What’s your MBA specialization?

What’s Your MBA Specialization_1The aim of giving you this article is not just to make you aware of all the major specializations that you can have your MBA in, but also to make you aware of what you are actually getting into.
It’s important to choose your specialization based on your personality, skills, and career goals. But the most important factor of all is Interest. Only if you get paid for what you love doing, you will be able to best utilize your skills and benefit yourself as well as the organization you are associated with.
That being said, I am sure that during a Personal Interview, the interviewer will definitely ask you what specialization you are interested in and what makes you the best candidate for that specialization. So, I have simply listed the major, most popular MBA specialization fields and a brief description of what it demands and what it has to offer you.


FINANCE: This is the oldest and the most common of all. You enter into finance and you will be forced to have an in depth knowledge of Costing, Budgeting, International Finance, Capital Management, Developing financial strategies and money management.
Being a financial analyst involves strategic planning, managing alliances and making everyday decisions which not only speeds up the success of the business but also brings personal growth.
You can go on to become an investment banker , financial consultant or a merchant banker ,a securities analyst or working with brokerage firms and dealing in buying and selling securities. With increased opening up of the Indian Financial market and increased international money pouring into the Indian Stocks the option available for MBA Finance are endless. After the recent global economic downturn, fresh ideas and innovation in this field are required more than ever.
The specialization requires you to be good with numbers, very fine data interpretation skills and a keen learner. You can’t have a laid back attitude as it’s a highly challenging atmosphere with ever evolving trends. Jobs in the finance sector are more often than not, high pressure jobs leading to significant stress and even, to a so-called ‘burn out’.


Another popular option and in contrast with finance which is mostly a back end job, this is a dynamic front end job which demands leadership qualities. It requires top-notch What’s Your MBA Specialization_2communication and mobilization skills. If you have an outgoing and spontaneous personality, can influence people with your words and actions, have a good convincing power, marketing management can be your area of expertise.
You can work as Brand Manager, Project Manager, Sales Manager, Marketing Manager, Market Research Analyst, Area/Regional Manager etc. A large chunk of CEO positions in top multinational companies are dominated by people from the Marketing background. The responsibilities can involve market research, product development from scratch to launch, advertising and promotion and developing marketing schemes.
The qualities looked for in this area is the ability to plan and execute marketing ideas, ability to develop ideas which lead to growth in sales, ability to mobilize resources to achieve the set objective, interpersonal skills, high energy levels and enthusiasm to work.


HUMAN RESOURCE: MBA in Human Resource Management is for those wanting to develop a management career in HR and strategy. HR Management is really a recession proof job. A Human Resources Manager is required by all the sectors. Whether a company is hiring more people to fulfill its expansion plans or firing people to cut down on their costs, they will always need HR experts to help them with personnel management.
If you have good communication skills, have a charismatic personality, and are dependable and confident, MBA with HR specialization is for you. HR personnel are the first points of interaction between a company and its employees and an efficient Human Resources department plays a critical role in keeping business operations smooth and efficient.
Basically as an HR person you need to be able to understand and deal with people at all levels, think on your feet to cope with unstructured situations. You need to have a convincing ability with an air of calmness around you, as certain clerical tasks might get confusing and mind-bogging at times.


OPERATIONS: Most candidates with core engineering backgrounds go for MBA Operations, as it gives them an edge over their competition in product development and designing, and process optimization. It basically includes all areas of an organization from background work to actual execution of a job.
It includes inventory management, vendor development, purchasing management, and also a few other areas which demand multi-disciplinary skills viz. supply chain management, enterprise resource planning and also all cost optimization initiatives.
You might start off as Product Manager or a Technical Supervisor but you will have great opportunities to become Chief Technology Officer(CTO) or General Manager of a company, especially in manufacturing, engineering and IT sectors.
The skills required for any of the above jobs are integrity, ability to negotiate, ability to remain calm in the toughest of situations and lastly good coordination skills coupled with technical knowledge. Operations Management requires an eye for minutest details, zero-error efficiency levels, excellent negotiation skills, ability to sale the ship through storms with the calm of an able sea captain, technical know-how of all the processes you are handling, and general ideal about manufacturing, sales, and distribution channels of the company you work in.


INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: If you are a good programmer, have technical skills, and have some knowledge of the business domain, you can choose MBA in IT. You can then help develop Enterprise Resource Planning solutions for business development, sales and marketing, accounts, project management, HR functions and all other business processes. You can always look after e-commerce and outsourcing aspects of businesses.
For An IT graduate or those with an IT background , MBA IT can open up positions like System Analyst, Technical Systems Manager, Technical Consultant, Business Development Manager, Business Analyst, Pre-Sales or Business Development manager, Sales or ERP manager, Project Manager, QA Manager, Functional or Process Consultant.
MBA in IT is designed to educate & develop managers who can effectively manage the planning, design, selection, implementation, usage & administration of emerging and converging information & communications technologies and typically designing and implementing hardware and software solutions to business problems.
Skills required are Good Analytic Skills, Project Management, Team Work, Quest for knowledge, Good communication and a fine technical base.
Other emerging and equally rewarding specialties are:


INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS: An MBA in International Business which provides an in-depth understanding of the organizational capabilities required for international operations, including specialized functions such as international marketing, finance etc. It includes inventory management, warehousing and transportation of various materials as required by a client or a company.


