To specialise or not, that is the question.
With a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), you have the choice whether to study for a general MBA or to go down a more specialised route. The decision you make will entirely depend on your own situation and where you see your career heading.
Having an MBA to your name will instantly make you appear more attractive to employers and may just provide the competitive edge that you need to secure that dream role. If you’re contemplating an MBA but haven’t quite yet decided on how best to study, we’ve looked into the benefits that come with a general or specialist MBA and how you can determine which one is best for you.
General MBAs are for those who already possess some business experience and want to take their knowledge to a new level. With a general MBA, you’ll learn the skills and insight needed to lead and manage in business.
Anyone who hasn’t yet decided on the particular industry they want to work in will find a general MBA more suited to them. With a general MBA, the course will focus on developing broad business skills, such as financial management, managing customer value and enhancing business acumen, which can then be transferred across numerous sectors.
During the second year of studies, some universities will allow students to choose their own modules which relate to their particular interests.
If you’re looking to expand your business know-how and get into a senior management position but haven’t yet quite decided where to take your career, a general MBA may be the choice for you.
Those who have a clear idea on what they want to do with their careers will find a specialised MBA more relevant to them. With a specialist MBA, students will be able to delve deeper into an industry they are proficient in and build upon already-existent skills.
A similar range of subjects taught in the general MBA will also be taught here, but there will be more of an emphasis on learning skills that relate back to your industry. Students can garner a clearer understanding of how to use this new-found knowledge within their career.
Employers will look favourably at those who have chosen to specialise in a particular subject, as this shows their determination and passion for the sector and demonstrates they possess the skills necessary to excel in that career.
If you’re looking to hone your skills to fit one specific field, then the chances are you may want to consider studying for a specialist MBA.
Which Course is For You?
Ultimately, the choice depends on what you’re looking to get out of your studies and how far ahead you have already mapped out your career.
If you know that you want to work in a particular industry, then a specialist MBA will provide you with the knowledge to manage and lead within that sector. If you’ve not quite decided where you want to be, a general MBA will prepare you with a thorough understanding of the world of business and give you insights you can use throughout your career.
With the Association of MBAs (AMBA) reporting that recent graduates can now expect to earn salaries over £80,000, now may just be the perfect time to study for your MBA.
Adam Maidment is a writer for Manchester Metropolitan University. As one of the UK's top Business School, you can choose to study a general MBA or specialise in Financial Services, Digital Management or Strategic Health and Social Care. For more information, download their free guide to studying for an MBA.
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