Master of Business Administration candidates face many choices when selecting their course of study. Full-time or part-time? On-campus or online? Local or out-of-state? And then there is perhaps the most significant option: whether to pursue a concentration/specialization area.
Generalist MBA courses typically cover fundamentals from accounting and communications to supply chain and human resources. These subjects are vital for MBA graduates interested in management, perhaps with a long view toward the c-suite.
Most programs also offer a variety of concentrations, opportunities to focus in a specific area through a selection of discipline-specific elective courses. According to GMAC, the most popular concentrations> include:
In aggregate, graduate business programs offer dozens of concentrations. No school offers all possible concentration options; some offer only a few, and some offer none at all.
Many, however, offer the most popular choices. If you love the world of investment analytics and formulae, watch the markets like a hawk, and thrill when juggling data, you may be an excellent candidate for an MBA with a concentration in finance.
This article provides information on how to find the right finance MBA for you. It covers the following topics:
Indeed offers a list of suggested characteristics for prospective finance MBA students, including:
MBA finance programs typically offer specialized courses in:
So why get a finance MBA rather than a Master of Science in Finance? As one Reddit poster puts it: "An MBA is a more rounded education designed for managerial positions [while] an MS in Finance is a very targeted degree [with] depth in a particular area."
The tight focus and specialization of a finance MBA opens the door to a wide world of career paths, including:
Finance MBAs typically work in:
The kinds of career options available to finance MBA degree holders pay well and show good signs of growth for the foreseeable future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts seven percent job growth in business and financial occupations from 2021 to 2031, with about 980,000 job openings per year and the creation of about 715,000 new jobs over the decade. The predicted growth rate for financial managers during that same period is considerably higher: 17 percent.
People in business and financial careers earned a median annual income of $76,570 in May 2021, higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $45,760. Here's the median annual pay in 2021 for some of the jobs held by finance MBA grads, as reported by the BLS:
Admission requirements vary from school to school, but most call for a few essentials:
Students without a finance-related bachelor's degree may have to complete foundation courses such as accounting, finance, statistics, and business administration before beginning graduate studies.
Selecting the right program will depend on your answers to a number of questions, including:
U.S.News and World Report suggests five additional criteria to consider:
The 2017 article puts a particular emphasis on networking. "I believe that finance, especially banking but also corporate finance, is a relation-driven industry, even more than you can expect," said Oscar Rodriguez Fuertes, then an MBA student at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.
Absolutely. If you aren't limited by geography, you have a wealth of remote-learning options. Some classes or assignments may require you to log in live or even show up in person from time to time, but most online programs offer their content asynchronously. That means you can get to it whenever and wherever suits you. If you need to juggle grad school with the responsibilities of a job and/or family, it's an ideal setup.
Schools currently offering online Master of Business Administration degrees include:
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