highest paying mba concentrations

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Highest Paying Mba Concentrations

The Highest-Paying MBA Concentrations

Business ranked as the most popular field of graduate study in the United States in 2017-2018. An MBA serves as the gold standard for business education. These degrees build advanced management skills applicable to many professional fields.

As business careers become more specialized, many students can customize their MBA with a concentration to develop skills in areas such as finance, management, or information technology. Concentrations build industry knowledge and can help MBA graduates stand out to employers.

This page offers an overview of the highest-paying MBA concentrations, including industry trends, in-demand specializations, and average salaries for various career paths.

Top 10 Highest-Paying MBA Concentrations

  • Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Information Technology
  • Information Security
  • Human Resources
  • Healthcare Management
  • Real Estate
  • International Business

What Are MBA Focus Areas?

A general MBA program emphasizes widely applicable business skills. It also builds broad knowledge of major business concepts in management, finance, and marketing.

While an MBA with a concentration covers the same business foundations, the curriculum focuses on one area, such as healthcare management or international business. MBA focus areas, also called concentrations, may target core business practices such as marketing and human resources or specific industries such as real estate and information technology.

Concentration or specialization options can vary widely among schools. While not all MBA programs feature concentrations, most schools offer at least a few options, often in popular fields such as management and finance.

Students typically select MBA focus areas to distinguish themselves in a competitive job market. The advanced knowledge conferred by an MBA concentration can help candidates pursue more specialized career paths. Studying an in-demand concentration may also lead to more job opportunities with higher salary potential.

The Highest-Paying MBA Programs

We explore high-paying industries and careers in which MBA graduates are in high demand. Some of the fields with the highest earning potential include finance, IT, and healthcare administration.

Earning a specialized MBA concentration can help students improve their career prospects and pursue advanced positions. However, most of the highest-paying MBA positions require significant professional experience and a proven record of business success.


One of the most popular and highest-paying MBA concentrations, management tracks prepare students to plan, supervise, and make decisions for organizations of all types. General MBA programs typically also focus heavily on management.

A management MBA program offers the advantage of building broad skills that apply to most business sectors. These programs cover organizational management, marketing, economics, finance, and business ethics. A management concentration prepares graduates for various career paths. However, certain positions may prefer candidates with more specialized concentrations.

Candidates specializing in management can progress to top leadership roles that boast some of the highest-paying MBA salaries. Yet, these positions almost always require significant professional experience along with education.

Chief Executive Officer$113,000$129,000$157,000
Vice President, Operations$99,000$116,000$135,000
Divisional VP, General Manager$106,000$123,000$138,000


Entrepreneurship focuses on strategies and best practices for new business ventures. Programs emphasize innovation, business planning, and business forecasting methods. This concentration typically serves students interested in starting businesses or using entrepreneurship skills to expand existing companies.

The top entrepreneurship programs cover planning and feasibility assessment methods. They provide students with the tools to analyze and project the marketability and potential success of business ideas. Another key curriculum component is innovation. Students explore how businesses enact effective change in their processes and services.

Salary expectations for entrepreneurship MBAs can vary more than other concentrations due to the unpredictable nature of starting new business ventures. However, entrepreneurship graduates can also use their skills to pursue leadership and consulting roles with existing businesses, yielding some of the highest-paying MBA salaries within the entrepreneurial field.

Chief Executive Officer$113,000$129,000$157,000
Management Consulting Firm Partner$140,000$155,000$221,000
Venture Capital Firm Associate$87,000$120,000$147,000


A key component of any business, finance ranks high among MBA concentrations for its wide relevance and high salary potential. This concentration trains students to analyze financial outcomes to aid in decision-making processes, ensuring organizations remain profitable. The BLS projects careers for finance managers to grow 17% from 2020-2030, with particularly high projected growth for cash management and risk management roles.

An MBA in finance builds vital knowledge and skills in management, financial planning, and financial analysis. The top MBA schools for finance commonly cover budgeting, accounting, economics, and taxation. Many programs also explore high-level frameworks for analyzing and projecting financial change, such as analytics and big data.

Financial management and analysis play a vital role in any organization. Therefore, finance graduates can pursue careers in many business sectors. As with most career paths, higher education typically leads to advanced career opportunities.

However, candidates also need to obtain significant experience and demonstrate a record of success to move into the highest-paying financial management positions.

Financial Director$80,000$108,000$123,000
Financial Controller$72,000$85,000$100,000
Vice President of Finance$121,000$130,000$156,000

The Highest Paying MBA Careers

Getting a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is one of the most solid investments you can ever make in life. Apart from helping you expand your career opportunities, it also prepares you for good paying jobs in today’s competitive job market. Here are some of the highest paying jobs that you can apply for as an MBA graduate.

highest paying jobs for mba graduates

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1. Investment Banker

An investment banker helps companies and government agencies raise money in the capital markets and provide strategic advice mergers and other types of financial transactions.

