10 MBA Specializations You Need To Know About

From horse racing to music business, here's the alternative MBA programs you never knew existed

The face of MBAs is changing. Specialization and flexibility are the buzzwords for business school programs today.

According to GMAC, applications for traditional two-year full-time MBA programs are in decline - 53% of US-based business schools reported a drop in applicants in 2016.

At the same time, applications to specialized MBA and master’s programs are on the rise. And increasingly, business schools are tapping into this trend.

If you’re an MBA applicant searching for something a little different - if you want a more flexible experience or have a desire to be more niche - here are 10 MBA specializations you need to know about:


1. Central Saint Martins Birkbeck, UK: MBA

Dubbed the ‘Art School MBA’, this unusual combination of universities wants to create a new type of business graduate: one who can combine creativity with core financial and strategic management skills. It’s the holy grail for every trend setting hipster businessman or woman.


2. INSEEC Business School, France: Wine & Spirits MBA

It sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? Believe it or not this is a real specialization. You don’t have to be an expert in the industry for the course, a passion for drink is enough with the goal of the program being for you to master the specificities of the spirits and wine market. Cheers to that!


3. University of Liverpool School of Management, UK: Football Industries MBA

Not quite a real life version of Football Manager, but close. Go from the stands to the boardroom on this course run by the Football Industry Group in partnership with FA learning. It’s a one-of-a-kind course that focuses on the professionalism and business of the beautiful game - football, or soccer stateside!


4. London College of Fashion, UK: Executive MBA (Fashion)

See yourself as a fully-fledged fashionista or a master of Instagram selfies? This Executive MBA (Fashion) is designed to help you achieve a leadership role in the fashion industry. This exclusive program has you attending networking events in London and has online sections accessible across the world.


5. University of Liverpool School of Management, UK: Thoroughbred Horseracing Industries MBA

A second spot on the list from the University of Liverpool School of Management. If the soccer industry isn’t your thing, then perhaps horseracing is. This MBA combines the school’s expertise in sports industry management, with the specialist knowledge of the University’s School of Veterinary Science. Can’t say neigh to that!


6. Birmingham Business School, UK: Online MBA

OK, it's not an MBA specialization per se. But Birmingham's is the first, 100% online MBA to be accredited by AMBA. It offers world-class content with maximum flexibility. An immersive, contemporary experience, all without having to leave your yoga pants!


7. NYU’s Stern and the Tisch School of Arts, USA: MBA/MFA in Producing

Where the Creatives meet the Suits. There’s no business like show business and this dual degree aims to give aspiring film producers and those wanting to be leaders in the entertainment industry the knowledge to navigate business entertainment today. It would definitely be on Ari Gold’s resume.


8. Berklee and Southern New Hampshire University, USA: Online MBA in Music Business

The music industry has changed drastically in recent years. Now, there’s a unique online MBA to help you navigate the long and winding road. This program is designed from the perspective of a music industry professional. As one of the most affordable MBAs in the US, it’s hitting all the right notes.


9. Ashridge Executive Education, UK: EMBA for the Creative Industries

Some industries have been slow to adapt to the digital revolution. This course opens up the world of advertising, publishing, film and television and provides extensive industry knowledge, experience and support to students. Endorsed by Channel 4, it’s got to be doing something right with its clear message: let’s get digital.


10. Cranfield school of Management, UK: Defence EMBA

MOABs, North Korea, Russia, cyberattacks… Trump! Defence has never been more prominent. This EMBA is designed to provide education in defence sector management. If you want to be the one with your finger on the button, this is the degree for you.

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