A business professional considering his masters degree options.
A business professional considering his masters degree options.

The most popular masters courses in Australia and beyond


Key takeaways

  • Within the past 12 months, finance (426,030 searches), business analytics (222,060 searches) and marketing (197,400 searches) were the most searched MBA specialisations globally.
  • Bhutan, Japan and Sudan are the countries most interested in MBAs.
  • Within Australia, searches for MBAs were the highest in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) at 2,163 searches per 100,000 residents.

Earning a masters degree from a top university can be your ticket to lucrative job offers and a successful career. We’ve analysed Google Trends search volume data to determine the most popular masters courses in Australia and worldwide. 

In this article, we’ll consider which degrees are in the highest demand and look at the countries and regions where specific degrees are more popular.

Worldwide interest in masters courses

Let’s begin by evaluating the global popularity of masters degrees by country and course.

Data visualisation of the most searched-for masters degrees worldwide

Countries most interested in each type of masters degree

Based on the percentage of searches related to each type of masters degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Master of Education (ME)

Master of Science (MSc)

  1. Vietnam (96%)
  2. Turkmenistan (92%)
  3. Moldova (88%)
  4. Bolivia (88%)
  5. Estonia (87%)
  6. Hungary (86%)
  7. Tanzania (86%)
  8. Mauritania (85%)
  9. Argentina (85%)
  10. Morocco (85%)
  1. Bhutan (54%)
  2. Japan (54%)
  3. Sudan (52%)
  4. Egypt (48%)
  5. China (44%)
  6. Australia (43%)
  7. Botswana (42%)
  8. Czech Republic (42%)
  9. Canada (42%)
  10. New Zealand (41%)
  1. Australia (13%)
  2. Sri Lanka (7%)
  3. Ireland (6%)
  4. Canada (4%)
  5. South Africa (3%)
  6. New Zealand (3%)
  7. Malaysia (3%)
  8. Austria (3%)
  9. Kenya (3%)
  10. Singapore (3%)
  1. Germany (9%)
  2. Austria (9%)
  3. Albania (8%)
  4. Netherlands (7%)
  5. Norway (7%)
  6. Finland (6%)
  7. Greece (6%)
  8. Switzerland (5%)
  9. Sweden (5%)
  10. Denmark (4%)

Master of Arts (MA) degrees were by far the most popular masters courses worldwide, with twelve countries having 85 per cent of masters search volume specific to MAs. Notably, MA searches accounted for 96 per cent of masters degree-related searches in Vietnam, 92 per cent of searches in Turkmenistan and 88 per cent of searches in Moldova and Bolivia.

In comparison, Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees were the second most popular masters course, but the highest percentage of search volume was just 54 per cent in the most interested countries, Bhutan and Japan.

Australia’s search volume for MBAs accounted for 43 per cent of the country’s masters degree searches.

MBA interest in Australia

An MBA is a highly transferable degree that equips graduates with skills to succeed in business. Let’s look at the popularity of these degrees in Australia.

Data visualisation of MBA interest in each Australian state

In Australia, search volume for MBA degrees was highest in the ACT, with 2,163 searches per 100,000 residents. Search volume was also high in Victoria (1,433) and Western Australia (1,384), while residents in the Northern Territory and Tasmania were far less interested in MBAs.

MBA interest by specialisation

Some courses allow students to choose an MBA specialisation in a specific area of interest. Below, we list the most popular disciplines and the top three countries most interested in that MBA focus. Please note that percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole.

Finance (426,030 searches)

  1. Czech Republic (85 per cent)
  2. Sierra Leone (58 per cent)
  3. Latvia (58 per cent)

Business analytics (222,060 searches)

  1. Uzbekistan (30 per cent)
  2. Costa Rica (22 per cent)
  3. Namibia (18 per cent)

Marketing (197,400 searches)

  1. Guatemala (55 per cent)
  2. Honduras (52 per cent)
  3. Bosnia and Herzegovina (50 per cent)

Healthcare management (181,000 searches)

  1. Kyrgyzstan (52 per cent)
  2. Sudan (50 per cent)
  3. Eswatini (50 per cent)

Operations management (120,850 searches)

  1. Seychelles (28 per cent)
  2. Ethiopia (23 per cent)
  3. Georgia (13 per cent)

International business (101,720 searches)

  1. Cambodia (33 per cent)
  2. Bhutan (20 per cent)
  3. Dominican Republic (16 per cent)

Data science (101,470 searches)

  1. Brazil (27 per cent)
  2. Luxembourg (23 per cent)
  3. Croatia (15 per cent)

Project management (100,270 searches)

  1. Democratic Republic of the Congo (52 per cent)
  2. Afghanistan (50 per cent)
  3. Sierra Leone (42 per cent)

Supply chain management (84,440 searches)

  1. Malta (15 per cent)
  2. Ecuador (15 per cent)
  3. Hungary (15 per cent)

Consulting (79,010 searches)

  1. Burkina Faso (92 per cent)
  2. Indonesia (82 per cent)
  3. Philippines (59 per cent)

Human resources management (72,730 searches)

  1. Guyana (24 per cent)
  2. Bhutan (20 per cent)
  3. Zimbabwe (12 per cent)

Entrepreneurship (70,970 searches)

  1. Guatemala (46 per cent)
  2. Lithuania (24 per cent)
  3. Namibia (16 per cent)

General management (35,850 searches)

  1. Austria (28 per cent)
  2. Germany (12 per cent)
  3. Myanmar (12 per cent)

Cyber security (32,780 searches)

  1. Jordan (10 per cent)
  2. Poland (9 per cent)
  3. Israel (9 per cent)

Sustainability management (17,040 searches)

  1. Germany (7 per cent)
  2. Denmark (7 per cent)
  3. Colombia (6 per cent)

Searches for finance degrees were the most popular, with over 425,000 total searches. Furthermore, finance represented 50 per cent to 85 per cent of all MBA search volume for the 10 countries most interested in that specialty. Business analytics was the next most popular specialisation but only garnered around half the number of searches as finance, coming in at just over 222,000. Marketing was the third most searched specialisation, with 197,400 searches.

Data visualisation of MBA specialisations according to Australian states

Specialised searches were fairly diverse across Australia. Data science was popular in Australian Capital Territory, with residents searching for the specialty at rates far above the national average. Residents in nearby New South Wales and Victoria were more interested in marketing.

Both the Northern Territory and South Australia favoured human resources management, while Western Australia was most associated with international business.

Finally, Queensland preferred finance and Tasmania was most interested in business analytics.

Create your success story

VU Online offers a range of flexible online courses that will broaden your knowledge and skillset, enabling you to accelerate your career.

For instance, if you want to master the business essentials to empower your leadership, our 100% online MBA is for you. Not only will you earn a top tier MBA (as rated in CEO Magazine’s 2023 Global Rankings), but a network of academic and non-academic staff will support you every step of the way. 

Students will experience personalised one-on-one support from specialist academics via phone, email or SMS seven days a week, including evenings.

Embrace opportunity with flexible online study and unparalleled support with VU Online’s Master of Business Administration. Visit our website or speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor today.


For this study, we leveraged Google Trends search volume data to identify the most searched masters and MBA-related terms within the past year in countries around the world.

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