MBA aspirants are often confused about choosing between General MBA and specialised MBA. To guide students, Dr. G. Revathi, Dean – Academics and Professor of HR at Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) Chennai writes an exclusive column for Careers360. In this column, Dr. Revathi shares insights about the significance of choosing the right specialisation, some of the top specialised MBA programmes and management institutes offering them. She also mentions the career opportunities one can opt for along with the probable challenges.
Read the full column by Dr. Revathi below.
The conventional Master of Business Administration degree that most of us are familiar with, is a General MBA with specialisations in specific business functions like Finance, Marketing, HR etc. On the other hand, a Specialised MBA is a management degree that is focused on an industry sector (E.g., Aviation or Oil & Natural Gas), a field of work (E.g., Industrial Engineering or Analytics), or like the General MBA, on a business function (E.g., Finance or Operations).
Also, in a General MBA the number of credits for a specialisation or area of concentration would be much less than in a Specialised MBA programme. For instance, at the Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), Chennai, students need to have a total of 135 credits, of which the minimum number of credits required for a specialisation such as Marketing or Operations is only 15; even for Business Analytics, a new area of concentration introduced this year in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Services, students need only 24 credits to specialise. (A credit is the equivalent of 10 hours of class.)
In contrast, in a Specialised programme the bulk of courses would concentrate on the area of specialisation, while the remaining papers (both core and elective) would be from other areas and thus ensure General Management awareness. For example, the Master of Arts in Human Resource Management & Labour Relations programme being offered by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai aims to create corporate-ready Human Resource professionals with a sound knowledge of business. One can see from their syllabus that most of the papers focus on People Management supplemented by a healthy sprinkling from General Management as well as other business functions.
These specialised management degrees are not new, with some of them running for several decades now. Among the earliest were the programmes in Human Resource Management offered by TISS as well as the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, and Forest Management by the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.
There are, however, several reasons for renewed interest in them: For one, there is a growing demand for higher education and skills across the globe. Secondly, the recurring complaint of recruiters during campus placement drives is that students lack practical knowledge. Thirdly, the management education segment is seeing an increasing number of players. Hence, both Institutes and students wish to create a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for themselves.
These issues can be addressed by the Specialised MBA programme whose students would be industry-ready in every sense of the word, their skills being more practical and application-oriented than a General MBA, and customised to a specific industry sector.
Interestingly however, some industry watchers are of the contrary view that this is only a passing fad, and cannot hold out in the long run against the broader and more rooted appeal of a General Management degree.
Career prospects for Specialised MBAs: Opportunities and Threats
Many recruiters like Banking Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI), Telecom, and Retail would be happy to hire Specialised MBAs since they can hit the ground running.
However, it is very important that the college has a strong Placement department. Otherwise, students would be stuck with a narrow set of competencies and thereby limited job options. Also, if the curriculum concentrates more on the sector or industry, and less on business fundamentals, growth to senior positions later could be a struggle in which the candidate could lose out to a General MBA holder. A specialised degree could also constrain career mobility across functions, organisations, or industries in the future.
Hence, ideal candidates for a Specialised MBA would be those who are clear about their area of focus (business function/industry/field of work), or who already have work experience in the same. On the other hand, if one is unsure of where one wants to specialise, or an experienced worker looking for a career change, it might be better to take up a General MBA course where the exposure to various business functions as well as industries would help in deciding where they would like to be employed.
Some of the Specialised Management Programmes and Institutes in the country:
Aviation - University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun
Business Analytics - Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai
Forest Management - Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal
Healthcare Management - Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai
Human Resource Management - XLRI, Jamshedpur; TISS, Mumbai; Management Development Institute, Gurgaon
Industrial Management - National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai
Insurance Management - Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
Logistics and Supply Chain Management – S P Jain School of Global Management, Mumbai
Retail Management - K J Somaiya, Mumbai; Welingkar, Mumbai
Rural Management - Institute of Rural Management, Anand; NMIMS, Mumbai; Welingkar, Mumbai
Sports Management - National Academy of Sports Management, Mumbai; International Institute of Sports Management, Mumbai
Telecom Management - IIT-Delhi
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Candidates are short-listed for Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI) from among the eligible candidates who have a valid entrance exam score and have applied to the programme of LIBA. The GD-PI process will be conducted at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai After the GD-PI round, admission offers are made by LIBA to successful candidates. The final selection is based on a diverse set of attributes which includes performance in entrance exam, performance in PI round, academics, Quality of Work Experience among others.
Last date to apply for admission in LIBA is to close on January 10, 2020. To explore admission opportunity in LIBA, Chennai, the candidates need to apply for admission by using and filling up the online application form. LIBA will accept CAT 2019 and XAT 2020 scores, so you can apply with the CAT scores and also XAT scores. Better of the two scores will be considered. The Application fee for admission to PGDM 2020 at LIBA is Rs.1500/- as was last year.
The number of students that can be admitted to the PGDM 2020-22 batch is 180 at LIB
the Total Programme fees payable by PGDM students at LIBA is Rs. 15,26,300 last year.t
he Fee includes Admission Fee, Tuition Fee, Library Fee, Computer Fee, Alumni Membership Fee, Insurance, Fee for foundation courses, Alumni
Hello !!!Loyola institute of business administration has admissions strictly based on the merit list.And there are no management seats provided.Hope i might helped you.GOOD LUCK!!
Hello dear student,
As you have asked for the Liba placement . So dear student let me inform you that LIBA is known for its reputation for 100% placement achievement for the students studying in the university. Many good companies visit the campus and this is consistently maintaining their reputation fore placements that too100% placement . Information shared by us is helpful for you. Best wishes
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