Which M.B.A. Concentration is Right For Me?

By Ellie Walburg on October 16, 2019

The M.B.A. has become one of the most popular versatile postgraduate degrees. From contributing to career advancement, a boost in income and excellence in a competitive marketplace, it's no wonder 25% of all graduate degrees earned from 2011-12 were in business.

And with that versatility comes the opportunity to balance that well-rounded perspective with an industry-specific focus. That's why program concentrations are so valuable.

At Cornerstone University's Professional & Graduate Studies division, the M.B.A program offers you the opportunity to be equipped with foundational curriculum and continue to pursue your particular field with one of four concentrations. Whatever your current industry or position, a concentration in project management, global business, health care or finance can match your interests and fuel your unique path. The program is set up with eight core courses and four six-week, concentration-specific courses that allow you to dive deeper into your interests and leadership pursuits.

To help you chart your path of being equipped for your unique next step, here's a helpful guide in determining which concentration in the M.B.A. program is right for you:

Project Management

Wooden desk with ruler, notebook and orange chair

The project management concentration tends to draw in the most students due to its great versatility and advancement opportunities.

Grow in leadership in your current or aspired career

By extending your knowledge in addition to the practical curriculum from the program's core courses, this concentration can be easily applied to several career opportunities and leadership roles. From business analyst to consultant to project manager, small business management and strategic planner, you can discover best practices in project design, resource management and effective communication as you empower your team members with the resources they need to achieve your organizational objectives.

Pursue relevant topics such as Fundamentals of Project Management, Cost, Quality and Team Management and Communications and Risk Management. With these courses, you'll be able to take a closer look and gain experience in the important field of project management.

Pursue PMP certification

Achieving the project management concentration contributes to your pursuit of the Project Management Professional certification (PMP). The PMP is an industry-recognized national certification that paves the way for advantages and potential boosts in earning potential. The certification is a testament to your competency of global language and also allows you to connect with other project managers in the community.

With this M.B.A. concentration, you'll get closer to achieving this certification in providing the 35-hour education prerequisite, knowledge, skills and information that's also covered in the PMP exam as well as the opportunity to connect with other industry professionals seeking training and certification.

Is this concentration for you? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the field of project management interest me in my current or desired career?
  • Am I interested in using project management skills and experience in a variety of fields?
  • Does a PMP Certification interest me in contributing to my professional development?

Global Business

Graduate students traveling in the Netherlands

Today's marketplace looks much different than it did a century ago with the increasing connectivity and global emphasis of how businesses and society operates.

Be equipped for the global marketplace

To be successful and grow in today's environment, you've got to be active. By continuing to advance your knowledge, skills and experience in navigating global issues, you can be confident in your ability to add value to your organization. You'll also discover additional career opportunities through this concentration, including international banking, relations, trade and business consulting, nonprofit management and public relations.

As you pursue your passion for global business, understanding cultural intelligence and international business practices are essential in relating to and successfully connecting with others. Through courses such as International Business Practice and Global Economic Environment, you'll deepen your understanding of other cultures with the perspective of effective decision-making and advancing processes, all with real-world implications.

Experience a Global Trip

If you have a passion for travel and experiencing what you've learned in the classroom, this concentration incorporates an optional global trip opportunity that allows you to engage with the practical program curriculum in a new way. Even if you've traveled around for work already, engaging in a cross-cultural experience with a specific focus on seeing global business principles in action can have great value for your career. Or, perhaps you've never traveled outside of the United States? This can be your opportunity to join with a group of students in a fully organized and pre-planned adventure.

These optional global trips are designed to give you first-hand experience of global business topics you've gained from the classroom and analyze your real-world findings. These cross-cultural business connections are an invaluable element in developing cultural intelligence and being better equipped in all global business operations. These seven-day global trips are held in January and/or May and include destinations such as Ireland, the Netherlands and England.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I passionate about being equipped to thrive in an increasingly global marketplace?
  • Do I have an interest or passion for travel and experiencing global connections?
  • Do topics such as international business practices and cultural intelligence interest me?

Health Care

The field of health care is an especially relevant industry that requires experienced and qualified leaders to make decisions and direct their organizations toward flourishing.

Grow your career

Take your career in health care to the next level with the leadership and management training and experience gained through this concentration. Grow your earning potential through career opportunities such as administration, project management, policy analyst and other avenues. Demand for these career fields is also high, and salaries reflect that. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for professionals with an M.B.A. in health care is expected to rise 17% from 2014 to 2024. These positions also earn substantial compensation, such as a health care administrator position has average earnings between about $48,000 to $135,000.

As you develop your career opportunities, you'll also be better equipped in making important decisions that shape the direction for your hospital, care facility, residential home or other work environment. By engaging in both practical core courses, such as organizational behavior, as well as key healthcare-specific curriculum, you'll develop your leadership expertise to innovate and advance your organization in meeting the needs of patients, clients and the community you serve.

Build a foundation of health care management

In this health care concentration, you'll engage in specific courses designed to equip you with key competencies in navigating decision-making and leadership in the health care field. Engage in courses like Theory and Quality Outcomes Management and Ethical, Legal and Regulatory Issues for Health Care and Integrative Case Study Analysis in Health Care as you connect real-world issues and class discussions.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I aspire to grow in my leadership experience and advance my career toward an administrator or manager position within the medical field?
  • Do I see a need in the health care community that inspires me to address and make a difference in that context?
  • Do health care-related topics, such as quality outcomes and regulations, interest me?

Finance

Business professional pointing to data on a growth chart

Pair your love for numbers and financial planning with leadership development in this M.B.A. concentration.

Lead with a love for numbers

Extend beyond the core M.B.A. courses of Accounting for Decision Making and Managerial Finance to gain a better understanding of how you can utilize your knowledge and skills to lead your organization toward profitable decision-making.

As you gain in leadership experience and expertise, you'll pave the way for future career opportunities to achieve your professional goals. Explore career opportunities that can often come with a higher income, including corporate finance, financial consulting and management, insurance, international and investment banking and securities management. You can also boost your earning potential with these careers. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics, in 2017, the median salary for financial managers was about $125,000.

With practical experience gained through this finance concentration, you can pursue your career, whether at a local, national or even international level.

Explore financial leadership topics

As a financial leader, understanding key business operations and management processes help inform your decision-making. With this finance-specific concentration, you'll engage in courses such as advanced Managerial Finance, Global Finance and Entrepreneurial Finance to elevate your financial competency at a variety of levels. You'll gain particular instruction and application in business operations such as risk management, financial planning, global policy issues and financial contracts. These courses allow you to add value to your career and lead your organization to thrive.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I currently in or desire to be in the field of financial operations?
  • Do I aspire to extend beyond growing my organization's bottom line to lead with financial strategies and best practices that empower our teams to thrive?
  • Am I passionate about understanding and pursuing financial management at several organizational levels and in different industries?

Discover an M.B.A. With Concentrations Designed for You

Whatever your current or aspired industry, there's a concentration in our M.B.A. program that can help get you closer to achieving your personal and professional goals. And with all concentration courses offered in an online format, you can grow that valuable knowledge and experience when and where meets your needs as a busy working adult.

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Category: Why College