Tips for Choosing an MBA Concentration

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Monday, May 10, 2021

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Tips for Choosing an MBA Concentration 


Deciding to pursue an MBA is a big decision. Choosing whether to specialize with a concentration can feel like an even bigger decision. There are a few things you should consider before making your choice.  

1. What are you passionate about?  

Before you choose to do a general MBA or a specific concentration, you should consider what topics you are passionate about and what subjects create the most curiosity for you. Your passion for a topic can sustain you  when graduate school inevitably gets difficult. If you aren’t passionate about the topic, it will be easy to become discouraged when classes get tough. Passion around the topic youre studying will help keep your mind determined, ensure you’re asking good questions, and connect you with like-minded professionals.  

You should also consider what topics pique your curiosity. What area of business do you want to learn more about? Since you are investing a lot of time and money in your education, it should be in an area you actually want to explore. The passions and interests that you have can motivate you to move forward when you feel like giving up and offers an exciting opportunity to apply what you are learning towards topics you are passionate about. 

2. What is your background in?  

What field have you been working in? Is this where you see yourself in 5-10 years? Are you still curious about this subject? Your work experience can be a good indicator of what you should pursue at the master’s level. Looking back, think about what skills/knowledge you wish you had at different points throughout your career.  

Do you want to continue in this area? 

Combining your experience with your passion is a great way to make sure you choose an MBA concentration that you love and can help take your career to the next level. If you would like to continue in the area you have been working in, getting an MBA with a concentration in that area will provide you with the skills you need to do that job even better. 

However, many choose an MBA because they are hoping to make a career change and need skills and knowledge to do a particular job well. The credentials that an MBA provides can be a gateway into a new industry or area of business 

Before choosing an MBA concentration, you need to decide whether you want to continue in the area you’re currently working in and expand your knowledge and credentials, or whether you would like to change paths and work towards developing new skills that can help you move into a new career field.  

You probably know whether you should continue with the same field or move towards a different one. Consider what you see yourself doing long-term and where you see the most opportunity. Consider whether you like the job/jobs you’ve been doing. Consider if you feel challenged in a way that drives you. Your career is something you should find exciting and intriguingSimilarly, your MBA concentration should be something that excites and intrigues you as well. 

3. What skills do you want to develop?   

Many people choose an MBA concentration based on the gaps in knowledge they have seen and experienced in their previous positionsKnowing what specific skills you would like to develop through a master’s program is a great way to ensure that you choose a concentration that will make a difference in the work that you do.  

In general, an MBA is going to provide you with foundational business knowledge that can help you make and communicate strategic decisions at any organization. MBA specializations help you develop specific skills even further.  

So, what skills do you want to develop? Make a list of things you want to learn and then do some research on what skills the programs you are interested in can help you develop. You can tell a lot about the value of a program by listening to alumni testimonies, talking to professors or admissions counselors, and looking at course catalogs. 

4. Do I need to choose a Concentration?  

Choosing the right MBA concentration can help you reach your career goals and get you on a path towards your dreams. However, choosing a concentration may not be necessary. A general MBA is a valuable resource that can also help you advance your career. A general MBA allows you to develop a wide range of transferrable skills. This is valuable to employers and shows hiring managers that you are serious about doing your job wellcommunicating effectively, and solving problems for your organization 

If you are confident about the business sector that you want to work in, then choosing an MBA concentration that teaches you the specific skills you need for that area would be a good idea. However, if you aren’t sure which area of business you’d like to be in long term or would just like to gain a broad professional skillset, then a general MBA would be a great option for you.   

Choosing an MBA concentration is not required to earn your MBA, but it may be valuable to spend your time and resources on a specialized skillset. If you want to specialize, you need to consider your passions, what experience you have, and what career goals you want to achieve.  


If you would like some guidance on what type of MBA concentration you should pursue, take our MBA Concentration quiz for some ideas on what a good fit for you may be.  

Blog HomePosted By: JBU Graduate School Writers - 5/10/21 2:30 PM

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