Whether you are a business owner, general manager, restaurant manager, marketing manager, supervisor, or even a regular business employee looking to improve your career outlook and move up the ladder or boost your business, there are plenty of benefits to getting a master’s of business administration (MBA) degree. However, there are many different MBA concentrations to choose from and it can be quite confusing to work out which one is the right one for you, especially if you are not yet sure exactly where you want your future career to take you. We’ve put together some tips to help you find the right MBA concentration for you.
Consider Your Work Interests
What are you interested in the most when it comes to your line of work? Do you enjoy the work that you currently do or would you be more interested in moving into another area? It can be difficult to come up with an idea for which concentration to take if you are not sure where you’d like the degree to take you, but the good news is that you can take a general MBA program and choose electives later as you get a clearer idea of what you enjoy the most as you are studying – it is up to you. To help you decide whether you should take a general MBA or a specific MBA concentration, consider coming up with a list of the things you enjoy the most and least at work.
Rule Out What You Don’t Want
As important as it is to think about what you like doing, if you’re not sure which concentration to choose, then it can be helpful to rule out what you don’t want to do and narrow your list of options down. There are plenty of interesting MBA concentrations available to study but these might be completely useless to you if you’re not going to enjoy them or if they’re not going to do much for getting you on the career path that you want to take. Consider making a list of the things that you haven’t enjoyed very much in your career so far. Make a list of all the available MBA concentrations and go through them one by one, dividing them into lists of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ – and perhaps ‘maybe’.
Consider Your Career Goals
Considering your overall career goals is super important when deciding which MBA concentration to take. The good news is that you can typically boost any business career with a general MBA; however, it can help to get a qualification that specializes in the main thing that you want to do. Take some time to seriously think about where you want your career to take you and where you see yourself in the next few years. Decide whether your future career is going to look similar to what you’re doing now, just at a higher level, or whether you’re looking to move out of the area of business that you currently work in and try something different.
Think About Alternative Options
Getting an MBA is a huge investment of your time and money so it’s always a good idea to consider the alternative options available and decide whether this is actually the right route for you. There are various pathways to consider when it comes to reaching your career goals and you may find that a professional certification or another form of on-the-job training is going to be a better option for you than an MBA. It’s a wise idea to do plenty of research into every option available to determine which one is most suited to your needs.
Speak to Your Employer
If you are employed and are considering getting an MBA to boost your career and help you move up the career ladder at your current place of work, there are plenty of reasons why speaking to your employer about it is always a good idea. By sitting down and having a conversation with your employer about your plans, you can ask them which MBA concentration they would recommend that you take for the type of work that you hope to do for them in the future. They’ll also be able to let you know how likely it is that they will be hiring, and give you feedback on anything else that you can improve in order to get the position. You’ll also be able to find out whether your employer actually requires you to get an MBA in order to get the promotion that you want – you may be surprised. Finally, speaking to your employer before you start gives you a chance to ask if they offer any support with tuition and funding for employees that you can take advantage of.
Compare MBA Programs
Now that you’ve got a better idea of where you want your career to take you based on your goals, interests, and what your employer says about the situation, you’re in a better position to compare different MBA programs and concentrations. Spend some time researching different MBA programs and see which ones have features that align with your goals. For example, if you’re currently working in one area and have the main goal of moving into upper-level marketing, it’s worth looking for marketing MBA programs that you can fit around your working life. On the other hand, if your ultimate goal is to start your own successful business in the future, consider an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship and leadership. Click here for more information on choosing the right MBA for you.
Studying Online or On-Campus?
As you research MBA programs, you’re likely to come across both online and on-campus options. Consider which is best for you based on your circumstances. Online MBA programs are becoming increasingly popular among people who are unable to take time off work and want to continue their lives as normally as possible while studying. They’re an ideal choice if you’d like to continue in your career as you study or if you have other commitments that would be difficult to juggle education around.
Choosing the right MBA concentration isn’t always easy. Think about what you enjoy and what you’d like to do with the qualification in the future to start narrowing your options down.