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Courses & Specialization
Today, an MBA aspirant is faced with many options with respect to choosing typical MBA programs or specializations.

COURSES

The basic and generic programs offered by the majority of the MBA Colleges are as follows:

A full-time program (two-year and one-year).

A part-time program or a distance-learning program (including online).
The MBA student should broadly decide on a particular program or specialization after analyzing his/her interests and the time available for the course.

SPECIALIZATIONS

While doing an MBA program, deciding on a specialization is imperative to a successful career tomorrow. The choice of specialization should be made after careful analysis of area of interest, personal calibre and the utilization of the skill and knowledge in the industry.

With the changing economy, the number and types of specialization being offered in MBA programs have increased manifold.

However, apart from the specific specializations, some generic MBA specializations available to students are as follows:

Marketing Management.

Operations Management.

Finance Management.

Systems Management.

Human Resource Management.

Specialized MBA's. .

The Two-Year Full-Time Program

The two year full-time program provides holistic knowledge, both academic and extra-curricular, industry experience, and an opportunity to create and build networks. These programs begin with basics and are ideal for those without work experience or with an experience of less than three years. Students joining this program are favoured by most recruiters across organizations. The two-year post-graduate program comprises of six trimesters of 10-12 weeks each, or four semesters of 16-18 weeks each.

The two years of full time program teach students about the basic and specific aspects of management. The MBA course is a holistic experience, as the pedagogy and learning are different from any other post-graduate course.

The One-Year Full-Time Program

The one-year full-time program is meant specifically for those with work experience, who are looking for a career shift or adding that extra edge to their qualifications. However, going for a one-year course implies an increased level of dedication, rigor and commitment from the candidate.

The Part-Time Program

The part-time MBA programs are for individuals who want to continue working and at the same time enhance their skills and knowledge in domains so that they become further employable in the job market tomorrow. However, it's important to keep in mind that such a course is devoid of certain advantages like that of a full-time programs - the opportunity to interact with peers on a regular basis which enhances the quality and dimension of knowledge acquired. A large number of applicants participating in these programs are looking for skill upgradation that could help them work in different sectors at different positions in the industry. These courses normally vary from two to three years in duration.

Distance-Learning Programs

Under this form of study, students are provided with study materials and contact classes and a periodic review is also arranged. The contact classes are generally of three types: organized in a major city accessible to all aspirants, classes held at the B-School campus for a week twice a year, or regular classes that are beamed live into classrooms in select cities using virtual satellite technology over VSAT.

Marketing Management

As a discipline, this is the most preferred option among Management aspirants with good communication skills and leadership qualities.

For MBA aspirants interested in a career in sales, brand management or market research, Marketing Management happens to be the most apt specialization.

Marketing Management plays a key role in the industries such as fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), advertising and market research, sales & distribution, and product or brand management. A large number of CEOs often belong to this discipline.

Operations Management

As a discipline, this is preferred by people with specific inclination towards Production / Shop-Floor Management and Operations.

For aspirants having an eye for detail, the ability to negotiate, keeping calm in tough situations and having sound technical knowledge; Operations Management happens to be the most suited specialization.

Operations play a key role in the fields of quality control, material management, productivity improvement, inventory control, production planning, supply chain management and logistics.

An MBA in Operations Management may start off as a Manufacturing Manager, Product Supervisor and go on to Technical Product Manager of the division. Further career growth may include General Manager of a division and finally up to Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of a company.

As an Operations Manager, one can expect manufacturing, engineering, sales and distribution companies as potential employers.

Finance Management

Aspirants who are good at "Number Crunching" prefer this specialization. This is a career for people generally interested in quantitative skills and who are passionate about planning, managing of resources and policy formation. This field requires high analytical ability, comfort with numbers and an understanding and interpretation of balance sheets. The person opting for this specialization needs to be thorough with back-end operations.

Finance Managers play a key role in the fields of consumer and investment banking, institutional finance, merchant banking, corporate finance and international finance.

With a specialization in Finance, one can look for exciting careers in banks, financial consultancies, financial institutions, Investment Banks, and Stock Brokerage Houses. The designations could be that of Finance Manager or Financial Analyst and the career path could lead all the way to Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Systems Management

The last few years have seen the emergence of Information Technology (IT) / Management Information Systems (MIS) as a major function of any industry, from being just a departmental function earlier.

Systems Management involves custom-development of IT solutions in all areas, from putting up online daily sales to developing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions. Systems Management is normally an integration role between clients (internal/external) and programmers.

For people specializing in MIS, the career path is skewed in favour of engineers and technical graduates and it generally requires people with good technical skills coupled with good business domain knowledge.

One can join as Systems Analyst, and then go on to Technical Systems Manager and ultimately on to Chief Information Officer (CIO). Business Development Manager and Technical Consultant are also roles one could start with.

Systems Managers play an important role in the fields of systems consultancy, account management/project management, systems department of organizations, IT Companies, business development and sales & marketing.

Human Resource Management

People are the most valuable asset of a company. As a Human Resource Manager, the focus is on people management which forms the backbone of any organization.

A Human Resource Manager needs to be a good communicator and should present himself/herself as a competent, dependable and charismatic person. The Human Resource Manager plays a key role in the fields of human resource development, personnel management and industrial relations.

MBAs in this field generally specialize in Personnel related matters in the organization wherein they are in charge of Recruitment and Selection, Job Analysis, Performance Appraisals and the Grievance Redressal Cells. They may also be in charge of Employee training and development.

The roles could be a HR Manager, a Personnel Manager or an Industrial Relations Manager. Companies across sectors hire HR managers.

Specialized MBAs

Nowadays, with the surge in the demand of managers and leaders in different sectors of the Indian economy, the demand for specialization is increasing. A specialized MBA is for those aspirants who want to specialize in typical fields apart from the usual fields of marketing or finance. Needless to say, going for such a specialized course implies a well thought-out career plan.

Some of the following specializations (on the basis of sectors) are also been offered by various institutes.


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