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Business Specializations in Demand by Recruiters – MBA and other Business Masters

Most two year MBA programs are designed to create a well rounded manager, with the first year dedicated to general management and the second year offering an opportunity to pursue certain specializations of your choice.

With that end in mind, B-schools often give their students a chance to polish their management skills in areas dealing with finance, consulting, sales and marketing, human resources, operations, supply chain management, technology and sometimes even the rare me´tier like sports management, criminal justice and what have you.

Some experts estimate that there could be as many as well over 50 specializations (Read List of MBA Specializations).

Now, there are certain factors that determine the choice of a specialization. For many students, this choice is clear from the start. They know which business sector they want to join and excel in. Business Master’s programs concentrate on specific areas, like Masters in Management, Master of Finance, Master of Information Systems, Master in Data Analytics, and so on. For the rest, it becomes a decision based on information that they gradually gather before, and during, their MBA program.

For further information, read:

Whether to pursue a generalist MBA, or go for a particular specialization is determined by your personal inclination, your desire from your future career, your skills and your choice of B-school. There are universities, even reputed ones, that excel in certain specific specializations as compared to others. It is best to research their effectiveness before coming to a decision on joining a program. Also important are the hiring trends. So, your ultimate resolution for which path to follow needs to be a healthy marriage between what you want and what recruiters are looking for…

Since what you want is clearly in your turf, we will use this article to dive into the current recruitment preferences based on the 2017 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey Report.

Business Specializations in Demand by Recruiters – MBA and other Business Masters

What kind of Business Majors are recruiters looking to hire?


MBA Soft Skills in demand

The survey, conducted in association with 97 business schools, worldwide, has produced a detailed understanding of what employers are looking for, among MBA and Business Masters candidates.

A key take away is that all desirable candidates should have a set of basic soft skills to survive the tough management world. Companies from the US, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, all agree on a list of skills, ranked globally, as follows.

  1. Communication: Needless to say, a manager without the ability to express clearly, professionally, and diplomatically, is best left without the responsibility of leading, and inspiring, a team. Organizations have found that managerial communication skills are directly related to employee motivation and development. Read more about Communication Skills.
  2. Teamwork: The basic ground work is founded on the ability to recognize each member’s talent and develop practices that lead to them to function well with each other. Read 7 Team Player Skills at Work.
  3. Technical: Clearly, there is very little leading, you can be involved in, unless you know what is it that you are leading for. In other words, managers need to educate themselves with the technical knowledge of their team. This not only helps them to appreciate individual contributions but also assists them in problem solving.
  4. Leadership: Management is responsible for keeping it together, and progressing. They should have the ability to recognize the common goal and direct their team to success. Read Leadership Skills.
  5. Managerial: They should be capable of handling the human resources, their tasks, business strategy, problem solving and all the other activities associated to keep going ahead.

Besides the above skills, the surveyed companies also ranked certain specializations that top the demand charts in the 2017 corporate recruitment survey. The numbers for 2014 & 2015 are shown for comparison. These numbers include the respective Business Master’s graduates as well. Let’s listify.

MBA, and Business Masters, specializations in demand

Function % of Companies Placing Recent Hires Globally

(959 Employers)


(748 Employers)


(565 Employers)


(Best MBA in Marketing)

(Management Consulting Salaries and Career Growth after MBA)

71% (#1) 54% (#1) 54% (#1)
Business Development

(Business Development Career after MBA)

(Business Development Job and Salary)

71% (#1) 50% (#3) 49% (#2)

(Best MBA in Finance)

71% (#1) 51% (#2) 54% (#1)
Data Analytics

(Masters in Big Data Analytics)

69% (#2) 51% (#2) 44% (#4)

(Best MBA in Consulting)

66% (#3) 43% (#6) 43% (#5)

(Production and Operations Management)

(Logistics and Supply Chain Management)

65% (#4) 47% (#5) 41% (#6)

(Best MBA in Technology Management/Information Systems)

65% (#4) 39% (#9) 43% (#5)

(Management Accounting)

65% (#4) 42% (#7) 46% (#3)
General Management 64% (#5) 48% (#4) 46% (#3)
Human Resources

(HR Jobs and Careers 1 & 2)

61% (#6) 40% (#8) 43% (#5)
Investment Banking

(How to become an Investment Banker?)

