What is an MBA?

If you are researching graduate business degrees you may be asking, what is an MBA and how does it compare to a specialized master’s degree in business. An MBA degree is one of the most sought-after degrees in the United States. It is considered a highly-skilled master’s degree, which is designed to prepare students to work as managers or higher level positions across a range of industries and business disciplines. Graduates of an MBA program are likely to be among the most well-educated in their field.

What is an MBA?

The MBA degree is designed to provide students with the skills they need to succeed in business management. The degree provides a foundation in business fundamentals including management, accounting, finance, operations, and marketing but, through electives, enables students to concentration on areas of specialization or interest. Goizueta offers more than 20 MBA concentrations ranging from analytics, finance, and business strategy to healthcare, entrepreneurship, and consulting. Students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to work in a fast-paced, competitive environment, as well as to manage teams, communicate effectively, create a business plan, and solve complex, ambiguous problems.

Students gain practical experience through experiential learning opportunities such as client consulting projects, global immersion trips, and leadership coaching programs. The MBA offers students the opportunity to pursue a field that is challenging, yet rewarding, and that will help them develop the technical and soft skills needed to succeed in the workforce. The MBA is also a great option for those who are looking to advance their careers in their existing field or make a career switch.

There are several types of MBA program with the most common being an accelerated MBA, traditional full-time MBA, part-time MBA, and Executive MBA. An accelerated MBA is a full-time MBA program delivered in an accelerated (often, one year) timeframe. An accelerated MBA shares similarities with a traditional full-time MBA except the traditional MBA is delivered over two years with students completing an internship during the summer. A part-time MBA is designed for early career working professionals who want to continue to work while they earn their degree. A part-time MBA program is often delivered during weekday evenings. An Executive MBA or EMBA is designed for seasoned professionals often with at least 10 years of work experience who have professional experience managing people or projects. The EMBA degree is usually delivered on evenings or weekends to accommodate busy working professionals.

MBA vs Specialized Master’s Programs

Specialized business master’s programs have grown in popularity. Unlike an MBA degree in which you build a solid foundation of business fundamentals across key areas including management, accounting, finance, operations, and marketing, specialized master’s programs focus entirely on one area of study. Within an MBA program, you can choose a specialization through a concentration that builds upon business fundamentals.

Some of the most popular specialized master’s programs include business analytics, finance, and marketing. These programs provide deep knowledge in one field. An MBA provides breadth of knowledge across business and allows depth within a field. For those looking to steadily advance their careers and who will need to manage people and processes, the managerial and leadership skills developed in an MBA will serve them well.

Next Steps

Now that we’ve answered your question, what is an MBA, explore Goizueta’s MBA and specialized master’s programs to see which is the right fit for you.