An MBA or Master’s in Business Administration is one of the most popular graduate degrees among students. In fact, according to the data collected by the US Department of Education, the MBA has surpassed Education as the most popular graduate degree of choice. MBA graduates are also highly sought after by employers. According to the Economist, 89% of full-time MBA graduates find a job within three months.

Given the popularity of this degree, we are now seeing that the traditional MBA is branching out, offering specializations in many areas.

General Versus Specialised MBA

A specialized MBA follows the same principles as a regular MBA, meaning it teaches students the basic principles of management. The difference, however, is that it then allows the student to focus in-depth on a specific industry. An increasing variety of professions and the desire for individuals to acquire a more focused education that pertains to an industry of their interest are the driving factors behind this.

Also while the admissions criteria for enrolling in a regular MBA program does not require you to have a background in business, because a specialized MBA focuses on a certain industry, applicants are required to not only have a relevant academic background, but they are also encouraged to have work experience in that field.

The branching out of the MBA into these different specialized areas, however, has come with criticism from some universities and professors, who feel that a specialized MBA is not necessary as there are Master's programs available for many fields. But those who do favor specialized MBAs believe that it is perfect for individuals who already have experience in a certain field and want to grow further in their career in that same field.

MBA Specialisations

Some of the more popular MBA specializations include an MBA in Accounting, an MBA in Supply Chain Management, and an MBA in Media Studies. It should however be noted that there are also MBA specializations in some nontraditional fields that include an MBA in Football Industries, which prepares graduates for management positions in football, either with clubs, governing bodies, or related media and sponsorship companies. An MBA in Wine Marketing and Management, for the wine lovers out there. This prepares graduates for executive roles in the wine industry. And in addition to that, there are MBA programs that can be combined with other fields. For example, an MBA program can be combined with engineering, meaning that this program will focus on managerial skills related to the field of engineering.

Universities that Offer Specialised MBAs

Here are a few schools that offer specialized MBA programs. Carleton University in Canada has recently launched a dual degree program that combines an MBA with an MA in Financial Economics. Oklahoma City University offers a one-year Global Energy MBA, which provides students with in-depth knowledge of contemporary energy business issues. For students interested in careers in the sports industry, they can look at the University of New Haven, which offers an MBA in Sport Management.

About the Writer: Mohammad Al Onaizi graduated from the American University of Kuwait with a Bachelor's in History and International Studies. He is currently a Marketing Trainee, living in Dubai. He loves sports and has a passion for writing on subjects related to his own personal experiences and international education. He is currently in the process of writing his first fictional novel.