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How to choose between Marketing, Finance and HR specializations?

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree has always been a coveted pursuit for upcoming as well as working professionals, primarily because it helps bolsters their skill set and employment opportunities manifold. Every program, including online MBA programs, is designed to impart students advanced training and knowledge in one core area of specialization. 

Students have to choose between different elective components to decide what their area of specialization will be. Today, there is a diverse range of options for MBA specialization. However, the three classics streams – marketing, finance, and HR – remain the most popular. Here are other MBA specialization and overall course details to get you started, MBA course details

The choice of specialization determines the program of your career, and that’s why it’s important not to take this decision lightly. Ascertaining which MBA specialization to choose can often be as unnerving a choice as deciding on the right program. An in-depth understanding of what these different specializations entail, coupled with a clear insight into your career goals, their strengths and weaknesses can help you arrive at a sound decision. 

To help you do that, here is a lowdown on what specialization in marketing, finance or HR bring to the table: 

MBA in Marketing 

An MBA specialization in marketing focuses on the managerial aspect of a product lifecycle. Right from the conceptualization of goods or services to taking them to the customer. This involves the 7Ps of the marketing process – price, people, process, physical environment, place, promotion, and product as one of the concepts.  

Professionals working in the marketing field are essentially responsible for bringing in more business to an organization, thus, contributing to its growth. Learning about how to ideate and develop products, pricing them, choosing the right distribution channels and developing strategies for their promotion prepares you for the rigmarole of the job. 

Students specializing in marketing are taught the nuances of market research, sales management, retail management, brand management, digital marketing, and customer behavior. Apart from this, you also get a chance to improve your analytical and interpersonal skills. 

READ MORE: MBA in marketing course syllabus 

An MBA in marketing career options 

MBA in marketing opens various career options. The followings are some of the job roles and their average salaries –  

Job roles Average salary (INR) 
Sales Manager 5 LPA 
Business Analyst 7 LPA 
Marketing Designer 10.5 LPA 
Sales Architect 23.9 LPA 
E-mail Marketing Manager 6 LPA 
Marketing Analyst 8 LPA 
Social Media Manager 5.1 LPA 
Source: AmbitionBox

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: A guide on how to get a job in the marketing sector 

Since business is a multidisciplinary subject, all the knowledge cannot be gained through theory alone. That is why the top online MBA programs balance theory with practice so that students find themselves industry-ready by the end of the term. 

MBA in Finance 

An MBA in Finance focuses on efficient money management. With this specialization, you’ll gain expertise on matters of assets, liabilities, uncertainties, and risks. The finance stream of a management degree is often further divided into sub-categories such as personal finance, public finance, and corporate finance. 

Opting for this specialization will polish your financial management skills and provide you with expert knowledge of aspects such as tax planning, budgeting, banking, tax planning, investment analysis, corporate restructuring, and portfolio management. Needless to say, this specialization and the jobs that come with it, involve a fair deal of number crunching and a deep understanding of the financial world. 

That’s why it’s an ideal choice for candidates with a background in commerce. 

READ MORE: MBA Finance course details 

An MBA in finance career options 

Job roles Average salary (INR) 
Asset Manager 9.2 LPA 
Investment Banker 13.4 LPA 
Private Equity Manager 8-23 LPA 
Hedge Fund Manager 10-25 LPA 
Credit Risk Manager 13 LPA 
Portfolio Manager 12 LPA 
Source: AmbitionBox

MBA in Human Resources 

The discipline of Human Resources (HR) deals with managing the workforce in an organization. This includes acquiring, retaining, and managing the employees, as well as ensuring a smooth implementation of work ethics, code of conduct and other rules. An HR manager acts as a bridge between the management and the employees in an organization. 

The crux of this job profile entails ensuring the smooth functioning of all the different departments. Students who opt for a specialization in HR, focus on areas such as training and development, recruitment selection, assessment and motivation, designing jobs, compensation, and health and safety. 

The one factor that makes HR a lucrative choice for MBA students is its universal appeal. Every business, irrespective of the size, industry, or operations, needs an HR manager on their team. 

READ MORE: MBA HR course details 

An MBA in human resources career options 

Job roles Average salary (INR)
Technical Recruiter 3 LPA 
HR Manager 7 LPA 
Compensation Manager 19.5 LPA 
Staffing Manager 7.5 LPA 
Placement Manager 4.4 LPA 
Employee Relations Manager 3 LPA 
Training and Development Manager 7.8 LPA 
Change and Development Consultant 8.5 LPA 
Source: AmbitionBox

Learn more about career option after MBA in HR

Which specialization is right for you? 

As you can see, each one of these MBA specializations opens up an array of exciting and lucrative career choices. So, how do you decide which is the right fit for you? Here are some factors to consider while making that choice: 

Your core strengths: Everyone has some strong suits and weaknesses. That’s the first thing you should take into account when deciding which specialization is ideal for you. Are you a people’s person? Then, you’d probably excel at marketing. But if you’re an introvert with a knack for number crunching, finance is the way to go. 

Specialization curriculum: Whether you sign up for an MBA for working professionals or an accelerated online MBA, take the time to study the contents of the specialization curriculum. As they say, the devil lies in the details. It’s important to be sure that the subjects and topics covered in the program are in sync with your aptitude and interests. 

Placement opportunities: Go over the past placement trends of the institute you’re enrolling in to see which specialization has secured the maximum and most lucrative placements. It also helps to look into the placement pattern of some of the best MBA programs in the country or globally to understand the prevalent market trend. While you can’t base your choice solely on this criterion, it is an important factor to nudge you in the right direction. 

For instance, if you are divided between HR and Marketing, an overview of placement opportunities can help you make up your mind. 

Pay packages: Compare your salary expectations with the average entry-level salary in each of these specializations to assess which one would be more in line with your career goals. Of programs, these figures are a ballpark based on recent hiring trends. Also, look at the growth trajectory in terms of remuneration for different fields and job profiles, but don’t make money the sole determining criteria. 

Where will I get these MBA specialization options? 

Many institutions around the world are offering MBA specializations in marketing, finance, and HR. If you would like to pursue an MBA online, choose Online Manipal, a platform that features some of the in-demand online degree programs from prestigious Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ), and TA Pai Management Institute (TAPMI).  

Online MBA from MAHE offers specializations in marketing, finance, HRM, Operations Management, Information Systems, Business Analytic, Data Science, Healthcare Management, Pharmaceutical Management, and Fashion Management. Any professional with at least one-year experience in any leading organization can enroll in this program.  

MUJ’s online MBA is suitable for both fresh graduates and working professionals to learn modern management concepts at their convenience. Elective subjects with the online MBA are Finance, Marketing, HRM, Operations Management, Retail Management, IT & FinTech, Analytics & Data Science, and BFSI. 

Enroll in any of these programs to level up your career. 

Parting words 

Each of these specializations has its own benefits and perks. Your skillset and aptitude for the job have to be the most important factors in your choice. If you are passionate and driven about your career, success will follow. In addition to your abilities, choosing the best university for MBA also makes a huge impact on your future prospects. 


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

  • TAGS
  • Finance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Online MBA
  • online MBA courses in India

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