Highest Paying Online MBA Specializations


An online MBA is an essential tool for career advancement, giving business leaders versatile skills that help them excel in virtually every business area. As online MBA specializations become increasingly popular, graduate students can dig deeper in skill development in a specific aspect of business, gain the leadership and management skills MBAs are known for, and further customize a degree to a career niche. Pursuing an online MBA with an emphasis requires distance learners to take additional courses in specific topics, along with the core MBA curriculum. MBA programs often communicate variations on specializations, sometimes calling them focus areas or concentrations. 

specialization is an excellent way to benefit from a broad-based online MBA core curriculum. Study plans typically span all major business disciplines while offering more profound expertise in specific areas. Unlike specialized master’s programs, specialized online MBAs elevate students’ skills while preparing them to lead in an executive or cross-discipline managerial position. Here are ten of the highest paying online MBA specializations in the nation.

Online MBA in Strategy – $120,221


Strategy is the highest paying online MBA specialization. The business world is competitive, complex, and constantly evolving. To succeed in this intense climate, organizations need to see and seize opportunities, avoid unnecessary risks, maximize profits, earn a solid reputation, and remain a step ahead of the competition. In other words, businesses need to make sound and intelligent leadership decisions. To do that, they need leaders who possess skills in strategic management.

According to its corporate goals, strategic management includes allocating a company’s resources, from supplies and staff to capital and infrastructure. It requires a keen understanding of the corporate culture, competitive environment, market forces, and economic factors. It also requires a mastery of change management, risk assessment, decision making, and capitalizing on technology and innovation.

An Online MBA in Strategy or Strategic Management features the training needed to succeed in this vital business function. In pursuing an Online MBA in Strategy, graduate students learn to influence a business plan based on solid information and proven principles. They develop solid decision-making skills and gain insights into market forces that influence corporate success. They also earn a sought-after credential linked to lucrative salaries, high job demand, an array of employment options, and a prestigious career path.

Online MBA in Operations Management – $106,626

With the advancements of e-commerce and the boom in manufacturing and production processes and technologies, businesses require a new and improved operations management system. This need has resulted in the creation of the Online MBA in Operations Management. This degree prepares graduate students to handle various aspects of a business, such as manufacturing, production, planning, and providing services, with a lucrative salary potential.

The primary function of operations is to provide reliable, predictable products and services. An Online MBA in Operations Management equips leaders to oversee an organization’s operations by ensuring they remain efficient and effective. Professionals in this field attempt to minimize the variations of what they produce so their customers can rely on the consistency of their products. They are the backbone of an organization’s day-to-day operations as they help deliver quality products and services at an acceptable cost and on schedule. An MBA in Operations Management graduate is primarily concerned with planning, supervising, and organizing manufacturing, production, and providing services. It is a results-focused discipline that requires analytical and organizational skills. There is a high level of responsibility within this profession. It is also known as a very lucrative career.

Online MBA in Management Information Systems – $103,763

With the current rise of connectivity and digitally driven organizations comes an increase in the business world’s need for talented and well-trained professionals to manage information systems. Unlike computer science, information technology, and related degrees, management information systems programs are unique because they don’t focus on building specialized software and systems. Instead, an Online MBA in Management Information Systems helps develop skills in more technical disciplines to find ways that information systems can be used to accomplish organizational objectives.

This degree also develops leaders who will spend a great deal of their time focusing on the humanity of information systems. Management of personnel and how information systems relate to human contexts like organizational goals are central to MIS professional duties. Additionally, while many low-level technical positions have found themselves susceptible to outsourcing and automation in recent years, problem-solving and decision-making roles within technical organizations continue to need well-trained managers.

Online MBA in Entrepreneurship – $101,698

Some businesspeople are natural entrepreneurs. From the time of their childhood, running a curbside lemonade stand, to the day they opened their business as adults, they couldn’t imagine doing it any other way than working for themselves to bring their ideas to market. These innovative builders are willing to work countless hours to see their business succeed. They are ready to risk failure to do so. You know that it takes more than work ethic and passion to create a thriving venture if you’re a born entrepreneur. It takes rock-solid business skills and a successful network of mentors, advisors, and investors. While risky ventures might not be for everyone, entrepreneurship stands as one of the highest paying online MBA specializations.

An Online MBA in Entrepreneurship prepares graduate students for the future of running their own business. This advanced degree offers specialized courses in entrepreneurship. Learners take MBA core courses around entrepreneurship like small business management and venture capital to earn this degree. This multidisciplinary area of specialization prepares graduate students to start their business by writing a business plan and even managing a company internationally. Students in this field learn through traditional coursework, case studies, and project-based projects.

Online MBA in Finance – $100,580

Finance Online MBA degrees contain a specialized group of courses focused on finance. While general MBA programs typically include one graduate-level course in various business disciplines, MBAs emphasize the greater depth of study in one field. MBAs in Finance tend to begin similarly to other MBAs with core courses in different business disciplines. Some standard MBA core courses include Leading Teams or Project Management, Data Analytics, Human Resources, Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Operations Management or Logistics, Strategic Thinking, and Marketing Management. 

As graduate students complete core courses, they begin taking specialization courses. Students within finance concentrations will often take three to five courses like Corporate Restructuring, Corporate Budgeting, International Markets, Investment Analysis, and Advanced Financial Management. Graduate students should note that degree curricula may significantly vary when pursuing a degree like the Online MBA in Finance. Choosing the right program with the perfect finance specialization can be transformative.


