Finance and operations management are two common concentration areas for Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs that are typically available in flexible formats. These degree programs vary in length, specific course topics, and possible career outcomes. Find out more about each program and its requirements below.
Comparing an MBA in Finance to an MBA in Operations Management
MBA in Finance
MBA in Finance degree programs are often available in on-campus or online formats, as well as other flexible formats, like evening courses for working professionals. These degree programs may range from around 36 to 54 credits and may be completed in anywhere from 15 to 29 months or more. Some of these plans of study allow for students to focus on a particular area of finance, such as corporate finance, investment management, or financial consulting, and/or may require a final capstone course or financial portfolio project. In addition to the core coursework that is common to most MBA programs, students in the finance concentration may take focused courses in topics like investment analysis, corporate financial management, financial strategies, applied financial management, portfolio management, and short-term financial management. Graduates of these programs typically work leadership and managerial positions in more finance-related areas with job titles such as financial analyst, management analyst, financial manager, financial consultant, or executive.
MBA in Operations Management
MBA in Operations Management degree programs are also available in on-campus or online formats. Some of these programs can be completed in as little as 12 months and may range from around 43 to 55 credits, depending on whether a student has a business background. Many of these degree programs provide students with hands-on learning through case studies, simulation games, projects, and/or a final capstone course. Students in these programs also take core MBA courses, followed by courses specifically geared to operations management that may discuss topics in quality management, competitive advantage, logistics, supply chain management, operations research, and project management. Graduates of MBA in Operations Management programs may work in a wide range of fields, including retail, engineering, consulting, distribution, transportation, and manufacturing.
Common Entrance Requirements
Admission requirements for most MBA concentrations are the same, but specific MBA requirements tend to vary by institution. However, most applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and may need to meet a minimum GPA requirement, which is usually a 2.8 or higher. Some of these programs may also require students to meet specific GRE or GMAT test scores, while other programs may not require the GRE or GMAT at all. For students who do not have a business background, some programs may require them to take courses in areas like accounting, statistics, and economics, but this can usually occur after admission to the MBA program. Other common application materials for these degree programs include transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume and/or a statement of intent or essay responses.
Students can pursue an MBA in Finance or Operations Management online and may need to complete a final capstone experience of some sort. These programs both prepare students for managerial-level positions, but allow students to specialize in different areas of business.