The position of an investment banker typically requires a strong educational background in MBA with a concentration in finance.

it’s hard to establish the annual salary of an investment banker because it depends on a variety of factors such as location, company size and experience. However, the BLS indicates that the average salary is $450,000 per year.

2. Financial Manager

With your MBA degree, you can choose to enter the financial sector and work as a financial manager in a bank, an insurance company or any other financial institution.

According to statistics, many employers prefer MBA graduates with strong mathematical and problem-solving skills.

The starting salary of financial managers ranges from $300,000 to $350,000 per year. After working for a certain period of time, the salary can be raised to an average of $400,000 per year.

highest paying MBA jobs

3. Chief Technology Officer

The work of a chief technology officer is to establish a company’s technical vision, manage the technical team and oversee every aspect of technological development. He is also responsible for overseeing special projects, monitoring technology and social trends, participating in management decisions and ensuring adherence to all technical standards.

While research has been a core component of business for a long period of time, the development of information technology has increased the importance and need of chief technology officers. To be employed as a chief technology officer, you should have an MBA degree with a specialization in information technology management.

The annual salary of a chief executive officer varies depending on a number of factors such as level of education, company size, years of experience and location. The average salary is $200,000 per year.

4. Information Technology (IT) Dire

IT directors are responsible for making sure that a company’s information technology is effective and secure by developing and implementing the goals of the IT department, analyzing the business and IT requirements for different departments and conducting feasibility studies to determine the best and most reliable use of technical resources.

If you have an MBA degree with a specialization in IT management, this is the right field for you.

According to the BLS, the annual salary of IT directors is $155,000.

finance MBA salaries

5. Investment Bank Manager

An investment fund manager provides financial advice, makes informed financial decisions and recommendations, assesses and interprets complicated financial information and holds regular meetings with company managers and investment analysts to discuss financial matters.

Typical employers of investment fund managers include investment banks, stockbrokers, life insurance companies, charities and asset management companies.

To qualify for a position as an investment fund manager, you should have an MBA degree with a concentration in finance. On top of that, some employers look for candidates with ambition, strong time management skills, determination, analytical skills, leadership skills and ability to work effectively under pressure.

The average salary of an investment fund manager is $135,000 per year. However, the salary can be substantially higher because of bonuses.

6. Marketing Manager

A marketing manager is responsible for helping a company or organization obtain new customers and expand into new markets. He researches trends, estimates demand, identifies new opportunities and develops effective marketing campaigns. He also identifies and maintains the competitive advantage of a company.

To qualify as a marketing manager, an MBA degree with a specialization in marketing is required. In some high-tech companies, you may also be required to have an engineering or science degree.

The average salary of a marketing manager is $120,000 per year. Top salaries are given to those with advanced education and extensive experience.

7. High-End Management Consultant

A high-end management consultant provides the focused direction a company requires to stay competitive and relevant by helping solve management problems, maximize profits, increase efficiency, control costs and increase worker productivity. He also helps a company establish an online presence and adjust to new business regulations. He works closely with chief operations officers, chief executive officers and chief financial officers.

Many employers prefer to hire or work with those who have a master’s degree in MBA and relevant experience in the industry.

According to www.glassdoor.com, a high-end management consultant earns an average of about $115,000 per year. The pay is significantly higher for those who have been in the industry for quite a long time.

MBA finance salary

8. Computer and Information Systems (CIS) Manager

A CIS manager coordinates and directs all computer-related activities of a company such as the installation and upgrading of hardware and software, providing the ICT infrastructures, development and maintenance of computer networks and contributing to organizational policy regarding strategic planning and quality standards.

As a CIS manager, you can work in the insurance, finance, information or systems design industry.

To be employed, you are required to have a master’s degree in MBA with at least an information science or technology as a core component. In addition to that, some employers prefer candidates with strong leadership, communication and interpersonal skills.

The salary of a CIS manager depends on company size and employer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of CIS managers is $90,000.

9. Health Services Manager

The constantly expanding and diversifying health care industry is in need of knowledgeable and skilled managers to make sure that it runs smoothly and effectively. A health services manager, also called a health care administrator or health care executive, is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating and directing health and medical services. He may be in charge of an entire facility or specialize in managing a specific department.

To become a health services manager, you should have an MBA degree with a concentration in health services management and finance.

The annual pay for a health services manager ranges from $75,000 to $80,000 for new employees and $850,000 to $87,000 for established managers.

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