Which MBA specialisation is right for you?
15 June 2023
If you’re considering a Master of Business Administration (MBA), you’re probably already thinking that this is the qualification that will help you get the executive job and higher salary that you have in mind.
The good news is, you’re right.
A recent survey of corporate recruiters revealed that 91 per cent of employers plan to hire MBA graduates in the coming year.
Currently, the average salary of business managers with a postgraduate qualification is $121,000. On top of that, MBA graduates are more likely to be in the top two to three per cent of income earners in Australia.
We already know the importance of an MBA, so really, the only question is, which is the right MBA specialisation for you?
What’s the difference between a general MBA vs specialised MBA?
The first MBA degree was offered in 1908 by Harvard University in the United States. Over the past century, the MBA has evolved to meet the needs of business, and has recently developed into MBA specialisations.
MBA specialisations in Australia are designed for our business environment – while incorporating international business best practices.
SCU Online offers four types of MBA specialisations, that include:
- Health Services Management,
- Information and Knowledge Management; and
- Managing and Leading People.
In each specialisation, you’ll complete two units that align with your chosen specialisation, as well as 14 compulsory core units. If you’d like to complete a general MBA, you can choose two electives from any of the four specialisations.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the specialised MBAs.
Accounting specialisation with SCU Online’s MBA
Burning Glass Technologies is an organisation that analyses labour market data, and they’ve identified the top 20 skills that are required to become a CEO. Seven of the top 20 in-demand skills are financial, including: risk management, budgeting, financial management, accounting, and internal auditing.
If you’re already working in a management role, you may already be managing a budget that is reviewed annually and consists of one or more line items.
The accounting specialisation with SCU Online’s MBA will not only help you manage budgets, it will also empower you with the knowledge and language to analyse and discuss corporate finance, as well as contracts.
What you will learn in the accounting specialisation
The two specific units that align with the accounting specialisation are Business Accounting for Managers and Business and Corporation Law for Managers.
Business Accounting for Managers begins with the fundamentals of double entry accounting. You will learn how to analyse accounting information and record business transactions in financial documents within the accounting cycle.
Business and Corporation Law for Managers will develop your abilities to analyse key principles and features of contract law. You will learn how to identify and analyse the legal aspects of business transactions, partnerships, and companies – essential management skills that help you and your business avoid making costly mistakes.
Who should study the accounting specialisation
As the names of the two specific units in the accounting specialisation suggest, managers should study the accounting specialisation – that’s managers in any field, and any industry.
In fact, the accounting and legal fundamentals that you’ll learn in the accounting specialisation are a valuable skill set for everybody, both in business and in personal life.
If you’re managing budgets or reporting on your department’s financials to senior executives or boards, you should study the accounting specialisation. You’ll also benefit from this specialisation if you are managing partnerships or ensuring performance of contracts.
What career opportunities will the accounting specialisation open?
If you’re planning to run your own business, you’ll need to be able to forecast cash flow and sales in addition to monitoring your profit and loss. A good grounding in business and corporation law will also help you to avoid some of the pitfalls of entrepreneurship and start-ups.
An MBA with an accounting specialisation is a well-rounded qualification that will help you establish a career path of growth and promotion.
Health services management specialisation with SCU Online’s MBA
The Health Services Management specialisation is the only one of our MBA specialisation courses that has been designed for a specific industry.
Whatever area of health services you want to work in, this course brings the traditional business skills of an MBA with an understanding that health services can be different from the conventional business world.
What you will learn in the health services management specialisation
The two specific units that align with the health services management program are Building a Professional Portfolio and Leading Change in Healthcare.
Building a Professional Portfolio is all about you in a professional context. This unit gives you an opportunity to reflect on your own professional practice and critically appraise the professional standards and competencies that influence your practice.
Leading Change in Healthcare looks at several leadership theories in a healthcare environment. You’ll explore organisational settings to identify what drives successful innovative change and learn how to apply a variety of leadership skills in different contexts.
Who should study the health services management specialisation
If you’re currently working in health services, this is the best MBA specialisation to help prepare you for senior roles in healthcare management, to effectively drive change.
If your work experience and education lie outside of the health services field, you’ll gain an understanding of the healthcare context that can enable you to move into this area.
What career opportunities will the health services management specialisation open?
The health services management specialisation opens up a number of career prospects in hospitals and general practice operations management, including Nursing Manager, Director of Nursing, and Medical Manager.
Information and knowledge management specialisation with SCU Online’s MBA
Last century, the ability to understand and analyse accounting reports was considered an essential skill for managers, executives, and board members. Today, in addition to reading the financials, it’s essential for those same people to be able to understand and evaluate data.
There are very few jobs in the world and almost no businesses that don’t rely on information technology. In addition to the skills of a traditional MBA, business leaders need to understand the opportunities, risks, and operational importance of information systems.
