How to Choose An MBA Specialization That’s Right For You

mba specialization

An MBA specialization can help you stand out from other MBA degree holders applying for the same position as you. 

More higher education institutions are expanding their specializations outside of the typical finance, operations management, marketing and business strategy fields. For example, Concordia University Chicago offers 8, fully online MBA specializations including project management, accounting, digital marketing, health care management and more. 

How do you decide which MBA specialization is right for you? It’s important to take stock of your past and current career roles, and your future career goals to choose the perfect specialization.

1. Look at Your Past And Current Career Roles

Most people pursuing an MBA have worked multiple jobs and will continue to work while taking courses—especially if they’re enrolled in an online program. To better understand which route to take for an MBA specialization, answer the following questions. 

What are you most interested in? 

Ever wonder why certain general topics in your undergraduate coursework were harder to get through than your degree’s core classes? At the end of the day, if you’re not interested in a subject, the harder the subject is going to be to learn. 

The required credit hours for an MBA specialization is 12, so you don’t want to torture yourself learning about intermediate corporate finance if you don’t have any interest in the subject. Figure out which topics you’re most interested in discovering more about, and this will lead to your career choice.    

What are your talents?

Make a list of your talents from past and current roles to see which areas you thrive. Which MBA specializations would these talents transfer to the most? Which MBA specializations would these talents transfer to the least?

For example, if you had a past successful leadership role, then you may be interested in the MBA in Leadership and Change Management. On the other hand, if you are talented with numbers, budgeting, and analysis, then you may be interested in the MBA in Accounting.  

Which skills need improvement? 

An MBA program will improve your leadership, management and organizational skills as well as skills based on the specific specialization you choose. Take note of your specific soft and hard skills that need improvement based on past experiences. Knowing both your strengths and weaknesses will better prepare you to push past your comfort zone into a fulfilling career.  

2. Look at Your Future Career Goals

If you go into an MBA program without knowing your future career goals, then you may find yourself struggling. Answer the following questions to better understand why you want to earn a specialized MBA in the first place. 

What is your ideal career position? 

Thanks to job hosting sites like LinkedIn and Indeed, you don’t have to search too hard to see which companies are hiring for your ideal position. Research using these sites to see what kinds of positions are available today, and if any strike you as particularly interesting. 

Record their job responsibilities, candidate experience, potential salary, education requirements, etc. Although the job landscape is constantly changing, it’s important to have a grasp on your ideal position. You can more easily decide which MBA specialization is right for you based on your findings.  

What does your ideal work-life balance look like?

Know your ideal work-life balance and how it pertains to your future career. For example, if you despise traveling for work, but all the positions you’ve researched require a lot of travel, then that’s probably not going to be the best fit. 

Other factors that may affect balance include commute time, proximity to daycare, how many hours a day you work, working on the weekends and job benefits. Having an ideal work-life balance usually leads to better work at the office and more quality time at home, so consider this when planning for your future career.  

What is your ideal salary goal? 

Graduates of an MBA program want to know they’ll be getting a return on their investment, usually in the form of a higher salary. Keep an ideal salary goal in your mind—write it down. MBA graduates’ salaries vary depending on location, company size and field of work. Therefore, choosing the right specialization based on these factors can help you achieve your salary goals. 

Choose CUC for Your MBA Specialization

Choosing which MBA specialization is best for you is the first step in achieving your career goals. Concordia University Chicago helps students earn an MBA at their own pace, with flexible fully online degrees.

Aside from the general MBA degree program, CUC offers the following MBA specializations:   

To learn more about Concordia University Chicago and our MBA programs visit our overview page

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