A master's degree in a business-related field can help you get promoted to higher-level positions within a company or department. It also serves as a path to a career transition for those with undergraduate degrees in non-business arenas. While a Master of Business Administration is easily the most popular graduate business degree, other specialized program options exist.
Master of Business Administration
The MBA degree is common because it provides a broad range of advanced business courses that give grads greater flexibility in applying the education to their career. A typical MBA program lasts one to two years and includes courses in strategic management, human resources, finance, accounting, international business, logistics and marketing. While many MBA students are looking for opportunities in management or entrepreneurship, others simply want to increase earning power and career flexibility.
Master of Accounting
For students who have a more focused career path, a specialized graduate business degree offers more career-specific coursework. The Master of Accounting, sometimes called the Master of Accountancy, is useful for current or aspiring accountants who either want to operate their own accounting firm or obtain a senior-level position in an accounting firm or company. Students pursuing this degree often have undergrad accounting degrees and many have earned the certified public accounting credential. A grad program in accounting involves analysis, forecasting and market planning.
Master of Finance
While financial management is a significant piece of the MBA, students in financial careers with undergrad degrees in business or finance may prefer this specialized degree option. In this grad program, students learn to apply financial processes and use tools for statistical analysis, financial modeling, portfolio management, banking assessment and other types of financial research. Finance professionals or aspiring investment professionals may opt for this type of focused finance degree.
Master in Management
Management and business administration are often confused at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Business administration encompasses a broad range of strategic, finance, human resources and accounting areas, whereas a master's degree in management centers squarely on management processes, supervision and decision-making. This degree is appropriate for someone looking to run his own company or to take on a significant leadership role in a business.
Master in Marketing
A master's degree in marketing is useful for a marketing professional looking for promotion opportunities to marketing manager or director positions. In this field, a graduate student often engages in more hands-on case studies where he learns to apply principles of branding, market segmentation and promotion. Even veteran marketing professionals may find value in this business graduate degree.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.