One thing you have to decide while taking an MBA course is whether or not you want to select a specialization. You can get a one year MBA which just teaches the basics of management, but you also have the option of selecting a two year MBA program which devotes the second year to a specialization. This specialization is chosen according to the type of industry you would like to work in after graduation.
Types of MBA Specialization
Here is a list of the most basic and commonly taught types of MBA course specialization:
• Human Resources
• IT Systems
You can select between these different specializations to aim a part of your education toward a particular type of job. You still get all of the standard MBA course information that would otherwise be taught, but you go to school longer to get specific training related to these individual fields.
There are also some different specializations now coming out with different MBA programs. These tend to be very specific to different industries and are typically found with online MBA programs that aren’t very reputable. It is questionable how in-depth and valuable the extra coursework for these “special” specialties really is with most programs.
If you decide to specialize for your mba course, it is best to stick with one of the recognized and well known specialties listed above.
Benefits of MBA Specialization
The obvious benefit to specializing your MBA course is that you become more marketable in the industry that you have chosen to specialize in. While your basic MBA degree gives you an advantage over job applicants who do not have this training, a good specialization will put you ahead of those who have just a standard MBA. This is the theory of it at least. What happens in the marketplace may be something different entirely.
Do You Need to Specialize?
The problem with specializing your MBA course is that you limit the type of job that you can get once completing the MBA program. If you have specialized in finance but find it difficult to find a job in finance, you will end up applying for other types of management jobs and explaining why you have a specialization in finance that you aren’t using.
This doesn’t mean you will never find a job outside of your area of specialization, since you do have all the basic MBA course knowledge. You will just have to explain that you are having trouble finding a job within your specialty when applying for jobs within other industries or types of management. That can be awkward and may reflect negatively on you.
If you want the widest range of job opportunity possible after completing your MBA course, you should stay away from specializations. Just get a standard MBA from a well recognized and respected MBA program. Then use that education to apply for a wide variety of jobs until you get your foot in the door somewhere.
This is the best strategy if your ultimate goal is to move your career forward or just start making some money. If you really want to aim to one specific industry, then it may be worth the extra year of study and limited opportunity to just go for a specialized MBA course.