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MBA Specializations


General Management Program vs. Special Management Programs

Students have the opportunity to pursue either a general management program or complete a specialization as part of the MBA program. Specializations are a matter of choice, not a prerequisite, and all students receive the same MBA education regardless of whether they complete a specialization. Students should consider their career goals and professional development in settling on a specialization.

As more and more universities offer MBA programmes, it is becoming ever more difficult for candidates to decide on which business school offers the most suitable MBA programme to meet their requirements. Many business schools are digressing from the ‘generalist’ system, which has been the typical MBA model for the last thirty years. Today you can choose from a wide range of MBA specializations, ranging from an MBA in Financial Studies, as well as Insurance and Risk Management Accountancy and Finance, to an MBA in Sports Management, or even an MBA in Technology.

The trend towards one-year niche, or specialist MBAs, designed for particular groups of professional people, appears to be market driven. Some fields may be nearly impossible to enter without specialized training. Research your chosen industry to determine whether a specialty program may be a better alternative for you than a generalist MBA degree.

US schools in particular, reject the specialist MBA model. Their two-year format allows MBA students to be generalists in their first year, whilst specializing in their chosen field in their second year.

Shape your studies to complement all that make you inimitable — education, experience, aptitudes, interests, passions. Famous MBA schools abroad all have their own specialties; for example, Harvard Business School is at the head of the class in commercial management, the University of Chicago Graduate Business School in financial management, and the Kellogg School of Management in marketing.

MBA in Finance

In the US the finance department has become a battleground for business school supremacy. With the high profile of Wall Street amongst MBA recruiters, finance is one of the most eminent disciplines.

Finance is such an intricate and diverse industry that many schools have large sectors dedicated to the subject. Most of the world’s investment banks are staffed primarily by MBA graduates from schools with a strong background in finance. After several quiet years, demand for MBAs within one of the most popular sectors for business school graduates – investment banking – is back with a vengeance. According to the 2005 Top Recruiter and Salary Survey, which canvasses opinions from recruiters in 30 countries around the world, demand is up by 20%, taking it to a level not witnessed since the bursting of the dotcom bubble at the beginning of the millennium.

For the go-getting MBA, whatever his or her gender or racial background, it means that investment banking is rapidly becoming an aspired field. Banks realize that they need to emulate the diversity and experience of their clients and are making great efforts to achieve this through, recruitment, retention and development. Background and potential, however, are just the commencement and it’s consequently no surprise that investment banks are some of the biggest per capita spenders on training and development of all MBA recruiters.

London Business School has long had a dominant finance faculty, which has only been enhanced since it developed the highly successful one year Masters in Finance (MiF) in the mid-1990s. Yet Janet Dobson, Director of the MiF, endorses the view that: “a specialist Masters like the MiF is very different from our generalist two year MBA. It is proposed for finance junkies…76% of our MiF class already have an MBA or management degree.”

MBA in Health (Pharmaceuticals)

Now worth well in excess of $500 billion per annum, the pharmaceuticals industry is a key player in the worldwide economy as more and more MBA s are opting for this trendy field. The industry’s largest market remains North America, which accounts for nearly half of all pharmaceutical sales, with Europe taking second place at around 30% of total worth. However, this may be all set to change over the next decade. While growth in North America hovers at around 8%, both Latin America and Asia are forging ahead with growth figures well into double digits.

As is the case in many key industries, MBAs tend to be recruited by the pharmaceutical sector, as much for their potential as for any specific previous experience, although academic training in the sciences or a background in such areas as sales or marketing can sometimes prove to your advantage.

MBA in Consultancy

Most consultancy firms see a top MBA as a fundamental management entry-level qualification. Without an MBA, it is almost impossible to become a senior consultant in a top-consulting firm. The MBA seems to have moved from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘need to have’ qualification for those set on an international management consultancy career. According to the Survey, top consultancies are predicting average base salaries for new MBA hires of US $94,000, while one North American firm has reported making offers of as much as US $117,500.

MBA in Information Technology

Students interested in careers in management consultancy, software or database development, enterprise management systems, telecommunication and business analysis must opt for the specialization and will be recognized as having a thorough IT background. IT graduates play essential roles on the business team, typically designing and implementing hardware and software solutions to business problems. They hold professional positions in areas such as client/server or web applications development, systems analysis and network administration. They constitute the important workforce as technical and management professionals in a variety of industries. Students obtaining such a certificate usually acquire positions in the top management consulting firms or as strategic analysts in the transportation, telecommunications, and financial sector.

Graduates are expected to possess the appropriate knowledge, experience and skills to adapt to change in this dynamic field through a lifelong learning process. They are prepared to help shape twenty-first century organizations in a rapidly changing, globally competitive, technologically sophisticated environment. The program is designed to develop a diverse and integrated group of experts armed with the necessary skills for building new entrepreneurial ventures.

MBA in Telecommunications

Technical convergence changes everything. An MBA in this particular field equips students with a global vision of the business convergence process currently taking place and poised to form one of the major industries of the 21st century. A full time program from Institute de Empresa Business School organized in collaboration with Accenture, international leading partner, is oriented to innovative professionals of any background who want to plan a career path in the digital economy, either as a key player in a leading multinational or as an entrepreneur.

Telecommunications have made huge leaps forward in the past two decades. It is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The emphasis is on the value added services, such as e-mail, cellular phones, WAP etc in developed countries and in improving basic telephone availability in the developing countries. This sector plays a key role in encouraging growth in the industrial and services sector.

MBA in Media

This one-of–a kind MBA is geared to professionals already working in media. It was specifically designed to provide graduates with the foundation, skills, and competencies required to both understand and function within the complex legal, ethical, economic, and social dimensions of media management.

Admission to this program requires entering students to have prior media, art or media related business expertise. Students come from a wide array of backgrounds in communication arts; radio; television; film; music; fine arts; gallery and arts administration; museum administration; law; education; business management; marketing; public relations; creative writing; journalism; multimedia; publishing; e-commerce; theatre; dance; and opera.

Each semester combines academic study with actual managerial experience. In the first semester, students focus their efforts on creating a comprehensive business plan for a media-related venture designed to satisfy a need, realize an opportunity, or address a challenge within a given media industry. In the second semester, students implement aspects of their business plans and in the third semester they develop and implement a marketing plan to promote their respective media ventures Schulich offers Canada’s only MBA with a specialization in arts and media administration. The specialization is suitable for students who have either work experience in the cultural sector or an undergraduate education in areas of the arts such as music, theatre, dance or the visual arts, or areas of the cultural media such as film studies or literary studies. Schulich graduates from the arts and media administration specialization fill such positions as: general manager and marketing and development directors of major performing and visual arts organizations; cultural policy analysts at all levels of government; owners of entrepreneurial endeavours in the cultural sector; and business managers in the film industry.

MBA in Financial Services

The financial services sector is undergoing profound and rapid change. Organizations require professionals who understand the dynamics of the industry, and the broad direction and implications of the forces of change. Such professionals must have a strong foundation in skills that will be relevant to a critically important and fast-changing industry. These skills include areas such as marketing, strategy, real property development and organizational behavior/industrial relations. They also include finance and financial engineering skills, which are particularly relevant to manage risk in the sector. The program is designed to compliment these skills by providing students with an appreciation of how this important industry sector is changing, and the implications of this change for the application of these skills. The program adds value to students who wish to work in the financial services industry.

The program stresses relevance as well as rigor. To this end, it is committed to developing relationships with firms and senior executives in the financial sector that can provide ‘real-world’ perspectives on current issues.