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Top MBA Courses for Students and Professionals

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: March 09, 2016

This article covers the top courses for MBA. Master of Business Administration i.e. MBA is a post graduate professional degree. Any student who is in their graduation or completed graduation must have come across this course as one of the most rewarding professional careers to pursue. The honchos of most of the corporate houses today have MBA in their resume. But more than a degree or a point in resume, MBA is a course which can enhance a professional’s skill sets so much so that he is well equipped to understand the business world in a much advanced manner and in fact ready to take key business decisions.


Business has many aspects for a good management. Therefore, different courses are designed in MBA to create specialized professionals who can take up business challenges in their respective fields. Top MBA courses comprise of basics like Finance, marketing etc along with advanced courses like innovation, strategy etc.

Let us take a look at MBA courses which are essential.


1. FINANCE

Finance in MBA is one of the most popular courses. This course prepares the students in various fields like capital management, corporate finance, budgeting, cost management, international finance, financial risk management, stock market analysis, financial instruments, market volatility and trading, global economics dealings, bankruptcy etc.

Finance has never lost its attractiveness; in fact it has seen an increase in number of candidates applying for this specialization following the global financial crisis. The top B-schools offering MBA in finance are The Wharton School of Pennsylvania, London Business school, University of Chicago, Harvard Business School, Columbia Business school, INSEAD Singapore to name a few. Taking a look in India, IIM Calcutta and IIM Ahmedabad are the most popular business schools known for their best faculty and placement opportunities in the field of finance.


MBA in finance provide good foundation in statistics and strategic decision making. Along with this, specialized courses in investments, financial and banking topics provide for good holding in the finance field. Students undertaking MBA in finance can highly benefit by gaining professional experience through internship programs. Top companies from across the world like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Goldman Sachs offer enriching internship opportunities specifically designed for financial managers.


Taking a look at various profiles after completing MBA in finance, one can see that the opportunities are immense. Some extremely popular career paths for finance management graduates are: Financial analysts, Investment or commercial bankers, Insurance or real estate finance managers, corporate finance manager in finance department of an organization, chief financial officer etc.

2. MARKETING

One of the most dynamic and competitive fields in MBA is Marketing. Marketing field is one of the most desired ones by both candidates and recruiters.


With paradigm shift towards digital marketing as a medium to gain traffic for your brand, the demand for marketing specialization has spiraled up. A candidate interested in pursuing should ideally have soft skills like excellent communication, and great inter personal ability along with highly important analytical skills like being good with numbers plus data interpretation and visualization.


Various subjects taught in marketing specialization include sales force and channel distribution management, consumer behavior, brand management, rural marketing, retail marketing, marketing communications, digital marketing to name a few. Marketing is a field with wide outreach in every company, and hence a lot of organizations offer live projects to students. These live projects put to test the skills learnt during academics in the real world. There is no greater learning than a practical implementation of ideas. Many marketing students undertake these projects to make them more employable as many recruiters give weightage to these live projects.


The top business schools across the world offering an MBA in marketing are Northwestern University, Harvard Business School, The Wharton School- University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD Singapore, Stanford University to name a few. Taking a look at India, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta are top ranked B-schools in India for marketing management course. After an MBA in marketing, a candidate can get a wide variety of opportunities in the field of digital marketing, sales and distribution, brand management, consulting field, business to business marketing etc.

3. OPERATIONS AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

A lot of people when asked about operations management generally talk about manufacturing side of it.


There is a lot more to operations management than just manufacturing, a course in operations management equips students to undertake and handle challenges in supply chain design as well as management, and logistics management along with brainstorming and evaluating ways and means of making operations more optimal and efficient. An operations should preferably have strong analytical and decision making skills. Like other fields, an operations manager should be a team worker as he or she is involved in various cross functional teams. Various duties of an operations manager can range from precise planning of operational processes, manufacturing, and designing of products etc.


Different subjects that an operations management student can expect to study in the course are supply chain management, operations research, project management, supply chain design, operations management, data analysis, product design and development, manufacturing processes, along with modeling and data analysis. The top business schools providing state of art pedagogy in operations management are Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, INSEAD Singapore, The Wharton School- University of Pennsylvania, Stanford Business school to name a few. Within India, along with the top IIM’s there are specialized colleges like National Institute of Industrial Engineering offering specialized operations management course.