What you will learn in the information and knowledge management specialisation
The two specific units that align with the information and knowledge management specialisation are Managing Digital Enterprise and Data Management.
Managing Digital Enterprise explores digital technologies in the business context, so you’ll become astute in dealing with the multifaceted area of digital business management. You’ll examine the security, ethical, societal, political, legal, and global issues of digital enterprises and develop expertise in analysing digital enterprise opportunities.
Data Management will give you the language to articulate the importance of big data and data analytics to business managers and other stakeholders. You’ll learn how to apply database design principles, methods and tools, to design, build and test the functionality of databases.
Who should study the information and knowledge management specialisation
If you’re currently working in IT, the information and knowledge management specialisation will prepare you for senior roles, both inside and outside of the IT industry.
If you’re not working in the IT field, this course will not only prepare you for executive roles with business analytics, but it will enable you to establish or manage a digital enterprise.
What career opportunities will the information and knowledge management specialisation open?
The information and knowledge management specialisation will also prepare those who don’t work in IT to take on senior roles with the ability to critically review data and digital systems.
Managing and leading people specialisation with SCU Online’s MBA
Human resources (HR) has always played a role in the MBA program, but this specialisation focuses on two of the greatest challenges in managing and leading people today – talent retention and change.
As technology continues to evolve, businesses will continue to change and require specialists in change management. The managing and leading people specialisation will prepare you for that task and develop your people management abilities for attracting and retaining talent.
What you will learn in the managing and leading people specialisation?
The two specific units that align with the managing and leading people specialisation are Organisational Change and Development, and Human Resource Management.
Organisational Change and Development will outline how to recognise the need for change as well as internal and external risk factors that may exist. You’ll learn how to drive the change process and communicate change with conviction and vision.
Human Resource Management takes an organisational level view of human resources to critically evaluate HR strategies. You’ll learn how to integrate your understanding of strategic human resource management into your own managerial style.
Who should study the managing and leading people specialisation?
The managing and leading people specialisation would benefit anyone working towards a management role in a large organisation. You’ll develop skills to work more effectively with HR managers and the ability to drive change.
For HR professionals, this specialisation will help you take your occupation to the next level and achieve the career goals you desire.
What career opportunities will the managing and leading people specialisation open?
If you’re already working in HR, the managing and leading people specialisation will prepare you for senior roles such as Human Resources Director.
If you’re not currently in an HR role, but you can see the potential for change in your industry, this specialisation could open up career opportunities as a Change Manager, Change and Communications Manager, or Change and Release Manager.
Why study an MBA specialisation with SCU Online?
SCU Online didn’t flip to online learning because of a global pandemic. We’re pioneers of online education in Australia, and we’ve been effectively delivering accredited online courses for over 20 years.
More than 55,000 students have successfully graduated with us, and at any one time we have over 5,000 people studying with us. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet and network with many of those people during your studies through our online learning platform.
Entry without a bachelor’s degree
SCU Online’s MBA is one of the most accessible master’s courses in Australia.
We understand that there are many pathways through careers and that undergraduate degrees don’t always feature on the road to success. We also believe that experience speaks for itself.
If you haven’t completed a bachelor’s degree but have relevant work experience, you can apply for SCU Online’s MBA.
Additionally, if you have extensive managerial experience, you may be eligible to receive advanced standing and gain credit towards your MBA, meaning you graduate even sooner.
Study on your own terms
Our business school students and graduates regularly tell us that one of the greatest benefits of studying with SCU Online is that they can study on their own terms.
“The benefit of doing an online course is the fact I can do it when I want to – it’s flexible, it gives me the opportunity to work, as well as have time with my family and friends on the weekends,” says SCU Online MBA Graduate Courtney Geritz.
Each unit in our MBA courses is seven weeks long, and we offer six study periods each year. That means you can effectively plan your time in two-month windows – and if you need to take a break for any reason, you can get back on course in just two months.
Learning designed for online
As an online course, our MBA has no campus-based obligations. More importantly, at no time will you feel like our course material would be more suited to an on-campus environment.
We’ve specifically designed our online MBA for online learning, in consultation with industry experts.
Our online learning platform is called PERCI and it’s available to you 24-hours a day, so you can fit your studies around your life. Whenever you open PERCI in your web browser you can click continue, or resume to pick up your last study session exactly where you left off.
Early exit options
Depending on your previous education and experience, you can complete our online MBA in as little as 16 to 32 months. However, we understand that it can be difficult to guarantee that much runway in life and there’s always the possibility of a curveball disrupting your study plans.
If you need to exit your MBA earlier than expected, you won’t necessarily go home empty handed. You could still qualify for an alternative postgraduate business qualification.
The Graduate Certificate in Business is made up of four of the compulsory core units of the MBA, while the Graduate Diploma in Business consists of eight of those units. So, if you have to exit early, or if you don’t feel ready for the full MBA, consider these qualifications as your steppingstones to success.
Learn more about our online MBA today.