5 Top MBA specializations in overseas B-Schools

Business schools around the world offer certain specializations for deeper understanding of management subjects. Find out which are some of the most popular international MBA specializations reflecting business trends today.

It is useful to know what the most popular MBA specializations are at top B-schools around the world. If you are planning to study abroad at a B-school but do not know what to specialize in, such research will help you choose programs that are in demand (due to their relevance in the modern business world). You do not find MBA specializations in all Indian and foreign business schools – many programs are generalized with core curriculum and electives; others are Concentrations in areas such as finance or marketing for instance.

Few people know the nuanced difference between a Concentration and a Specialization, however. Specializations, often far more than Concentrations, lead to a deep immersion in a certain field of business management. However, this is broad generalization of the two terms. The terms can be used interchangeably in some schools and requirements can vary from one school to the next. Here is a look at the top 5 MBA specializations out of the eighty-odd specialized courses offered in international MBA schools.

International Business

MBA in International Business is best for students who are interested in the role played by organizations in global issues, who want to work in multinational companies, or in companies in areas affected by international pressures (through suppliers or competitors). International business deals with subjects like business processes in emerging markets, understanding cross-cultural differences etcetera. Cambridge Judge Business School offers this specialization/concentration through the Global Business Concentration with a capstone project allowing students real world application opportunities.


An MBA in Strategy focuses on the needs of managers for business strategy to effectively diagnose situations, make choices and execute plans. INSEAD's general MBA program teaches how to think strategically, recognize what to do differently to respond to changing business environments, new technologies, customer trends etcetera and what not to do. While the school does not offer a specialization in strategy, it is a large part of the INSEAD curriculum. Strategy is especially important today due to more decentralized strategy development in companies, requiring middle managers to think strategically as well.


A Marketing MBA like the one at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University prepares B-school students with tools, concepts and practices of modern marketing. This program is suitable for careers in a wide range of industries including healthcare, consulting, technology etc. It focuses on marketing as a tool for management of brand equity and care of a firm's customer asset. Students learn the essential marketing skills of understanding, creating and delivering value through dedicated courses.

Operations Management

A specialization MBA in Operations Management focuses on the design and management of products, services and supply chains. The IESE Business School, in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain offers a core first year curriculum and second-year electives on these subjects. Popular electives in the second year include Advanced Methods for Operational Excellence and Managing Global Operations.

Supply chain management

This component of Operations Management at schools like the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University places focus on the flow of goods and services. Designed for students planning careers in supply chain management, the program includes three electives of Demand Fulfillment, Managing Manufacturing and Service Operations and Strategic Sourcing. Relevant advanced courses follow, such as Lean Six Sigma, analytics modeling, omnichannel retailing etcetera.

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