50% (#7) 30% (#10) 31% (#7)


The percentages don’t add to a hundred due to multiple field selections by the recruiters. The numbers also reflect various job-levels – entry, mid-level and senior positions.

The key take away from the survey are:

  • The data for 2017, over that of 2015 & 2014, indicates an increased demand for highly educated MBA, and Business MS, professionals.
  • The demand for Marketing positions is consistently high, a possible consequence of the persistent need for experts who can increase sales and market share, irrespective of the economy.
  • Big Data has become a popular field, with Business Data Analytics securing an ever increasing popularity in the demand charts.
  • Investment Banking, though highly lucrative, is considerably less popular than the other majors. Finance, on the other hand, is still riding high.


The moral of the story, if asked, is that employers have a healthy respect for business graduates and their expertise. In the interest of their companies, whether a large F500 corporation or a small start up with less than 50 employees, recruiters are more than willing to go the extra mile to hire business professionals – MBAs and Masters in Business Majors – even at the cost of a few extra bucks in salary and perks. It is then only a matter of aligning your interests to the wants of the corporations.

So, as far as job outlook is concerned, recruitment for MBAs is pretty much business as usual – with more and more jobs each year and more and more MBAs laughing to the bank.

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Best MBA Specializations


Sources:1, 2

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7 thoughts on “Business Specializations in Demand by Recruiters – MBA and other Business Masters”

  1. Dear Sir, I completed my post graduation in August of this year with a distinction but due to some family problems I was unable to get admission for the MBA. Now am I eligible for MBA ? will any good institute consider me eligible for the admission. Please also tell me what should I do about my one year education gap ?

  2. Hello Sameer,

    I am Ravi Pratap, I have done my B.Tech. from NIT Bhopal in civil engineering with 76% and got placed from there. I have a working experience of 5.6 Years in Construction and Infrastructure sector. Currently I am working as Manager Planning and QS with IP Infra Power Pvt. Ltd. MY GMAT score is 700. I am preparing for applying in Round 2 ( January 2018) of ISB. Rest i got 83% in my higher secondry exams.
    I haven’t any NGO experience but i have good experience in Infrastructure sector.
    Please tell me, what are my chances to crack ISB with this academic and professional background.

  3. Hi…I have done my graduation from Delhi University this year 2017 and started working at my family business but i am not able to expand it further . Can you suggest me how to do it or which course or college should i try for?

  4. Hii sir,
    I recently planned to doing MS in abroad.
    But , I’ve doubt about internship that , we get internship in US after completing 2 years MS course program or we get internship during before completing MS (ex last year of MS program )

  5. Hello sir,
    I am a b com 2013 passed out ,after that i am preparing and giving exams for banking .,i reached interview 2 times in probationary officer but i could’nt make it in a final list. And i feel sorry that i could’nt do higher studies and jobs instead i was focusing on these competitive exams reiterately .BUT now i see myself in big trouble, lot of time has passed since i had done graduation in i am bit confused what to do now whether to go for a job or for further preparing competitive exams like ssc cgl…or to opt for mba….
    so it’s my humble request to you please guide me regarding these .
    thanking you …

  6. @Sachin: You will need a few years experience before you can apply to international MBA programs. You can manage the gap as explained here:

    @Ravi: We can’t make such predictions. If you are serious about getting in, make sure you put in a strong application, rather than worrying about what others think of your chances.

    @Rishabh: You haven’t shared much about why you weren’t able to expand the family business. So, it’s tough to say whether an MBA degree is the answer.

    @Krushna: The internship is sandwiched in the course. So you’ll take it up before you graduate.

    @Aman: As a top priority, try to get a job. Stop chasing competitive exams and more degrees.

  7. Hi, actually i completed my graduation in 2018…now i want to do MBA in finance in CANADA….whats the eligibility and criteria for the same…..and whaTS the job opportunity over there for the same department…


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