Determining whether or not you need a concentration is a career decision that involves many factors.
Academics will be involved in course selection, concentration requirements and graduation planning, but this is primarily a decision related to how you will market yourself for the job search. In general, it is recommended that everyone complete a concentration to clearly show your career interest and focus in a particular field or functional area. However, if you have work experience or a prior degree in that functional area, a concentration may not be necessary.
|Who Am I?||Work Experience||Is a Concentration Recommended?|
|MBA||2+ years unrelated to your area of interest||Yes|
|MBA (U.S. citizen or permanent resident)||2+ years specifically related to your area of interest||It depends on your specific job function or industry. Meet with the CRC to discuss your career goals and options.|
|MBA (International students)||2+ years specifically related to your area of interest||Yes. Due to increased scrutiny of H1B visa filings under the current U.S. administration, it is highly recommended that international students earn a concentration in the specific area in which they want to work (regardless of experience).|
(changing jobs or industries)
|BS Business/MBA||0 years||Yes|
|BS Engineering/MBA||0 years||Yes, but it depends on your long-term career goals. Meet with the CRC to discuss.|
|Dual Degree MBA |
(focus in another career area: law, medicine, health, care, pharmacy, social work, etc.)
|Variable||Not usually, but it depends on your long-term career goals. Discuss with the CRC during your introductory appointment.|
Work with the Career Resource Center. Begin by making some career decisions and take a systematic approach to selecting a concentration. This involves several steps in the career development process.
To understand your interests as well as your skills, we recommend you engage in self-assessment. The MBA program is going to help you develop business-related skills through both the core curriculum and concentration electives.
Understand your concentration(s) of interest
Explore career options related to a specific concentration
Work with the Graduate Programs Office. After you have narrowed down your area of interest and feel confident about your career goals, your next step is to formalize an academic plan. Use the MBA handbook, talk with faculty, current students and recent alumni to better understand what courses will align with your career goals. If you need additional assistance with your academic plan, schedule an appointment with Julia Braun by visiting the Graduate Programs Office in 203 Alfiero Center or calling 716-645-3204. Julia can assist you with your course selection, sequencing, academic plan and graduation success.
1. Start now. It is important to start this research process during your first semester (or as soon as possible) because there are many factors involved in your decision.
2. Do not wait to take courses to decide which area interests you. Courses will typically not give you enough information to make this decision. And it is an important decision that can have a major impact on your job search success.
3. Meet with CRC staff if you are still struggling to make a decision. It is likely that you do not have enough information.