3 MBA Double Majors That Boost Your Value

A master of business administration (MBA) is one of the most sought-after degrees for professionals who want to scale the corporate ladder, whether they are in the business industry or an entirely different one altogether. While completing this degree, MBA candidates can make themselves even more employable by pursuing secondary degrees to complement an MBA.

Some of the best double majors for business administration can highlight a core MBA subject such as finance, marketing, strategy, or economics. Or it could be in a completely different arena such as information technology, entrepreneurship, or healthcare. This article highlights three of the MBA double majors that can help boost your earning potential.

Key Takeaways

  • A master of business administration degree is one of the most sought-after degrees for professionals looking to move up the corporate ladder.
  • Management, entrepreneurship, and finance are the most popular MBA concentrations.
  • Many schools allow MBA students to specialize by taking upper-level courses in a related field in addition to their regular courses.
  • The best double majors complement the industry a student wants to enter, whether that's computer science, international relations, or a create-it-yourself degree program.
  • Joint MBAs integrate two programs at one school into a single curriculum.

Management MBA

Management is one of the most popular concentrations for MBA students. That's because it has the most potential for job placement and higher salaries. People who pursue this field of study can expect to focus on planning and supervision and learn skills that can translate to any part of the financial world. Core areas of study include ethics, finance, marketing, management, and economics.

Management MBA graduates are among the most highly sought-after candidates. They can expect to find work in decision-making and leadership roles like chief executive officers (CEOs), vice presidents, general managers, and management consulting. The latter is a versatile discipline and could lead to employment in a variety of fields or in the world of startups and entrepreneurs. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual salary for chief executives in 2021 was $213,020. Although the BLS doesn't have a category for management consultants, it does for management analysts. People in this field earned an average of $93,000 in 2021.

Education is an important part of earning a great salary. But experience also plays a big role in how much you earn.

Entrepreneurship MBA

Entrepreneurship is a popular double major for MBAs because it allows you to go down different career paths after you graduate. Anyone who chooses to concentrate on entrepreneurship may study business planning, forecasting, and innovation. Entrepreneurship MBAs allow graduates to work in leadership roles at existing companies or even start their own companies.

Graduates can expect to work in mid-level management, consulting, sales, research and development (R&D) and nonprofit fundraising. It isn't uncommon for those who graduate in this field to work as partners at finance firms or in a management role.

You may start off a little lower on the pay scale. For instance, the average annual salary for a fundraiser was $60,660 in 2021. The growth for this field is 11% between 2021 and 2031, which is much faster than average. Keep in mind that you may be able to command a higher salary after some time in the workforce.

Finance MBA

Finance is a key component in the corporate world. That's why it's among the top MBA concentrations. If you're pursuing a finance-related MBA, you'll learn about management, financial analysis, and financial planning through a variety of courses, including (but not limited to):

  • Accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Economics

The job potential is endless, as you may be able to find work in different parts of the financial world. Career options include financial director, finance manager, and even financial controller. Other roles following this area of study are investment analyst, investor relations associate, actuary, accountant, commercial real estate, and teacher.

Now let's look at some key facts for some of these roles. According to the BLS, financial managers earned an average salary of $131,710 in 2021 and the field is expected to grow by 17% between 2021 and 2031, which is faster than average. Actuaries earned a median annual salary of $105,900 in 2021. Growth in this field is expected to be 21%, which is much faster than average, in the 10-year period between 2021 and 2031.

Specialization vs. Double Major vs. Dual Degree

A specialization, double major, or dual degree can be used to boost your value in the labor market. As a double major falls in the middle of the three in terms of intensity, an examination of three of the highest-paying areas of MBA concentration may be helpful in deciding if the extra time and effort are worthwhile.

Many colleges now include specialization as part of the curriculum in addition to general MBA degree programs. Specialization simply means that you take a specified number of upper-level courses in a related field in addition to meeting your MBA program requirements. You could, for example, earn an MBA with a specialization (or concentration) in finance.

An MBA double major, on the other hand, involves more time and coursework than specialization, as you would complete degree requirements in two areas, not just take additional courses. You would, however, end up with only one degree, such as a master of business administration in finance.

A joint or dual degree program is the most intensive educational option. A joint MBA consists of a single curriculum that integrates two programs at one school, while a dual program involves two separate curriculums at the same or different schools. In either case, the result is two degrees, such as a master of business administration and a master's in finance. Dual degrees take more time and cost more than a double major since they result in two diplomas.

Do-It-Yourself Double Major

Students can create their own double major program alongside their MBA program. If you decide to follow this DIY approach, it’s important to meet with counselors from both degree programs to take advantage of classes that might count toward both majors. The more closely related both areas are, the more likely there will be common courses that will help you cut down the time and expense involved in pursuing a double major.

Ultimately, the best double majors are ones that complement the industry you want to enter. Since MBA degrees tend to be generalist degrees that are applicable in any corporate industry, students need to think about what the best double majors for business administration are in their field.

Many MBA schools now offer a range of double major or degree programs, from a joint degree in electrical engineering to international relations. It may even be a J.D. or a master's in public policy. Whatever you choose, all it takes is some research to see what options are out there.

The Bottom Line

In a competitive market, you need every edge you can get. A double major consisting of an MBA with an additional area of specialization helps you achieve that edge. Plan carefully, including consulting with appropriate university counselors in both areas, to minimize completion time by choosing a second major that complements your MBA. 

Article Sources
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  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Fundraisers."

  5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Financial Managers."

  6. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Actuaries."

  7. Harvard Business School. “Joint Degree Programs.”

  8. Wharton University of Pennsylvania. “Wharton MBA Dual Degree Programs.”