The 10 Highest-Paying MBA Specializations

Earning an MBA degree from the right institution can widen your options outside the Nigerian job market. However, in an increasingly globalized world, choosing the right specialization to go with your MBA can put you on the path to stratospheric career success.

This article will reveal the 10 highest-paying MBA specializations in demand currently and the factors to consider when choosing a specialization. So keep reading to improve your prospects.

Comparison Table

Specialization Salary (on average in the US)
Sustainability $60,000 (as a healthcare administrator)
Artificial Intelligence $150,000
Enabling E-Commerce and Digital Strategy  $73,000
Doing Business Across the World $135,000
Managing Hyperconnectivity $103,000 (as a cybersecurity analyst)
Entrepreneurship $100,000
Business Analytics $126,000
Finance $98,000
Marketing Management $91,000
Data Analytics $90,000

The 10 Highest-Paying MBA Specializations in 2022

After having a sneak peek at the highest-paying MBA specializations, let’s examine each one in detail.

1. Sustainability

Climate change casts a huge shadow over humanity’s future development. Food shortages and healthcare challenges are some of the ills predicted to befall societies worldwide as the crisis worsens. Yet, at the same time, alternative energy sources are being developed to tackle the problem.

With an MBA specialization in Sustainability, you’ll examine the challenges the climate crisis poses to the agriculture industry, obtaining valuable skills along the way that include supply chain management, applications of machine learning in the agricultural sector, and more.

You’ll also learn about renewable energy sources and policies, setting yourself up for a future in an energy company that’s moved away from fossil fuels. You’ll also learn about healthcare administration in a global context.

For your knowledge and efforts, you can expect an MBA healthcare administration salary or another branch of Sustainability to start from $60,000 in the US.

2. Artificial Intelligence

The real-world applications of Artificial Intelligence continue to permeate every facet of business life, so setting yourself up for an MBA specialization in Artificial Intelligence is wise. You’ll learn about neural networks and machine learning and how they can be applied in a business context for success.

Additionally, you’ll acquire knowledge on data analysis, learn how to use analytics tools, and facilitate communication between all stakeholders involved in a company. Finally, understanding robotics and automation will set you up for a future workforce where many jobs performed by humans will be deemed obsolete.

The MBA in Artificial Intelligence salary is very appealing, starting at $150,000 in the US.

3. Enabling E-Commerce and Digital Strategy

As more people worldwide get internet access, e-commerce is set to grow, especially in the developing world. Therefore, a specialization in e-commerce will prove a sound investment in the long run.

With the Enabling E-Commerce and Digital Strategy specialization, you’ll explore different e-commerce models, including business to business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C), business to government (B2G), and consumer to consumer (C2C). Additionally, you’ll learn about the regulatory and policy frameworks that enable e-commerce.

Meanwhile, the digital transformation aspect of your studies will help you to implement digitization in the workplace, including acquiring digital talent, company culture transformation, etc.

Your E-Commerce knowledge should ensure you receive a salary of roughly $73,000 in the US.

4. Doing Business Across the World

Globalization has brought about the need for professionals who understand how to interact with business people from different cultural backgrounds. An MBA specialization in Doing Business Across the World will provide you with the skills needed to transact across borders.

With this specialization, you’ll learn how to identify and act on opportunities in some of the most populated regions and countries in the world, namely China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, you’ll acquire fluency in their culture, history, and business practices and learn how to navigate the complexities of these interactions while maximizing opportunities.

If you use your specialization in Doing Business Across the World to become a Director of Global Business, your salary should start at around $135,000 in the US.

5. Managing Hyperconnectivity

In an ever-connected and globalized world, cybersecurity issues have become more prominent. An MBA specialization in Managing Hyperconnectivity will set you up for a future in cybersecurity and the Internet of Things (IoT).

You’ll learn about the tools, goals, and strategies involved in keeping connected networks secure and bad actors out. Also, you’ll learn about the IoT as it relates to device management, ecosystem design, monetization prospects, and cybersecurity analysis, among other knowledge.

A specialization as a cybersecurity analyst will fetch you a mouth-watering salary in the range of $103,000 (in the US).

6. Entrepreneurship

Future C-Suite aspirants will do well to obtain an MBA specialization with an entrepreneurial focus. It doesn’t matter whether you start the company or move up the ranks of an existing one–getting the know-how needed to steer a company to success is an incredibly valuable skill.

With a specialization in Entrepreneurship, you’ll set yourself apart by knowing how to identify opportunities and innovation, how to create business plans, raise capital, develop and launch products, and keep a business afloat. You’ll also learn the soft skills needed for a leadership role and the legal and regulatory structures that hold the company together and keep it in check.

For your efforts, expect to earn a salary in the region of $100,000 in the US.

