There’s been a explosion in specialized MBAs, aimed at a broad range of prospective students, in recent years. A specialization often appeals to candidates who have previous experience in a sector, or who are aiming for a particular career path.
But, if you’re thinking of specializing, which courses offer the best fit with today’s job market? It’s worth bearing in mind that different skills are valued by different sectors, depending on where you are in the world. In the US, product managers in the tech sector are in demand, whereas consulting is huge in Singapore.
According to the 2018 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, hiring demand globally is strongest among healthcare, technology, and energy companies.
But MBA candidates should also think about what excites them—if you’re bursting with ideas and keen to set up on your own, an entrepreneurial specialization may be beckoning.
Here’s five MBA specializations to consider for 2019:
One of the most difficult skills to recruit for this year is big data analysis, according to the Financial Times 2018 MBA Skills Gap survey. In a recent CarringtonCrisp survey of more than 1,200 MBA candidates, technology management was the second-most popular module (behind leadership skills).
If you want to keep up with the tech pack, the latest QS rankings rated a slew of US b-schools, including MIT Sloan and Berkeley Haas. Meanwhile, at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, over 50% of graduates go into technology careers.
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A popular option for MBAs—around 22% end up in this career. Well-paid, with plenty of global opportunities (a recent study showed 84% of millennials were willing to relocate to advance their career), finance is a great choice for candidates who are ambitious but also want stability.
Well-ranked finance specialists include Wharton, London Business School, and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
MBA graduates used to follow a defined path into management, but today many students are running their own businesses at a young age—or at least have a killer idea for one.
According to The Harvard Business Review’s report, Rise of The Global Startup City, there’s been a large rise in the volume of venture deals and capital invested in startups, as well as increasing globalization. Many business schools help develop students’ ventures, with incubator hubs for startups. Stanford Graduate School of Business, IE Business School in Madrid, and Imperial College Business School in London excel in this area.
Find out more about Cranfield School of Management
Marketing has always been a popular career choice, but a recent report from McKinlay says that demand for traditional marketers in the US has grown by 79% in the past year. In addition, digital marketing is skyrocketing—the same report claims it’s the most-hired-for US role in 2018—so it may be a good time to study for that MBA in marketing.
QS rates Stanford as a top destination (22% of its graduates have gone on to work in marketing), and its highest-rated European course was at ESADE in Barcelona.
5. Healthcare Management
The healthcare industry is booming – in the US alone, studies show that between 2016 and 2026, 2.4 million new jobs will be created in the sector. In developed countries there’s an ageing population and more chronic conditions, leading to a demand for healthcare managers.
Top US b-schools that offer an MBA in healthcare management specialization include Harvard Business School and UCLA Anderson. In Asia, Goa Institute of Management and the National University of Singapore offer healthcare specializations.