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 MBA Specialisation: Which one to choose?

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mona

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Join date : 2009-01-13
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PostSubject: MBA Specialisation: Which one to choose?   Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:48 am

Careers are chosen and the degrees are obtained to meet the aims and ambitions in life. Job prospects, career opportunities, growth and scope etc are all considered before pursuing any degree or specialisation. Students aspiring or taking MBA programmes also, which are said to be most popular post graduate degrees want to weigh all the opportunities before opting for any specialisation. Although MBA degree itself makes a difference in ones career but an appropriate specialisation keeps you at an edge in your career. One can specialise in either marketing, finance, operations, IT or human resource and others.
The choice of elective or specialisation is not only based on future career prospects but many other factors. A study by the Department of Management Studies, University of Madras reveals various criteria for selecting the specialisation:

• Interest and attitude
• Drive to become entrepreneurs after gaining some professional experience
• Under the influence of market demand, job scenario
• Attractive pay packets
• Under the influence of parents
• According to the undergraduate degree

Choosing a specialisation in MBA assumes greater significance as a student must make selection based on what he likes and what he intends to do in the future. His or her choice must not be based on others verdict or the common trend. It's the attitude that takes the student to greater heights and not just a degree. Thus interest, aptitude and attitude are necessary for any specialisation. The crux is how to match your personality traits with your specialisation choice to be successful in your professional life. Here let's review some popular specialisations, job profiles, and personal traits required for each that may help you in the decision.

Marketing

One of the basic needs of a business is to market and sell its product or service. Candidates with an MBA degree in marketing are expected to excel in marketing their companies products and services in this highly competitive world. Marketing manager, market research analyst, brand manager and new product manager are some of the job profiles of MBA marketing professionals. One can also come across other specialised corporate positions like advertising manager, marketing communications manager, sales manager and PR director. Most of the advertising agencies also offer ample job scope for marketing professionals in specialised areas like direct marketing, advertisement and jobs related to communications. This generally attracts students who love lot of traveling.

Personal Traits

• Good communication skills
• Attention to detail
• Adaptable
• Alertness
• Confident and pleasant
• Enthusiasm for both business and product
• Able to create effective marketing strategies
• Ability to cope with stress & pressure

Finance

A finance career is best started off with an MBA degree in Finance. Specialisation prepares you for a variety of career paths such as management of financial institutions as also non-financial organisations, investments and securities brokerage, financial analysis of investments and general management positions.

Personal Traits


• Strong analytical-reasoning skills
• Quantitative aptitude
• Problem-solving skills
• Interpersonal skills
• Decision-making skills
• Comfortable with numbers • Have attention for details
• Comfortable with routine heavy documentation

Operations

Contrary to the common belief that scope of operations management is restricted to manufacturing sector, it has predominant existence in the services sector like banking, Health services and BPO.
Candidate with a MBA in Operation Management would be able to look after an organisation in a better manner as compared to others due to their competency and knowledge regarding handling the operations of an organisation. The demand is in areas like Supply Chain Management and ERP (enterprise resource planning).
The field is lucrative today because of the ever-growing need of organisations to streamline their processes in order to capitalise on cost savings and improve efficiency. Because of well-developed problem solving skills, undergraduate degrees in engineering or related fields are highly beneficial backgrounds for an operations management career.
The MBA in Operations is a great way to acquire the necessary skills and know-how to move on to a higher position with a better salary, and an opportunity to show employers that you have what it takes to rise to the challenge of a more demanding role within business operations.

Personal Traits

• Effective communication skills
• Ability to work in team, coordinate and work with other departments
• Problem solving skills
• Love to take challenges
• Ability to cope with stress

IT & Systems

The MBA programme with a specialisation in Information Technology provides graduate students with the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to assume and discharge the duties and responsibilities of managers in high technology industries. They find employment in management consulting, the information systems departments in big organisations or as technology advisers within the functional areas of management. In addition IT suppliers require skilled individuals for positions in sales, customer support, and project management.
Information technology has become a critical component of many industries such as financial firms, airlines, BPO, healthcare and FMCG.

MBA in IT can land you in a job profile of:

• Project leaders in IT companies
• Business process consultants
• Techno Managers in marketing firms
• Business Analyst
• ERP consultant etc

Personality Traits

• Optimistic
• Leadership
• Interpersonal communication
• Attention to detail
• Work in odd hours
• Understanding of global markets

Human Resource

Human resource basically involves people and its resources management in an organisation. Thus, recruitment, payroll, administration, appraisals etc are part of Human Resource person's job. It is not an industry specific domain, you learn to deal with 'people issues', you can deal with people in any set-up, be it media, IT, manufacturing, or ITES. MNCs setting up shop in India are more concerned about handling the workforce here in a sensitive manner to avoid conflicts like the one at Hero Honda's Gurgaon Unit.
Once recruited on campus, the job profile in the initial few years shall be largely involved over administration work of the HR function. Over a period of time one move up the value chain and then the function is more focused on training and recruitment. You will have to interact largely with the senior-most management of the company, which adds eventually to personal growth.

Personal Traits

• People sensitivity
• Good communication skills
• Sociable
• Agreeable
• Active and dynamic

MBA in Communication

If you work in communication fields such as media & advertising, journalism, public relations and you are looking to advance your career to next level, an MBA that specialise in communication prepares you for mid- to upper-level management positions in these communication career fields. It provides managers with the knowledge and skills to solve communication problems in the workplace, use new media to transform existing business practices, reach out to media and clientele, and manage corporate images.
Career in Media and Communications is challenging and you have to be always on your toes. It is generally 24x7 job. The prospects and growth is high along with tough competition in the industry with various media houses and channels coming up. The first job may not land you with attractive pay package like that of finance or operations job but further growth is noticeable. The job involves glamour and much attention.

Personal Traits

• Good communication skills
• Alert
• Updated and informed • Dynamic
• Team player
• Ready to work in odd hours
• Sociable

MBA in Entrepreneurship

Do not understand that MBA in Entrepreneurship is only for people who want to be an entrepreneur. Many organisations especially companies in dynamic industries such as technology and media require degree holders with MBA in Entrepreneurship for their managerial positions to lead the companies toward continued development. Basically, this MBA courses will focus on business administration strategies that encourage innovation and flexibility.

Personal Traits

• Good communication skills
• Leadership
• Ambitious
• Out of the box thinker
• Assertive
• Ability to cope with stress

Conclusion

It is advisable to choose a right specialisation that will help your career to move in the right direction as per your interest, aspirations and career goal. Remember that management involves a lot of interaction and effectiveness of communication along with high performance. It will involve much more than all you can actually learn in a Business school.

The personal interest and aptitude, future aspirations, work and life balance are important and indispensable aspects in choosing a career goal. Like those who want stability in life and do not like to do travelling might not take up Marketing specialisation or those who are shy may refrain from moving to media and communications or hospitality & tourism specialisations.

But this is also true that the creativity, ingenuity and personal attributes keep evolving with time and experience. So before every career decision weigh all your criteria, limitations, scopes and flexibilities for brighter and satisfying future

Very Happy Smile lol!
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