The Different Types of MBA Specializations
An MBA is typically a two-year program that aims to make the student proficient in various subjects of management and an expert for one. In the first year of an MBA the main focus is on giving students a brief idea about various subjects of management. Towards the end of the first year students are introduced to the specialized areas.
In the second year of an MBA, students have to choose one specialization from the variety of specializations available. This is not applicable if students have gained admission to a specialized course. Choosing a specialization can be a difficult process for students. It is very important for student to consider their career goals and professional development before choosing a specialization.
Students have the opportunity to either pursue a general management program or complete a specialization as part of the MBA program. Specializations are a matter of choice, not a prerequisite, and all students receive the same MBA education regardless of whether or not they complete a specialization. Students should consider their career goals and professional development in settling on a specialization.
You can read more about the specialization rankings of the top MBA programs here, and about different MBA specializations on these dedicated pages:
How to Choose an MBA Specialization
MBA programs come in all shapes and sizes, but most prospective students play it safe and go for finance, marketing, or management. One of the main reasons for this is that they do not fully investigate the diversity of specializations out there. This is a great shame, because only once a student knows the full range of MBA options available, can they select the one that best fits their career goals.
As more and more universities offer MBA programs, it is becoming ever more difficult for candidates to decide on which business school offers the most suitable MBA program to meet their requirements. Many business schools are deviating from the ‘generalist’ system, which has been the typical MBA model for the last thirty years. Today one can choose from a wide range of MBA specializations, ranging from an MBA in financial studies, as well as insurance and risk management accountancy and finance, to an MBA in sports management, or even an MBA in technology.
The standard specializations are marketing, finance, human resources, IT/IS, operations and entrepreneurship; but these are rapidly being joined by more specific subjects, such as corporate social responsibility, wine management, football industries, luxury brand management, hotel management, etc.
How should students go about deciding which specialization is best for them? There are a number of ways that individuals can easily make that decision and get on the road to earning a specialized MBA that pays off in the long run. Here are some things to consider:
After considering the above factors, start researching MBA programs and specializations. While new fields are arising, most schools have several standard specializations. Look at notable programs with lists of specializations that interest you. Most universities will include a list of their MBA specializations, or concentrations, on their websites. Ask for information from schools that interest you. In some cases, you may ask to meet with the professors who teach the specialization that interests you, which may help you in your decision to choose a certain field or university. Schedule an appointment with your university department or program advisor, if you are currently enrolled. Your advisor may be able to offer some insight on your options based on your strengths and weaknesses.