What’s Your MBA Specialization_3RURAL MANAGEMENT:
MBA in rural Management is a unique programme that is being offered to fulfill the huge industry demands for managers skilled in the field of marketing with a focus on rural businesses. There is immense growth potential in rural markets and increasing realization of this importance to Corporate and Development Organizations.


AGRI-BUSINESS MANAGEMENT: Agri Business MBA is a upcoming specialization where you learn to manage companies which process, market, and merchandise agricultural products to consumers. The student must understand the management, marketing, and finance with an emphasis on specialized requirements of the agribusiness sector.


HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT: An MBA in healthcare covers core business skills and practices. But it focuses on the specific issues managers may encounter in roles such as hospital administrators, medical practice managers, insurance-company executives and a wide variety of other roles.
In all the above paragraphs, I have only given you a snapshot. The dynamics of Indian market, the corporate world and the education sector has changed so much that specialization in a field does not play much role in determining where you land in terms of MBA placement, but every field has its basic requirements and you must be aware of those. You may not be well equipped now, but if you are aware, you may choose to learn them and excel. I hope you are now able to formulate the answer to “Which specialization you want to pursue and Why” question, to some extent. Here is an example of how you should go about it:

I prefer Marketing because by pursuing a management career in Marketing, I would be able to enter into emerging fields like eCommerce, and better satisfy my career aspirations. I would like to be Brand Manager or Advertising Manager in the near future as I personally feel that there is a lot of scope in the field of social media and advertising and a lot of companies are not yet utilizing the potential of internet to full extent.

All the best!!

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50 thoughts on “What’s your MBA specialization?

    1. Hi Sharma sir.Can you give me any articles or video links or websites where i can understand all these MBA specialisations in depth so that i can choose the best one that fits me.

    1. Finance, if your target is the Big Four. However, consulting can be in any specialization, even IT or Healthcare Management. Choose based on your profile and interest.

    2. Choose your specialization as IT and try to push for a profile of an Implementation Expert on any technology(both technical and business knowledge.). That way you can either be a Technical Consultant or Process/Functional Consultant.

    1. I had a tough time mentioning all the specialization. So I missed out on a few. Pharmaceutical Management is very domain specific and caters to the needs of the Pharmaceutical industry, and offers education on industry specific subjects like Pharmaceutics, Physiology, GMP, Pharma Marketing (including Product Management, Brand Building, New Project Launch and Sales Force Management), IPR, Drug Regulation, International Marketing in addition to General Management. Its a very lucrative field if done from a well ranked b-school.

    1. Traveling has more to do with the company that you are associated with. No specialization guarantees you a lot of travel around the world. Get in a good MNC and I am sure there will be more than enough chances, irrespective of your specialization.

  1. Do all IIMs offer these specialisations? I have an IIM Indore interview. I would prefer operations, but I am unable to find if they offer that.

  2. hello..i have done btech in i.t and hv 1 year of experience in it. I am not a good programmer.My tech skills are not so good.
    From last year hv started my Mba and now i hv to choose my specialization. My confusion is that is it good for a btech graduate to opt for finance or operations or some other stream ? am not able to find my area of interest but somehow am slightly bend towards finance as i am good in calculation. Can you please instruct

  3. Choosing a finance specialization for a Btech (IT) graduate is not a problem at all. In the industry, such a combination of Engineering in IT + MBA in Finance is considered as one of the best career paths. Of course, it preferable if you choose Systems as your specialization because of your background in IT, but that is only if systems interests you and you want to grow in that field. I would suggest you go ahead with Finance and you will not regret your decision later, as you will do well in it. 🙂

    1. I want to know if there is good carer opportunity for Operations management……
      I am Production Engineer with 2 yrs experiance.

    2. The career opportunities in Operations are simply excellent, esp since you have a related manufacturing background. Operations is an ever green field, hardly affected by factors like recession etc.

      I hope i have answered your question.

  4. sir,
    my name is santosh. I converted iim raipur. i have got 3 years of work exp. in a power plant as a maintenance engineer. Frankly speaking, i havent yet made up my mind on which specialization to choose. I have been involved in Material procurement, 6 sigma projects etc as a maintenance engg. I know operations management is one specialization that suits my previous work exp. But, i dont wanna end up again in some company which is in a remote location . ( like the one im working in, jamnagar) even after doin my MBA. I am intrested to work in organizations like flipkart , amazon etc. ( coz i see a bright future for online shopping ) . Will operations management ( supply chain management mainly) help me get into this sector?? or else which specialization will land me in those companies. kindly help me.

    1. Any stream can land you a job at any location. Considering your background and aspirations, Operations is a highly suited field for you. And where you end up doing the job, totally depends on the company. At a premier institute like IIM Raipur, most companies that recruit often disclose the location or considers the preference that you give. Good luck.

    2. thank u. and one more thing is iim raipur is offering dual specialization. What would be right second choice if i consider my major as operations

    3. I am sorry I cannot choose the specialization for you. You n you yourself can make that decision. A lot of factors go into choosing one, the most important being your area of interest. Others include college, faculty, recruiting companies that visit the campus, guidance from current seniors, etc.

  5. I am currently in the final year of my MBA Pharma Tech a dual degree course. I am unable to decide which specialisation I should be taking between operations and Marketing since I show interest in both.. Please help me by providing a little background on both these options in the pharma field and does operations in Pharma supply chain have a good scope in india?

  6. Hi,i'm a 1st yr pgdm student now i have to choose my specialisation as major i decised finance but confuse in minor special. Marketing,HR,IB? Plz suggest the specialisation as i want to built my career in finance.

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