Everything You Need to Know About Management MBAs

Are you ready for a leadership role or to advance on the corporate ladder? An MBA in management offers targeted training to help reach your goals.

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by Alison Plaut

Published August 19, 2022

Reviewed by Krystal Covington

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Everything You Need to Know About Management MBAs
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All types of businesses need strong leadership from qualified professionals and often look to MBA graduates to fill management roles. An MBA in management is a traditional MBA qualification with an emphasis or specialization in one or more management fields. Graduates with management MBAs can enter management careers in various fields including human resources, healthcare, sports, education, engineering, or nonprofit management.

Strong emotional intelligence, independent thinking, and a collaborative personality can lead to greater success in an MBA program and in future leadership roles. Professionals who want to take on leadership roles are well suited for a management MBA.

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Common management MBA concentrations include:

What Can I Expect From a Management MBA?

Students can choose from on-campus, online, and hybrid MBA formats. Both on-campus and online MBA degrees must adhere to the same rigorous accreditation standards. Program lengths can vary widely, with graduation requirements ranging from 30-72 credits. MBA programs usually require 1-2 years of full-time study.

Management MBAs vary in cost. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of tuition and fees for a graduate program in 2020-21 was $19,749. Accelerated and online programs that require fewer credits to graduate are sometimes the most cost-effective options. In-state tuition at a public college is often less than tuition at a private college.

Many of the top MBA programs are taught using the cohort model. In this model, students gain experience working in teams and build a strong network while moving through a set 1-2 year curriculum. Other on-campus and online programs offer asynchronous options for working professionals.

Popular MBA program specializations include finance, entrepreneurship, international management, and operations management. Management MBAs offer further specialization in one area of management. Specializations may require additional credits beyond a 30-credit general MBA. Programs that require 60 credits or more for graduation often include specialization credits.

Types of Master's in Business Administration Management
Type of Management MBA Key Topics Common Courses Potential Management Careers
General Management
  • Leadership
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Human resources management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global business
  • Introduction to finance
  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Project manager
  • Accountant
  • Financial manager
  • CEO
  • Management consultant
  • Operations research analyst
Operations Management
  • Leadership development
  • Strategic finance
  • Accounting
  • Strategic management
  • Supply chain management
  • Customer service
  • Logistics
  • Human resources management
  • CEO
  • Senior project manager
  • IT manager
  • Sales manager
  • Marketing manager
Project Management
  • Project tools and strategies
  • Strategic project management
  • Agile project management
  • Risk assessment
  • Managerial finance
  • Human resources management
  • Construction project manager
  • IT project manager
  • Senior project manager
  • Health services project manager
  • Project management consultant
Engineering Management
  • Manufacturing strategies
  • Supply chain management
  • Technology development
  • Managerial theory for team management
  • Business logistics combined with engineering production
  • Foundations of operations and engineering management
  • Organizational behavior
  • Financial management
  • Project management and budgeting
  • Quality assurance manager
  • General manager
  • Project team leader
  • Budget manager
  • Process manager
Construction Management
  • Management strategies for construction projects
  • Accounting and finance for construction
  • Business interface with architecture, engineering, and construction firms
  • Project management
  • Finance and accounting
  • Human resources management
  • Architectural and engineering manager
  • Civil engineer manager
  • Contracts manager
  • Senior project manager
  • Site supervisor
Human Resources Management
  • Human behavior and effective leadership
  • Organizational change
  • Human resources best practices
  • Organization and ethics
  • Effective team leadership
  • Managing organizational change
  • Personnel and evaluation practices
  • Human resources manager
  • Employee experience manager
  • Human resources consultant
Sport Management
  • Management and businesses applied to scholastic, collegiate, professional, and amateur sports and fitness
  • Economics
  • Legal issues
  • Business ethics
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Human resources management
  • Fitness center manager
  • Sports team manager
  • CEO of a sports team or organization
Information Systems Management
  • The intersection between business and technology
  • Organizational process
  • Data and security
  • Risk analysis and forecasting
  • Cloud computing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Enterprise systems
  • Managing innovation
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Information security analyst
  • Computer and information systems manager
  • CEO
Healthcare Management
  • Healthcare administration
  • Best practices in healthcare
  • Human resources and financial management
  • Health systems management
  • Economics for decision-making
  • Information systems
  • Statistical analysis
  • Business leadership and human values
  • Medical records technician
  • Hospital CEO
  • Healthcare administrator
  • Project management specialist
  • Pharmaceutical product manager
Supply Chain Management
  • Supply chain logistics
  • Strategic transportation management
  • Logistics systems and analytics
  • Global logistics management
  • Management and organizational behavior
  • Logistician
  • Supply chain manager
  • Purchasing manager
  • Demand planner
  • Management analyst
Insurance and Risk Management
  • Risk assessment
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data analysis
  • Statistics
  • Insurance for business
  • Interest rate risk management
  • Enterprise risk management
  • Statistics for risk management
  • Valuation
  • Risk analyst
  • Audit and assurance supervisor
  • Operational risk consultant
Nonprofit Management
  • Nonprofit management
  • Fundraising
  • Finance and marketing
  • Memberships, donors, and foundations
  • Strategic management for nonprofits
  • Human resources management and law
  • Ethics for nonprofits
  • CEO, president, or manager of a nonprofit
  • Fundraising manager

How Much Can I Make with a Management MBA?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graduates with a management MBA can earn a median annual salary of $74,000 as a community manager as of 2021. The highest-paid median salary for management MBAs, as of May 2021, was $159,010 for computer and information managers.

