As the world gets more complex, the labor market gives priority to people with a specialized education who are able to do advanced, specific jobs. What is true for doctors and engineers is also true for MBAs. Bloomberg Businessweek, one of the most prestigious business magazines, identifies only four MBA concentrations as the most promising out of about a dozen possible business specializations.
Finance and Investment Banking
Investment bankers and financiers are among the most highly paid professionals in the United States. A concentration in finance and investment banking requires MBA students to take courses in corporate finance, accounting, investment banking, fixed-income securities and securities trading. The schools with the best finance MBA programs include the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Duke University and Harvard University.
Management and Management Consulting
A concentration in management and management consulting has been the traditional specialization of MBA students. Indeed, the Master of Business Administration degree literally implies a specialization in managing a business. Management consultants rival investment bankers as the most highly remunerated professionals. The courses students who have a concentration in management and management consulting take include managerial economics, strategy and operations. The best schools with a concentration in management and management consulting include Columbia University, Harvard University, University of Michigan, Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania.
An MBA concentration in marketing allows the individual to pursue a career in public relations, or PR; market research; advertising; promotion; and general marketing. Students with a marketing concentration study courses such as behavioral economics, public relations, corporate and social responsibility, advertising and, of course, marketing. The best schools include the University of California at Berkeley, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Virginia.
A concentration in entrepreneurship not only teaches students how to start a company, but also prepares them for a career in the venture capital industry. Students learn how a company is created and what it needs to grow. The best schools for an MBA with an entrepreneurship concentration include Babson College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University.