Specialized Master's Programs

The number of Specialized Master's programs available today is growing, offering candidates a wide range of options to choose from.

More schools around the world are offering a wider variety of business master's programs and accepting the GMAT exam for them. Unlike an MBA, most Specialized Master's programs let students matriculate directly from their undergraduate degree program. Prior work experience generally is not required. 

In many cases, Specialized Master’s programs are designed to respond to current market needs, such as degree programs in Entrepreneurship and the Master of Science in Data Analytics, a relatively new degree program that was created to fill growing industry and organizational needs for individuals who can manage the “big data.” 

Advantages

  • Starting salaries are higher than those offered to individuals with only undergraduate degrees, and some specializations, such as finance, may lead to salaries that are competitive with those earned by MBA candidates.
  • Part-time and full-time programs are available and can take between 6 and 24 months to complete.
  • A growing number of programs are being offered partially or fully online.
  • Coursework typically is isolated to a particular area of study; these programs are ideal for students who would like to develop a specialty in one area.
  • The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Corporate Recruiters Survey1 shows that demand is increasing for Specialized Master’s degrees.

Challenges

  • A Specialized Master’s degree does not provide the broader, generalized approach to management that comes with an MBA.
  • In the competitive world of finance, some employers may not recognize the Specialized Master of Finance degree in the same way that they do the MBA.
  • Focusing on one functional area or skill set may limit one’s ability to create and innovate in the broader business environment.

Program Types

Specialized master’s programs were created for individuals whose career requires extensive training in a specific field. Degree options include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Master in Applied Economics
    • Master in Computer Information Systems
    • Master in Construction Management
    • Master in Economic Development & Entrepreneurship
    • Master in Economics
    • Master in Education
    • Master in Engineering Management
    • Master in Entrepreneurship
    • Master in Health Administration
    • Master in Hospitality & Tourism Management
    • Master in Human Resource Management
    • Master in Human Resources
    • Master in Industrial Relations and Human Resources
    • Master in Information Management
    • Master in Information Systems
    • Master in Information Technology
    • Master in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    • Master in Instructional Technology
    • Master in International Business
    • Master in Leadership and Organizational Psychology
    • Master in Marketing
    • Master in Real Estate Development
    • Master in Science in Marketing and Consumer Studies
    • Master in Science in Operations Management
    • Master in Supply Chain Management
    • Master in Public Health

1 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, 2013
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