Online MBA in International Business – $96,737

Online MBAs in International Business prepare graduate students for a trade, management, or general business career that can be performed globally. These programs often feature internship opportunities through established organizations, which allow learners to gain hands-on experience in international business. Standard prerequisites for this program include an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. 

This degree equips professionals for careers as management analysts, administrative service managers, and chief executive officers. These MBA graduates specialize in business dealings with overseas organizations. With the exclusion of CEOs, the low salary range for these positions is below the national median income, while the high end of the salary range is in the low six figures. The Online MBA in International Business is an attractive option for working professionals with years of relevant business experience. This advanced degree develops business students’ skills in analytics, decision-making, communications, and managerial economics. Coursework covers topics like international markets, distribution logistics, and trade laws, and many programs feature applied learning by offering capstone projects and internships.

Online MBA in Business & Marketing – $94,519

An Online MBA in Marketing is one of the most popular graduate programs available today. Marketing students study consumer behavior and create services and products that customers will most likely want to purchase. Classes in marketing cover market research, advertising, branding, global marketing, and online marketing, among many other subjects. This exciting, advanced degree prepares business leaders for more than mere careers in marketing. Some of the career options include entrepreneurial careers, general management, and consulting. 

A Marketing MBA teaches skills professionals can utilize in any field. Students are exposed to lessons in analytics, mathematics, communications, and management. A marketing manager’s training allows them to join many different types of organizations. Some start their own business, consult, or manage various kinds of firms. They are also prepared for many leadership positions in the field of marketing. Some programs include internship opportunities with popular retailers like CVS, Home Depot, Mattress Firm, and smaller businesses, where students can receive more personalized experiential training.

Online MBA in General Business – $89,041

Deciding to pursue an Online MBA means needing to choose between going the general or specialized route. Both directions offer distinct advantages, depending on what business students hope to accomplish professionally. Since a general MBA won’t always direct learners toward a specific industry or profession, graduate students may need to be more proactive about exploring opportunities before completing the program. Most traditional MBA students enroll on a full-time basis and take two years to graduate. However, it may lead to more tuition and fewer opportunities to gain valuable professional experience. 

Online students enjoy the flexibility and convenience of setting their course schedules. Online MBA in General Business students gain a broad base of knowledge in management and business. They learn the basics across all concentrations and develop skills applied to many areas in virtually every industry. Along with business and management experience, General MBAs focus on honing leadership, critical thinking, communication, and creativity skills, essential to success in any field. Applying to an Online MBA in General Business program doesn’t require a specific educational or professional background, although most applicants take the GMAT while assembling a compelling application.

Online MBA in Management – $87,781

An Online MBA in Management is a graduate degree with a defined focus on business management. These business degrees are designed to help students gain the knowledge and skills needed to work in various organizations’ management, executive, and supervisory positions.

A noteworthy difference between an MBA in Management and a General MBA is the curriculum. Both programs incorporate case studies, lectures, teamwork, etc. However, a traditional MBA program features a more broad-based education, from finance and accounting to human resource management. An Online MBA in Management has more of a management emphasis. Courses still address similar topics like finance, management, accounting, and human resources but from a manager’s perspective.

Many business schools offer Online MBA in Management programs. When deciding on a program, it is essential to evaluate significant factors. The b-school should be a good match for its applicants. They should look for reputable academics, promising career prospects, and networking potential. The price of tuition should also be attractive. Accreditation is also important as it helps to ensure graduate students get a quality education.

Online MBA in Supply Chain Management – $86,421

supply chain shipping containers

As you wander into a convenience store and think about what it takes to get products on the shelves or why a new retailer chose a specific location, you may have an inherent appreciation for the complex world of manufacturing and distribution. You may also make a capable supply chain manager. When you enter a large retail store or surf a large online retailer’s site, you can bet that substantial supply chain management efforts have been undertaken to coordinate these offerings. 

Supply chain management is one of the highest paying online MBA specializations. It is the multidisciplinary aspect of business that deals with planning for a project’s creation, sourcing, and offering logistical support to acquire raw materials and production methods. These professionals also oversee the distribution of created products and risk control at all stages. An Online MBA in Supply Chain Management helps business leaders learn how to manage every supply chain sector, including raw material acquisition, manufacturing, and logistics.

Action Plans

An online MBA is potentially the most crucial decision a business leader will make in acquiring a satisfying and lucrative career in business. Here is a plan of action when considering an online MBA:

  1. Count the Cost
    Evaluate your current standing in education and future career goals. Do you have the time and access to resources to pursue an advanced business degree like an online MBA? These distance degrees are known for their flexibility, so be sure to find out the current academic lay of the land before jumping to conclusions about how expensive or time-constraining an advanced degree is – especially if you haven’t been exposed to online education.
  2. Know Yourself
    Taking stock in professional and personal strengths and weaknesses can consistently produce positive results. The books you read, productive conversations with mentors you have, and even courses selected within an advanced degree like an online MBA can be guided by such findings. Being honest with yourself about areas of business leadership you can shore up will help guide you to know which concentration within a business degree is right for you.
  3. Get Online and Research
    Once you have some healthy parameters for where you’d like to go in your professional and academic career, it is time to contact business schools. These higher learning staff career experts can give you all the information you need to make the wise choice of applying to a program.

Online MBA programs with lucrative specializations are offered in virtually every well-accredited business school in the nation. Now is the time to find one.

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