More than 15,670 institutions offer business degrees at all levels, and nearly a quarter of a million MBA students are enrolled in business schools worldwide. While many schools are similar in terms of core curriculum, the specifics of coursework, faculty and philosophies may differ, so it’s important to choose well — especially if you have a particular career in mind.

Also known as concentrations or tracks, MBA specializations allow students to choose elective courses of study. The most popular of these concentrations include:

1. Finance. Students searching for a deeper understanding of domestic and international financial management, banking, and privatization seek out this track which prepares them for a variety of careers, including in financial consulting, consumer and investment banking, merchant banking, institutional finance, corporate finance and international finance.
2. Marketing. Marketing studies offer students a fast track to corporate career success thanks to a focus on consumer behavior, market research and communication skills in marketing, advertising and public relations.
3. Information Technology. Because technology is constantly changing, businesses require managers who can stay ahead of the curve. This concentration prepares future IT managers with skills and knowledge for planning and implementing current and emerging information and communications technologies.
4. International Business. The 21st century global marketplace mandates professionals with an international perspective. The MBA in international business offers students an understanding of international operations. Grads who have concentrated in this field are well-prepared for careers with multinational corporations.
5. Operations Management. This concentration focuses on manufacturing and production, including process flow, vendor communications, and optimal business operations. Potential careers include manufacturing, retail, third party logistics, analytics and many more.
6. Leadership. This quickly growing concentration offers an interdisciplinary education focused on critical aspects of contemporary business success, including finance and marketing, as well as beneficial business practices, such as conflict resolution, team building and corporate communication.
7. Strategy. Another rising field, this specialization prepares students for careers managing complex market dynamics. Coursework includes analysis across a variety of factors, organizational structure, and market evolution and others.
8. Entrepreneurship. A concentration in entrepreneurship not only prepares grads for careers as successful entrepreneurs, but also for managerial positions within companies which prioritize innovation, along with the leaders that go along with it.
9. Innovation. A concentration in innovation offers students a foundation comprising the essential skills, knowledge and critical thinking which promote effective innovation and innovation management.
10. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This increasingly popular field combines management training with cutting edge critical thinking related to corporate social responsibility. Studies include the nature, management and environments of different types of organizations.

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