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How to Choose between Marketing, Finance and HR Specialisations?

Lt. Mayank Mittal | July 21, 2021 6 Min Read

How to Choose between Marketing, Finance and HR Specialisations?

A Masters 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 programme, including online MBA programmes, is designed to impart students advanced training and knowledge in one core area of specialisation.

Students have to choose between different elective components to decide what their area of specialisation will be. Today, there is a diverse range of options for MBA specialisation. However, the three classics streams – marketing, finance and HR – remain the most popular.

The choice of specialisation determines the programme of your career, and that’s why it’s important not to take this decision lightly. Ascertaining which MBA specialisation to choose can often be as unnerving a choice as deciding on the right programme. An in-depth understanding of what these different specialisations 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 specialisation in marketing, finance or HR bring to the table:

MBA in Marketing

An MBA specialisation in marketing focuses on the managerial aspect of a product lifecycle. Right from the conceptualisation of goods or services to taking them to the customer. This involves the 4Ps of the marketing process – product, price, place and promotion.

Professionals working in the marketing field are essentially responsible for bringing in more business to an organisation, 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 specialising in marketing are taught the nuances of market research, sales management, retail management, brand management, digital marketing and customer behaviour. Apart from this, you also get a chance to improve your analytical and interpersonal skills.

An MBA in marketing opens up the following employment avenues:

• Sales Manager

• Business Analyst

• Marketing Designer

• Sales Architect

• E-mail Marketing Manager

• Marketing Analyst

• Retail Marketing Associate

• Social Advertising Executive

• Social Media Manager

Average starting salary: INR 5-6 lakh per annum

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

Opting for your business degree online offers you innumerable benefits over the traditional offline classes. Let’s glance through some of the top advantages below:

MBA in Finance

An MBA in Finance focuses on efficient money management. With this specialisation, 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 specialisation 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 specialisation 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.

Job opportunities available after an MBA in Finance include:

• Asset Management

• Investment Banking

• Private Equity Management

• Hedge Fund Management

• Credit Risk Management

• Portfolio Management

Average starting salary: INR 5-7 lakh per annum

MBA In Human Resources

The discipline of Human Resources (HR) deals with managing the workforce in an organisation. 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 organisation.

The crux of this job profile entails ensuring the smooth functioning of all the different departments. Students who opt for a specialisation 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.

Some of the job positions available to MBA graduates with a specialisation in HR include:

• Technical Recruiter

• HR manager

• Compensation manager

• Staff manager

• Placement manager

• Employee relations manager

• Training and development manager

• Change and development consultant

Average starting salary: INR 4-6 lakh per annum

Which Specialisation Is Right For You?

As you can see, each one of these MBA specialisations 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 specialisation 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.

Specialisation 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 specialisation curriculum. As they say, the devil lies in the details. It’s important to be sure that the subjects and topics covered in the programme 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 specialisation has secured the maximum and most lucrative placements. It also helps to look into the placement pattern of some of the best MBA programmes in the country or globally to understand the prevalent market trend. While you can’t base your choice solely on this criteria, 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 specialisations to assess which one would be more in line with your career goals. Of programmes, 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.

Parting words

Each of these specialisations 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.

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