As per the BLS, many jobs with a management MBA can pay median salaries between $101,340 for health services managers and $133,380 for marketing managers per year. In addition, financial managers earned a median annual salary of $131,710 in May 2021. Public relations managers made a median salary of $119,860 per year the same year.

A graduate with a specialized MBA could have higher earning potential than a graduate with a general MBA. But salaries depend on the specialization, region, and company.

Applying to a Management MBA Program

Admissions

Online and on-campus MBA programs usually have similar admission requirements. Top-rated MBA in management programs can be competitive, as they look for highly qualified professionals who are ready to grow into leadership positions.

To apply for MBA programs, applicants usually need to submit an application with a resume. Many programs also ask for letters of recommendation to verify a candidate's preparedness. Application essays, official transcripts, and an admissions interview are common in the MBA application process.

You can pursue an MBA with almost any undergraduate degree, but some schools may favor applicants with foundational knowledge in business, communication, finance, or another related discipline. The best bachelor's degrees to pursue for an MBA include business, STEM, or humanities and social sciences. Many MBA programs look for a 3.0-3.5 undergraduate GPA, although top programs may expect higher GPAs.

Accreditation

Prospective students should choose a program offered from an accredited college or university. Accreditation is important verification to future employers that students completed an adequate course of study with relevant experience.

In addition to institutional accreditation, many MBA programs have earned business-specific programmatic accreditation.

The major MBA programmatic accreditation bodies include:

Cost

MBA costs vary widely by the college. Program length is one cost factor. Some accelerated programs only take a year, often leading to cost savings. In-state tuition at public colleges is often less than out-of-state tuition. In comparing public and private graduate school costs, public schools typically cost less than private schools.

While MBA costs can be substantially higher than other graduate degrees, graduates' earning potential is also often higher. Students can reduce the costs of management MBAs through business scholarships and grants.

Is a Master's in Business Administration Management Right for Me?

Professionals with 5-6 years of experience interested in moving into management or leadership positions are common candidates for MBA programs. However, no prior work experience is necessary to earn an MBA. Some students prefer to earn an MBA immediately after earning a BA.

Anyone interested in entering one of the many management fields including human resources, healthcare, or tech can benefit from a management MBA. A management MBA may not be a good fit for professionals who don't enjoy working with others or who don't want to lead a team.

An MBA in management that aligns with a professional's career or target industry can lead to more opportunities, especially in technical fields like computing or engineering. All management MBAs teach business and management fundamentals that prepare graduates for leadership in diverse workplaces.

Pros and Cons of a Management MBA

Pros of a Management MBA

  • A management MBA can lead to career advancement opportunities.
  • Professionals learn real-world management strategies and gain hands-on experience.
  • A management MBA can lead to a promotion or higher median salary.
  • Business schools provide professional networking opportunities for career growth.

Cons of a Management MBA

  • Even with a management MBA, there is no guarantee of a desired career or position.
  • MBA graduates still often need work experience to access significantly higher positions and salaries.
  • Professionals may need to take time out of the workforce or earn a degree while working, which can create personal or financial strain.
  • An MBA is a graduate degree with one of the highest average costs.

Continuing Education

While most MBA graduates don't pursue further graduate studies, some graduates choose to earn a doctorate in business administration or a doctorate in human resources. These doctoral degrees can lead to careers teaching in colleges or in research.

Earning additional certifications is a more common continuing education path for MBA graduates. Online finance graduate certificates are a popular option. Management MBA graduates also pursue certificates in LEAN Six Sigma, project management, social media management, financial modeling, or HR. They can also take continuing education management programs online.

Frequently Asked Questions About Management MBAs

What is the most popular type of management MBA?

The most popular management MBA will depend on who you ask, as business needs and sector demands evolve. According to a 2019 corporate recruiter survey from the Graduate Management Admissions Council, for graduates with a master's in management, project management is one of the top three positions in demand.

Finance, marketing, business analytics, and general management are also popular and in-demand MBA specializations.

According to the BLS, management jobs with faster-than-average projected growth from 2020-2030 include:

How much money can I make with a management MBA?

Management MBAs can earn median salaries of more than $100,000 per year. Salary potential will depend on the management specialization, industry, and region. According to the BLS, graduates with a management MBA can earn a median salary from $74,000-$159,010 in management careers (as of May 2021).

Median salaries for common of management careers:

Do I need a management MBA for product management?

Professionals don't need an MBA or other graduate degree to get a job as a product manager. However, an MBA in project management can help you land a job at a high-profile company and may lead to faster corporate advancement.

Hiring managers often look for applicants with product management experience or a track record of success. For recent graduates, an MBA in project management can be considered as a substitute for industry experience.

An MBA also provides a well-rounded business foundation and leadership training that people can find valuable throughout their professional career. With increasing demand across industries for product managers, more business schools are offering a product manager specialization.

What can I do with my MBA in healthcare management?

With an MBA in healthcare management, professionals can enter administrative or management positions throughout the healthcare industry. These professionals manage, direct, and coordinate medical or health services in various settings.

Healthcare managers can work in leadership and management roles in a hospital, clinic, private practice, health department, or specialized healthcare area. MBA graduates can also open their own healthcare service as a private entrepreneur.

Common healthcare management responsibilities include:

Why should I get an MBA in supply chain management?

In the modern business landscape, an MBA in supply chain management is in high demand. These professionals can work with industry leaders on the movement of goods in the global economy, or to improve efficiency for individual companies.

An MBA in supply chain management opens a variety of career paths, including:

In addition, MBA graduates with a specialization in supply chain management can work as consultants on supply chain issues, project management, and process excellence.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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