General MBA vs. Specialized MBA. Which is Best for Me?
Earning your MBA is a smart career move – one that could lead to a promotion and/or a higher salary down the road. Many schools now offer specialized MBA concentrations so you can tailor your degree to meet your career goals, and there are also generalist MBA programs to consider.
All these options can leave you with a lot of questions.
- Should I go back to school for a specialized MBA or a general one?
- Which MBA concentration is the best for me?
- Should I pursue a dual-concentration?
- Wait, what does dual-concentration even mean?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed. We’re here to help you determine which MBA program is right for you.
What is an MBA?
A Master's of Business Administration (MBA) program helps you develop the leadership, business and problem-solving skills that high-level management positions require. In general, MBA curriculums are designed to advance your critical-thinking skills and help you become more comfortable making strategic decisions. The ultimate goal is to make you a more knowledgeable and well-rounded leader.
How can an MBA help my career?
An MBA can help you advance your current career or gain the skills needed to break into a new field. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 18% of all jobs will require a master’s degree by 2022. Data from the BLS also shows that the median salary for full-time workers with a master’s degree was 19% higher than the median salary for workers with a bachelor’s degree in 2017. MBA & MBA Concentration Breakdowns: At Herzing, we offer six different MBA concentrations, a dual concentration option, and a general Master of Business Administration degree program. Let’s break down each option so you can find the program – or combination of programs – that works best for you.
The general MBA program is the basis of all MBA programs offered at Herzing. As a student, you’ll gain a solid foundation in core business and leadership concepts that extend to a variety of different industries, rather than just one in particular. If you are interested in high-level business leadership, this is a great option for you.
If there are specific industries that you would like to work in, you’ll want to consider an MBA concentration. Keep in mind that the following concentrations build off the general program, so there are a few similarities. The main difference is that you also gain specialized knowledge in addition to mastery of key business skills and concepts
The accounting and finance MBA concentration prepare you for management positions in various areas of an organization, including finance and accounting departments, as well as sales, operations, and more. Many of your courses will focus on accounting skills and concepts, so you’ll be prepared to take the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) upon graduation. This certification demonstrates your mastery of accounting principles and can help set you apart from other candidates for advanced positions.
A concentration in data analytics can prepare you for strategic leadership roles, or allow you to gain new skills needed to succeed in an increasingly data-driven business environment. Through the program, you’ll gain experience working with analytics software and learn best practices for deriving actionable insights from data. You’ll also have a chance to practice and hone your presentation skills so that you can effectively communicate those insights to others.
Additionally, graduates of the MBA – Data Analytics program are prepared to earn their Associate Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP) certification, which can serve as an important differentiator in the workforce. If you have a passion for using data to inform better business decisions, this concentration is an excellent focus for you.
If you are a nurse or other healthcare professional looking to transition from clinical practice to management, consider an MBA concentration in healthcare management. You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of legal, ethical and compliance issues in healthcare, as well as modern healthcare issues, trends and tools. As a graduate, you’ll be prepared for leadership roles in healthcare administration, healthcare policy or health information management, and potentially even C-suite roles like Chief Operations Office or Chief Compliance Officer.
If you already have a background in HR, an MBA concentration in Human Resources can help you take the next step in your career. In addition to mastering core business principles and learning the fundamentals of leadership, you’ll learn how to develop HR strategies to improve an organization’s performance and increase employee satisfaction.
An MBA in Project Management can help you learn how to better lead teams of people and handle cross-functional projects so that you can deliver better results. You will also have the opportunity to earn two industry-recognized certifications: Project Management Professional (PMP) and Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA). Many hiring managers require these certifications, and they can help you gain a competitive edge in the market for high-level project management positions.
Contrary to how it sounds, this is not a master’s degree in IT. This is a degree concentration that can help further your technology career into management of IT teams and the business world they’re a part of. If you have a background in IT and are interested in an advanced position, such as IT manager, an MBA in Technology Management can help get you there. The curriculum blends a variety of technology courses, such as information security and systems analysis and design, with more business-oriented courses like human resources management and business and labor law.
8. MBA: Dual Concentration
A dual MBA concentration means that you’ve decided to choose not one, but two areas of specialization. For example, if you’re interested in technology management at a hospital, you could choose to concentrate in both Technology Management and Healthcare Management to have even more employment opportunities after graduation.
Pursuing additional specializations can help you gain a unique and competitive skill set that differentiates you from other candidates competing for the same leadership positions.