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15 MBAs that Lead to the Highest Paying Careers

If you’re in a Master of Business Administration, or MBA, program, you’re probably looking to secure a job with more responsibility and higher pay. In some industries, even entry-level candidates are expected to have an MBA. However, not all MBA concentrations rake in the big bucks. Read below to find out which area of concentration can prepare you to earn the highest salary.

Strategy

According to PayScale, MBA students who concentrate in Strategy make over $120,000 a year on average. A graduate’s exact pay will largely depend on his or her job title, though. This concentration can lead to various positions such as:

  • Management Consultant
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Product Manager
  • Management Analyst
  • Business Consultant
  • Business Development Director

The curriculum for a Strategy MBA is primarily aimed at helping students understand how businesses gain a competitive advantage. Unlike many MBA concentrations that hone in on specific technical skills, an MBA in Strategy focuses on the big picture of business development and success.

Finance

One of the most popular concentrations for MBA students, a specialization in Finance prepares students to take on leadership roles within the large and growing financial sector of the business world. Graduate degree programs in business administration with a focus on finance may qualify professionals to work as:

  • Economists
  • Chief Financial Officers (CFOs)
  • Management Analysts
  • Management Consultants
  • Financial Managers
  • Financial Analysts

Many occupations in finance are on the rise. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs for financial managers and financial analysts are growing faster than average.

Graduates of MBA programs in Finance can expect to earn right at six figures on average, according to PayScale.

Computer Science

Among the highest paying MBA concentrations available, a specialization in computer science is associated with average salaries of nearly $125,000, according to PayScale. This emphasis is versatile as well, opening up opportunities for jobs like:

  • Database Administrator
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator

These occupations are in demand, too. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs in the computer and information technology sector are currently growing faster than average and will increase by 11% between 2019 and 2029.

Coursework requirements for a Computer Science MBA can vary significantly depending on the school offering such a degree plan. Still, some common topics of study include computer architecture, machine learning, data mining, and human-computer interaction.

Entrepreneurship

An MBA student with dreams of opening their own business may elect a Master of Business Administration degree plan with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. These programs often emphasize innovation and strive to give would-be entrepreneurs a competitive edge in the cut-throat business world. It typically works, too, if the pay is any indication. The mean annual wage for a professional with an MBA in Entrepreneurship is just over $100,000 per year, according to PayScale.

While most MBA in Entrepreneurship graduates will go on to open and manage their own businesses, others follow other (albeit related) career paths. Additional job titles associated with this MBA concentration include:

  • Management Analyst
  • Management Consultant
  • Product Manager
  • Marketing Director
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO)

In addition to fulfilling MBA core coursework, those students who pursue an Entrepreneurship concentration may study additional topics like product design, entrepreneurial marketing, venture capital, and more.

Marketing

Another tremendously popular option for MBA students, the Master of Business Administration in Marketing is a sought-after credential by employers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for marketing managers are growing faster than average and are projected to increase by 7% by 2029.

Not all Marketing MBA graduates become marketing managers, however. Other jobs they’re qualified for include:

  • Market Research Director
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Sales Director
  • Advertising and Promotions Manager
  • Marketing Communications Director
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Market Research Analyst

The salaries for these occupations will vary. However, PayScale reports the average annual wage for MBA-holders with a specialization in Marketing to be over $93,000 per year.

Business Analytics

In the age of big data, the demand for MBA-trained business professionals with business analytics skills has never been higher. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), data collection and analysis jobs are currently growing much faster than average.

With an MBA in Business Analytics, graduates are qualified for several different careers, including:

  • Marketing Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Management Analyst
  • Financial Advisor
  • Logistics Analyst

These jobs are associated with above-average salaries. According to PayScale, MBA-holders with a specialization in Business Analytics make over $78,000 a year on average.

To earn an MBA in Business Analytics, students must enroll in concentration-specific courses covering topics such as data mining, statistical analysis, data-driven decision making, and more.

Human Resources

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of human resource managers is expected to grow by 6% over the next eight years. That’s faster than the average occupation. As companies grow and expand their staff, they will have a greater need for trained human resources professionals to manage employee benefits, scheduling, and labor laws, for instance.

Graduates of Human Resources MBA programs are well-prepared for a variety of different careers in the field, including:

  • Compensation and Benefits Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Training and Development Managers
  • Labor Relations Specialists
  • Human Resources Specialists
  • Job Analysis Specialists

Many of these positions are quite lucrative. For example, according to the BLS, the salaries for compensation and benefits managers and training and development managers are well over six figures. PayScale reports the average annual wage for professionals with an MBA in Human Resources Management to be just under $70,000.

Students pursuing an MBA credential with a specialization in Human Resources will take specialized courses in subjects such as personnel management, HR technology, organizational change and development, and trends in training and professional development, for example.

Technology Management

Business professionals with an acumen for technology may benefit from an MBA degree program with a specialization in Technology Management. This program emphasis will prepare graduates for high-demand positions in the growing field of computer and information sciences. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this particular field is one of the fastest-growing compared to all other occupational categories.

Once they’ve completed the MBA in Technology Management program, graduates are eligible for a number of top positions in the corporate and tech worlds such as:

  • Information Technology Manager
  • Software Project Manager
  • Information Systems Security Manager
  • Management Analyst
  • Chief Information Officer
  • IT Director

An MBA in Technology Management is one of the most lucrative MBA specializations available. According to PayScale, professionals with this credential make over $115,000 per year on average.

