An MBA with a specialization in quality focuses on operations and output, leading to careers in the supply chain or operations management fields. A communications focus emphasizes the human side of the business equation and leads to careers in fields such as marketing or public relations. Many MBA programs offer flexibility in terms of scheduling to meet the varied needs of full-time and part-time students. A master's degree in business administration takes two years to complete.
A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for entering graduate school, but students pursuing either MBA specialization will find there are also testing requirements for admission, and work experience may be needed. A minimum GPA requirement must also be satisfied, and students who want to specialize in communications will need to complete foundational business coursework.
Master of Business Administration in Quality
An MBA program with a concentration in quality focuses on managing and improving quality in business. The courses in this MBA program are designed to develop strong leadership skills and business acumen, and students learn effective research methods, supply chain management, management for distribution channels, and quantitative analysis.
MBA degree programs combine foundation classes in traditional areas of business, such as economics and finance, with courses specific to the quality concentration. Courses include:
- Quality engineering
- Business research
- Quality control
- Designing experiments
- Statistical process control
Master of Business Administration in Communications
Whether geared toward marketing or corporate communications, an MBA with a concentration in communications offers students the opportunity to hone strong leadership and presentation skills while also gaining other advanced communication skills. Many colleges offer full- and part-time programs; some schools also feature online study.
Students in a communications MBA program learn about human resource management, problem solving, team collaborations, and strategies for corporate communications, and how to best serve their clients. Coursework combines traditional business courses such as business ethics or accounting with classes specific to the communications concentration. Examples include:
- Corporate communications
- Communications and culture
- Business writing
- Strategic communications
- Global communications
Popular Career Options
Graduates of an MBA degree program with a concentration in quality can advance an existing career or begin a new career path. Popular career options include:
- Quality control systems manager
- Supply chain manager
- Operations manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Statistics supplied by O*Net OnLine indicate that quality control systems managers would see little or no change in employment over 2016-2026, while operations managers could expect to see a 5 to 9 percent employment growth rate in the same period. O*Net also reports that quality control systems managers earned a median annual salary of $103,380 and operations managers $100,930 as of 2018.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that employment for logisticians, who coordinate supply chains for companies, could rise 5 percent from 2018 to 2028. The median annual salary for these workers as of May 2018 was $74,600, the BLS reports.
Graduates of business master's degree programs in communications can relate to professional titles such as advertising, marketing, and promotions managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), competition for these positions is expected to be fierce, and employment growth for all of these managers is expected to increase by 8% from 2018 to 2028. According to the BLS, the 2018 median annual wage for marketing managers was $134,290, and the median wage for public relations managers was $114,800.
Continuing Education Information
Beyond the master's degree level, some professionals may decide to pursue a Ph.D. in Business Administration. Periodically taking seminars or training classes can keep professionals up to date on the latest trends, techniques and technology. Some schools offer free continuing education courses for graduates of an MBA degree program. Employers, colleges or professional organizations may offer professional seminars and certifications.
An MBA specializing in communication or quality will teach students about how to properly conduct themselves in the context of a business environment. Those who specialize in quality will learn how to deliver the best possible service in business, while those focusing on communications will spend more time on leadership and presentation skills.