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7 Most Popular MBA & Master’s Degrees for Chinese Applicants

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When it comes to choosing a graduate business degree, the wide variety of programs on offer can be confusing.

Should you do an MBA or a business master’s? Which topic area should you specialize in? Your answers to these questions could determine the course of your career.

If you’re hesitant about which MBA or business master’s program to choose, it can be helpful to understand which programs are the most popular and why.

We analyzed GMAT™ exam score sending data to find out which graduate business degree programs are most popular with Chinese applicants. Whether you want to get a promotion, move into a new industry, or start a business, there’s a degree on this list that’s right for you.

Here’s the top seven countdown:

7. Master of Marketing

This specialized business master’s degree will give you the skills needed to either level-up your career in marketing or to switch to a marketing career path. You might already have done a bachelor’s degree in communications or analytics, or have some work experience in the field that will help you to dive into this topic at master’s level.

When choosing the right master’s degree for you, you’ll want to consider how versatile a degree is. As marketing plays a key part in any business, you’ll find that even specialist employers hire Master of Marketing graduates and you’ll be able to apply for jobs across areas like sales, analytics, or consulting.

6. Full-time one-year MBA

A one-year MBA is ideal if you don’t want to take too long out of your job to complete your degree, but still want that immersive, full-time experience.

The one-year MBA remains a popular choice for all applicants, especially those headed to business schools in Europe. Many top-ranked European business schools offer MBA programs that last one year or less including INSEAD, HEC Paris, IE Business School, Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, and Imperial College Business School.

Managing people is one of the most popular career aspirations for applicants, and a one-year MBA will give you the broad business skills to manage all aspects of a business, from operations to finance.

5. Master of Accounting

A specialist degree for students interested in the financial side of a business, a Master of Accounting will give you the skills necessary to work across industries.

In some Master of Accounting programs, you’ll also build programming and analytical skills using Python, Tableau, and SQL. If you have the math skills and some experience in data analytics or finance, then this degree could be your ticket into jobs in finance and banking too.

After a Master of Accounting, you could end up working for PwC, Deloitte, or KPMG—all listed among the best accounting firms to work for.

4. Master of Business Analytics

More than ever before, analytics are an important part of a business. According to a Financial Times Skills Gap survey, analytical skills are also among the hardest skills to recruit, so pursuing a Master in Business Analytics can give you an edge in the jobs market.

While an interest in the technical aspects of a business such as coding and data analytics is important, candidates who can demonstrate good communication skills can also excel in a Master of Business Analytics. After your degree, you could be the person who translates data into decision making at a company, able to communicate that tricky data to other senior managers.

Master of Business Analytics programs in the United States are often STEM-designated, meaning you can stay and work in the country for up to three years without an H-1B visa. These include programs offered by MIT Sloan School of Management and Columbia University.

3. Full-time two-year MBA

The original MBA program format, the full-time, two-year MBA is a popular choice for business school applicants from all over the world, including China. MBA candidates typically have around two years’ work experience, although this varies by program.

There are so many reasons to get an MBA. Offering a deep dive into business topics like finance, data analytics, and marketing, this degree will give you the generalist management skills to set you up for a wide range of careers, from consulting to management and even entrepreneurship.

Over the two year format, most popular in the United States, you’ll have time to finesse your business skills and gain experience with an internship along the way, giving you a head-start in the job market afterwards—especially if you’re planning on switching industry, function, location, or all three, after graduation.

🏙 Read more: 7 Most Popular US Cities for Getting Your MBA

Companies that hire the most MBAs include the Big Three Consulting firms, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, and you can expect to significantly increase your salary after graduation.

2. Master in Management

A Master in Management, abbreviated often as MiM, covers similar topics to an MBA, but is typically aimed at early-career professionals with 0-2 years’ work experience and is most common in Europe. Graduates go on to work in varied industries, but popular career paths are consulting, data analytics, and management.

Some Master in Management programs also offer specializations in areas such as finance, analytics, or international business, allowing you to graduate with a clearer idea of where you want your future role to be.

Business schools offering leading MiM programs include the University of St.Gallen, London Business School, and ESSEC Business School. Similar to MBA programs, top recruiters of MiM graduates include Amazon, McKinsey, and Deloitte, although you’ll typically enter at a lower level than the more experienced MBAs.

1. Master of Finance

Is a Master of Finance worth it? Many students seem to think so.

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, almost 80 percent of Master of Finance programs reported a growth in applications last year, and the MiF is also the most popular program for Chinese applicants.

Offering students the chance to explore career opportunities in areas such as finance, insurance, and fintech, this is a highly versatile degree for those interested in the finance side of business.

After your Master of Finance degree, you’ll have knowledge of financial markets, finance theory, and programming—all skills that can be put to use in a variety of industries, from banking to engineering. Top recruiters of Master of Finance graduates include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Blackrock.

Find your best fit program

Not sure how to figure out which program type is right for you? We’ve got you covered. Our free guide, Finding Your Best Program: A Guide for Undergrads, gives you the expert tips and guidance you need to confidently narrow your options and identify the programs that make the most sense for your needs, preferences, and career goals.

Get exclusive, insider advice on:

  • The key questions you need to ask yourself to ensure optimal preference-to-fit alignment
  • The best tools to use to understand what your options are
  • How to build out your program list and what mix of programs should be on it
  • Best practices for connecting with schools and getting your questions answered
  • Developing specific, tailored responses to “why this program?”