5 Concentrations for a Master’s in Management
Master's in Management Concentrations
- Accounting or Finance
- Information Technology
- International Business
A Master's in Management offers a variety of concentrations to focus on your specific goals for a career in the business world. While they all share a set of core courses to give you a well-rounded understanding of business functions and management theory, each one points you in a different direction to specialize in one critical functional area. Competitive universities continually add or refine their list of available concentrations, but the five listed below are currently in high demand for employers in virtually any industry.
Accounting or Finance
An accounting concentration focuses on financial and managerial accounting methods and systems, as well as topics in tax preparation and financial compliance. A focus in finance is similar, but with an emphasis on raising capital for business expenditures through investment banking and managing shareholder relationships. Accounting includes courses such as "Corporate Accounting and Reporting I and II." Finance includes courses such as "Investment Portfolio Analysis." Both can prepare you to enter a high-level financial role in a corporate setting.
The information technology (IT) field differs from other management concentrations significantly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of management positions in this field are expected to grow much faster than others until at least 2024. This track can prepare you for a role as a Chief Technology Officer or Chief Information Officer. Graduates can be responsible for overseeing technical employees to maintain company networks, safeguard sensitive data, provide technical support, or develop software systems. Courses include topics like "Integrated Data Management" and "Systems Architecture Planning." An IT concentration also teaches valuable information about cyber security and the evolving world of cyber law.
A concentration in international business focuses on the nuances of international or multi-national companies doing business in other countries. Courses such as "Contemporary Issues in International Trade" and "International Finance" are offered on this track. Unique topics such as international law, import/export strategies, and developing cross-cultural relationships are also covered. Companies need graduates with international business experience to help them build and manage foreign subsidiaries, navigate multiple legal environments, manage currency exchanges and develop marketing strategies that appeal to people in diverse cultures.
The marketing track includes coursework focused on sales, advertising, promotions, and other marketing methodologies. Modern Master's degrees with a marketing focus can introduce you to new concepts in digital advertising and how to leverage social media to create deep and direct connections with customers. Courses such as "New Product Development" and "Marketing Communications" round out this concentration. A focus in marketing can open a variety of doors to specialize in any area of marketing in a larger company. Or, it can lead to an opportunity to manage every marketing function across the board for smaller companies with leaner marketing departments.
A focus on leadership focuses less on any specific functional area of business and more on the art and science of managing people. Courses in this concentration focus on organizational behavior, interpersonal skills, and effective communication. This track offers courses such as "Human Resource Management" and "Managing in a Global Economy." While these skills are useful in any area of management, graduates with a focus in leadership are uniquely positioned to take on entrepreneurial roles that require the ability to inspire and motivate others to succeed.
The area that is best for your master's studies depends upon your personal strengths, experiences, and career goals. Each one offers exciting and unique opportunities to climb the corporate ladder or make high-level contributions in a startup venture, but each leads down completely unique paths. Selecting the right focus for your Master's in Management is the key to starting your career on the right track.