Everybody around you is armed with an MBA degree, some even flaunt a global one, but you want to do something beyond a typical management course, something different. What are the choices available to you? One of the options before you is to go in for industry specific specialisation courses such as sports management, luxury brand management, family business, corporate social responsibility, retail management, real estate management, wine management and now even oil and gas. So, if you have a passion for sports but have not excelled in any game, you could still try your hand at managing international sports events if you go in for a sports management course. Similarly, if the touch and feel of Chanel, Gucci products, luxury watches and yachts give you an adrenaline rush, you can try your hand at a degree in luxury management, never mind that you can’t afford these million dollar goods.
A general MBA course is typically for two years and has a few courses thrown in for specific industries. A specialised course takes about a year to complete and provides an overview on a particular sector. So, by taking the specialisation route, you can actually think of getting back to your career faster.
According to Renuka Raja Rao, country coordinator, EducationUSA Advising Services, United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF), the advantages these courses have over a regular MBA degree are: These courses provide an opportunity for students to specialise in niche, and rapidly expanding, markets. As the curriculum is designed with a close eye on industry developments, students are familiarised with the specifics of their particular field early on into their studies. By the time they graduate, they are equipped with extensive knowledge of their chosen area, and are truly industry ready.
Interested students from any discipline may apply for these courses. There are no pre-requisites as such, in terms of previous study. As with nearly all MBAs in the US, 2-3 years of work experience would be a significant asset at the time of application. Therefore, young professionals who have been employed in the sports, media management, hospitality, or the merchandising industries may find it especially beneficial to pursue one of these degrees to boost their profiles, she adds.
Some of the things that students should keep in mind before selecting a specialised management course are — make sure that the institute that you’ve selected has a good ranking for that specialisation. While its true that these courses make you an expert in the field of your choice, it also limits opportunities to work outside that domain and that could be a problem if the sector does not do well.