7. Business Analytics

The demand for professionals skilled in analyzing big data has skyrocketed, thanks to the increasingly digitized business environment. As such, a specialization in Business Analytics will make you a highly sought-after candidate for job roles that require analyzing business data.

As a business analyst, you’ll provide your employer with recommendations based on business data, acting as a bridge between information technology and business. Understanding how to interpret data and statistics and knowledge of how companies are affected by these factors will be crucial to your career success.

Meanwhile, an MBA in Business Analytics salary brings in upwards of $126,000 in the US job market.

8. Finance

Finance professionals will be in demand for a very long time as businesses can’t survive without proper financial planning and forecasting. Therefore, a specialization in Finance will set you up for entry into a job market where your skills and knowledge will be in high demand.

Finance professionals gravitate to commercial and investment banks, large and small financial institutions (including wealth management companies and hedge funds), and businesses in every economic sector. There, they offer financial analysis and planning, among other services.

A specialization in Finance could fetch you $98,000 in yearly pay in the States.

9. Marketing Management

Companies can’t earn revenue without great marketing and efficient use of marketing resources and channels. Therefore, an MBA specialization in Marketing Management will open doors to companies in all sectors.

As a marketing manager, you’ll oversee the marketing efforts of your future employer and manage its marketing resources well. Additionally, your other day-to-day tasks will include formulating marketing strategies and pricing products to meet demand, all to maximize profits earned by the organization.

If you need any more convincing, the MBA in marketing management salary in the US is impressive at $91,000.

10. Data Analytics

Data Analytics involves processing data to hit on solutions to problems faced by an organization. You’ll employ machine learning algorithms to various data formats such as text, images, audio, video, etc., and arrive at conclusions you’ll use to benefit your employer.

The role is similar to business analysis, with the main difference being how you use data. While business analysts are concerned with using the data to make business decisions, you’ll dive deeper into the data like a data scientist. Additionally, it’ll be your job to provide the business analysts in your company with the data needed to do their job.

Knowing how to use data infrastructure and understanding machine learning in the US will fetch you a handsome pay packet of around $90,000.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an MBA Specialization

It’s important to consider the following factors to choose the MBA specialization best suited for you.

Your Career Goals

It’s crucial to dig deep and determine what you want to achieve with your MBA. What are your long-term career goals? Does the specialization align with said goals? Once you can answer these preceding questions, it’ll be easier to select a specialization.

Also, in some instances, the skills you bring to the table will determine how quickly you can advance up the corporate ladder, so your MBA specialization should match your career aspirations.

Your Interests

Whether done online or in-person, an MBA is a commitment of time and effort, usually taking at least two years to complete when done full-time and even longer on a flexible schedule. In addition, MBA specializations add even more modules to the core ones on your MBA.

Therefore, you should aim for specializations that’ll sustain your interest over time to complete it without hiccups.

Job-Readiness

An MBA offers the chance to upgrade your knowledge and position yourself for more challenging and higher-paid roles in business organizations.

Specializations may make you even more marketable for specific roles that are in high demand and have a shortage of qualified candidates. Knowing that these roles exist and that there’s demand for them, and said demand would only increase in the future should drive your decision.

Salary Prospects

In addition to knowing that the skills you’re acquiring will be in demand, you’ll want to know that there’s handsome compensation waiting for you when you’re ready to enter the job market. Excellent salary prospects will help to keep you motivated throughout your learning journey.

FAQs

Is an MBA Specialization Really Necessary?

We think so. While an MBA will give you general business knowledge, a specialization allows you to zero in on specific skills, some of which are currently in high demand or will be highly sought after in the near future.

Are MBA Specializations Compulsory?

No. However, MBA specializations are highly recommended because they teach you practical skills to make you stand out to recruiters when you’re ready to enter the job market.

Which MBA Specializations Are Good for Working in a Startup?

There are quite a few specializations that could land you a job in a startup environment. Some of the best ones include Finance, Marketing, Sustainability, Doing Business Across the World, and Entrepreneurship. But, of course, it all depends on the needs of your future employers, so doing your research is critical.

Conclusion

Choosing the right MBA specialization will improve your career prospects and make you job-ready in an increasingly globalized workforce.

Specializations in Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, and Managing Hyperconnectivity are future-looking qualifications, while Finance, Business Analytics, and Marketing Management specializations are tried-and-tested skills in businesses of all stripes.

When choosing an MBA specialization, consider factors such as your career goals, interests, and how job-ready it is.

 

Ready to take the next step and discover how a Nexford MBA specialization could increase your salary as a working professional? Download our brochure or book a call with our Nexford Advisors!

About the Author

Joe McGoldrick

Known for strategy and attention to detail

Joe has more than 10 years of marketing experience, working within the public sector, client-side, and agency side.

He is passionate about using data and customer insights to improve marketing performance.

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