepare students with the critical knowledge and skills needed to pursue globally oriented management roles.

“The global business concentration is brand new and something we’re really proud of,” Deem says. “It gets into the cultural aspects of doing business outside the United States—and it’s not just overseas. For example, there's a lot of difference in the way business is done in Canada as opposed to the way things are done here in the United States.”

Some common career areas for graduates with an MBA in global business may include:

  • Foreign exchange management
  • Foreign market entry and growth
  • Import and export management
  • International finance
  • International logistics
  • International marketing

>> Read: Why Studying International Business Is Important for Your Career

Health Care Management

According to the BLS, employment in health care occupations is projected to grow 13% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. Medical and health services managers in particular are projected to see a 28% growth in positions, the BLS estimates. This projected growth is mainly due to an aging population and a greater demand for health care services.

With an MBA concentration in health care management, you’ll focus on navigating the changing health care field, including rigorous patient-privacy regulations, staffing challenges, and issues of cost control.

If you earn an MBA in health care management, you might find yourself working in these fields:

  • Clinical management
  • Health information management
  • Nursing home administration

>> Read: Health Care Job Growth Outpaces Other Industries

Human Resources

Human resource managers are expected to experience steady growth in the coming years. According to the BLS, career opportunities are expected to grow by 7% from 2021 to 2031. Many of these job openings are expected to be driven by the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

With an MBA with a concentration in human resources, you’ll explore recruitment and hiring practices, employee training, corporate policies, change management, and executive leadership.

Human resource managers typically work in government, health care, management, manufacturing services, and other fields. The MBA in human resources can prepare you for a role in these fields:

  • Employee and labor relations
  • Payroll
  • Recruiting and staffing

>> Read: How the Society for Human Resource Management Can Help Your Career

Information Technology

Employment for computer and information systems managers—a career that commonly requires an MBA—is projected to grow by 16% from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS. This is much faster than the average for all occupations. This demand is driven by a greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security.

Students who earn an MBA in information technology will examine critical concepts relevant to the IT professional, including systems analysis and design and the management of technology in a business environment.

IT managers often work in these fields:

  • Computer systems design and related services
  • Finance and insurance
  • Management of companies and enterprises
  • Manufacturing

>> Read: What Can You Do With an MBA in Information Technology?

Marketing

Marketing, advertising and promotions managers are seeing a good growth in jobs, according to the BLS. It is projecting a 10% growth rate from 2021 to 2031, driven primarily by the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

WIth an MBA in marketing, you’ll apply marketing research methods and techniques to analyze and implement strategic advertising and develop the skills to manage a sales force.

“The marketing concentration offers core courses including marketing management, which gives a good overview of marketing and its application,” Deem says. “Strategy is probably the most important issue confronting startup businesses. When it gets right down to it, that’s marketing.”

With an MBA with a concentration in marketing, you might find entry into these fields:

  • Advertising
  • Brand management
  • Marketing
  • Market research
  • Promotions

>> Read: What Can You Do With an MBA in Marketing?

Project Management

Outlook for the project management field looks rosy, according to the Project Management Institute. A commissioned study reports that the project management labor force is expected to grow by 33% by 2027.

With an MBA in project management, you’ll strategize, plan, schedule, implement, and determine project deliverables and milestones. You’ll also learn how to address business needs and manage costs.

Deem says this concentration helps graduates learn how to organize projects, track projects, and set teams up for success.

“Truth be told, all of us are project managers,” he says. “The project management concentration is valuable regardless of which industry you end up in.”

Project managers are needed in many different industries. Among these are:

  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Real estate
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation

>> Read: How to Improve Your Project Management Skills

Why You Should Consider an MBA at Purdue University Global

“Every single instructor we have in the MBA program has experience in the area in which they're teaching,” Deem says. “Not only are they academically qualified, they have the practical work experience to benefit students.”

Purdue Global also offers an ExcelTrack® path for its online MBA. This is an accelerated program for highly disciplined, self-motivated learners with strong professional knowledge. Once enrolled, you take a series of assessments to demonstrate what you already know, allowing you to move quickly past certain topics.

To learn more about Purdue Global’s online Master of Business Administration program, including the seven optional MBA concentrations, reach out today.

Filed in: Business


About the Author

Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized, world-class education online that's tailored for adults. We offer 175 programs, including associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees as well as certificates, in areas such as business, IT, education, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, and more.


NOTES AND CONDITIONS

Employment and Career Advancement: Purdue Global does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience, and opportunities for employment. Additional training or certification may be required.

ExcelTrack®: ExcelTrack® is available for select programs. Degree pace and time and cost savings will vary by individual.