The curriculum for this type of MBA will be comprised primarily of business and technology courses. Specific topics may include IT project management, strategic technology solutions, technology and innovation, cybersecurity, and more.

Healthcare Management

An increasingly popular MBA concentration, Healthcare Management combines the fast-growing fields of healthcare and business. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow by an impressive 32% between 2019 and 2029.

There are different types of healthcare managers, and those professionals with an MBA in Healthcare Management would be prepared to take on specific roles as:

  • Clinical Managers
  • Nursing Home Administrators
  • Healthcare Executives
  • Hospital Administrators
  • Health Information Managers

These positions are very well-paid, too. The BLS reports the median annual wage for medical and health services managers to be nearly $105,000 with the potential to make nearly $200,000 per year.

Business students enrolled in an MBA program with an emphasis in Healthcare Management may take courses in health information systems, healthcare finance, legal and ethical issues in healthcare, health operations, and more.

Project Management

One of the more versatile MBA concentrations, project management, is a broad subfield of business administration. Graduates of a Master of Business Administration in Project Management will enjoy job opportunities in various industries, including engineering, construction, transportation, and more.

Though many graduates will take on positions as project managers after graduation from a degree plan of this kind, other occupational paths are available as well, including jobs as:

  • Project Analysts
  • Executive Officer
  • General Manager
  • Management Analyst
  • Director of Operations
  • Program Manager
  • Project Management Consultant

Many of these positions are associated with better-than-average salaries. PayScale reports the average salary for professionals who hold an MBA in Project Management to be more than $82,000 per year.

Curricula details for Project Management MBAs will vary by school and program, but some common themes include applied business statistics, cost estimation, risk assessment, leadership, and organizational planning.

Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Jobs in logistics and supply chain management are growing steadily, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), so MBAs in this field are a safe bet. These advanced business administration degree plans prepare graduates for various top positions in the industry such as:

  • Logisticians
  • Inventory Control Manager
  • Operations Research Analyst
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Cost Estimator
  • Industrial Production Manager

In addition to job security, an MBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management will also grant graduates a very respectable salary. PayScale reports the annual average wage for professionals with this type of MBA credential to be just under $80,000. Some positions are more lucrative than others; the BLS estimates the median salary for industrial production managers to be over $108,000.

Coursework for a Logistics and Supply Chain Management MBA will address advanced topics in operations management, distribution, global logistics, and project management.

International Business

MBA students with an interest in conducting business on a global scale may consider a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in International Business. A specialty in this sub-field qualifies graduates for many different leadership roles, including:

  • Global Marketing Manager
  • International Logistics Coordinator
  • International Trade Compliance Manager
  • Business Development Coordinator
  • International Sales Manager
  • Global Management Analyst
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

This particular specialty could mean a high return on your tuition investment, too. PayScale reports an average salary of more than $96,000 for professionals with an International Business MBA.

Courses comprising the curriculum for an MBA in International Business may address high-level topics such as international finance, global economics, trade policies, and more.

Real Estate

An MBA in Real Estate can help professionals realize their career goals in this highly competitive field. According to PayScale, real estate agents with an MBA in this specialty make more than double the average wage for this profession.

In addition to core courses in business administration, an MBA in Real Estate requires concentration-specific coursework that addresses topics such as real estate finance, economic analysis, property management, market valuation, and more.

Though many real estate MBA graduates will practice real estate as an agent, other career paths are available, including positions such as:

  • Commercial Real Estate Banker
  • Mortgage Loan Buyer
  • Commercial Real Estate Banker
  • Real Estate Consultant
  • Investment Broker
  • Real Estate Development Manager
  • Real Estate Appraiser

The real estate market can be volatile, which can make things challenging for even the most credentialed professional in the field. Currently, positions in this field are growing slower than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Information Security

Every day, an increasing amount of data is shared online, but some types of information are meant to be kept private. This is where the field of information security comes in. Information security professionals are tasked with evaluating cybersecurity on behalf of government agencies and corporate entities, identifying threats, and developing safeguards.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs in information security are currently growing much faster than average. Positions for information security analysts, in particular, are on the rise and are predicted to increase by 33% by 2029.

Other jobs suited for professionals with an MBA in Information Security include:

  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Information Technology Manager
  • Network Administrator
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Information Security Manager
  • Information Security Consultant
  • Chief Information Security Officer

Once enrolled in an Information Security MBA program, students can expect to study concepts such as risk management, security management, ethical hacking, and computer forensics, for instance.

Environmental Management

Like many MBA programs, a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Environmental Management is an interdisciplinary degree plan. While the curriculum for such a program will depend on the particular school and program, students can expect to take courses in organizational management, sustainability, environmental law, and natural resource management.

An Environmental Management MBA can open the door to many different roles in the field of sustainability, including:

  • Environmental Scientist
  • Environmental Health and Safety Manager
  • Research Safety Specialist
  • Environmental Specialist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Protection Technician

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most of these career paths are expanding as fast or faster than average. This is due in large part to the increased social awareness of environmental issues.

Professionals with an MBA in Environmental Management can expect to be fairly well-compensated for their expertise. These types of MBA-holders make over $66,000 per year, according to PayScale.

There is quite a bit of overlap when it comes to securing a particular career with a specific MBA concentration. For example, whether you major in strategy or entrepreneurship, you can work as a senior product manager or business development director. Overall, MBA graduates earn a median salary of about $90,000 (according to PayScale) and report extreme satisfaction with their jobs across the board. Any MBA concentration that matches your interests should be lucrative and fulfilling.

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