Choosing the MBA specialization is a crucial decision for MBA aspirants. MBA programs come with different specializations and you need to choose one that aligns with your career goals. In this article, we will list 5 important factors to consider before deciding on an MBA specialization.
1) What are my interests? - Do you prefer entrepreneurial or managerial aspects of business? Do you want to work in marketing or finance? Knowing what types of activities interest you is the first step when choosing an MBA specialization. You need to be honest with yourself regarding this aspect because once you sign up for a specialization you need to commit your time into it in order to carve out a solid professional career for yourself. You might get intrigued by the monetary aspects of the various specialization but do not get mesmerized and take up the specialization blind folded. Here, there is a need to understand that any specialization brings in money when you are emotionally invested into it, that means you must possess certain qualifications and interest before venturing out into a specialization. So, interest is the most fundamental thing to consider while choosing a specialization.
2) What are the subjects offered in various specialization? : Are you familiar to the subjects being offered in the various specialization. Take a thorough look into the course curriculum break-up of a particular specialization. Then analyze the subjects properly and then ask yourself that whether or not are you ready to channel your efforts into those subjects. Whether the subjects are sustainable or not? Will they help you to future-proof your career? These are the basic questions you must ask yourself after looking at the subject being offered in a particular specialization which might help you to take a better calculated decision.
3) Number of Companies visiting your campus for the particular job-role: You need to check with the placement department of your college regarding the number of companies recruiting for your desired specialization. If the number of companies visiting campus for a particular job role are less then you must look out for off-campus placements and develop your profile accordingly. Otherwise look for any different specialization for which a large number of companies hire from your campus and also keep an eye on the pay packages being offered for the said specialization. In short, your specialization should provide you with ample employment opportunities within and outside the campus placements.
4) Faculty Expertise: Look thoroughly for the faculty available for various specializations being offered in your b-school or the b-school which you are targeting. Faculty plays an important role in making a specialization or a subject interesting or boring as hell for you. There are a few faculties who can really inspire you to think out of the box and work on innovative ideas. On the other hand, there are some faculties who will just spoon-feed you with whatever is being offered in the specialization without any critical thinking or analysis from your end. So, it is always advisable to check faculty expertise before finalizing your specialization.
5) Prior Working Experience: If you have prior working experience (both part-time and full-time) and want top level jobs in that particular field only then go for the specialization that augments to your career goals. Keep looking to add onto your existing skill sets and MBA degree will be of a great use for you in that pursuit. Use your specialization in order to achieve an exponential growth in your career and justifying the investment made into your MBA. In such a way your learning will be fun and will add immense value to your career trajectory.
These are the five ways which can help you to choose the right MBA specialization for yourself. Specializations like HR, finance, marketing and operations are some of the most popular ones that students usually opt for. But it is always advisable to do your own research and carve out a niche that suits you the best. Your research can include talking to people already working in the domain, consulting your professors and peers, connecting with people on LinkedIn, watching interviews on YouTube, going for short term certifications online etc.
It is crucial that you choose the right specialization because that decides the course of your career as well as the efficiency of your time invested in MBA. MBA degree with a specialization will give you an extra edge over other employees.