The role of an operations manager varies widely across industries. The various profiles offered to an operations management graduate are: Supply chain manager/ purchasing agents/ buyers/ managers which involves managing supply chains through buying goods and services for the organization for the lowest price, Logistics Manager which involves working with purchasing team, marketing team and manufacturing to cost effectively manage operations, consultants and inventory control manager.

4. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (HRM)

Human effort and man hours go into the execution of any task of an organization.


Human resource management is the process including recruitment of employees, selection of the right employees, providing the right orientation and inducing them into the organization, provision of proper and apt training programs to develop the required skills, having the right employee appraisal system and performance management system in place, engagement and motivation of employees, maintaining good industrial relations with labor unions and trade unions, taking care of employee safety and well being by complying with the regulations of the country.


All in all, human resource management is about the optimal and right use of the available and limited skilled labor in the most effective manner. Hence the core goal and purpose of human resource management is the efficient usage of human resources in the company. Various courses in human resources management include talent management, compensation and benefits management, industrial relations laws, rewards management to name a few. In India, Xavier Labor Relations Institute (XLRI) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) are the top institutes offering human resource management.


The opportunities lying ahead for a human resource manager are many and since every industry needs good people management, an HR manager can choose from many profiles available. HRM graduates can undertake various certification courses from institutions like Institute of Certified Professional Managers, International Foundation of Employee benefit management to increase their professional abilities.


5. BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES

MBA in Baking and Finance is a two year post graduation management course. It is a sought after course that can be undertaken by students from any stream.


Banking is mainly concerned with the business of handling savings accounts and also checking accounts for issuance of loan or credit to the right customers. The field of finance deals with the concepts of money and time and their inter relationship. This field also deals with how money is budgeted and spent to maintain a good portfolio.


Along with learning general management courses like Organizational behavior, Managerial Economics, Marketing Management, Human Resource Management, MBA in banking and finance deals with specialized courses like financial institutions and services, management control systems, banking and insurance marketing, management of banking and insurance companies, commercial banking and role of central bank, mutual fund management, merchant banking etc.


To pursue management in banking and finance, students should ideally have a good knowledge of the industry, good written and verbal communication skills, leadership attributes, good people and inter personal skills, and a good knack and ability to use technology. A fair idea of accounting knowledge like ability to analyze company accounts and numbers with accuracy is needed. The job profiles post MBA in banking and finance can be accounts assistant, executive assistant, market analyst, finance manager, financial analyst, investments analyst, corporate analyst etc.

6. INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

As business seek to expand their footprint in the world, international business or international marketing acumen is essential. Management course in international business addresses these changing business needs of the competitive world.


Masters in IB focuses on planning strategically for operations in international markets. The course provides in depth understanding of capabilities an organization needs in international operations which includes understanding of general management subjects along with international human resource, international finance etc.


Masters in IB holds promising career opportunities as the world moves towards seamless trading. Companies exporting their good abroad like automobile manufacturers, multinational companies operating in different geographies, trading companies dealing with export and import of raw materials like steel, FMCG companies, tourism companies, consultancy companies etc. all offer good profiles to students of MBA in IB.


Specialized courses that students undertake during their masters are International negotiation, legal environment of international business, global business operations, global trade relations, international financial risk management etc. Skills required in a candidate are similar to those required in other courses, but knowledge of a foreign language comes in handy and recruiters give preference if they have operations in a specific geography and the candidate knows the language.


Top business schools known for MBA in International business are INSEAD Singapore, Harvard Business School, The Wharton School- University of Pennsylvania, London Business School, Thunderbird School of Global Management to name a few. In India, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade and Symbiosis Institute of International Business are known for MBA in IB.

7. GENERAL MANAGEMENT

MBA course in general management is beneficial for candidates aspiring for entrepreneurial career or even a consulting profile.


Many courses in general management also allow students to design their course tailor made to their needs, one which meets their career goals. Students pursuing general management learn essential skills like team building and team work skills, critical analysis and thinking of a situation, networking, conflict management, problem solving etc.


General management masters course is aimed at students who have prior work experience since they have a basic knowledge of the industry. Students pursuing general management undertake courses like managing non-profit organizations, workplace laws and regulations, strategies in international business, effective strategies of communication for managers, business negotiation techniques to name a few.


General Managers can undertake certifications that can increase their proficiency in their chosen field. Institute of Certified Professional Managers offers good certifications in which applicants can earn Certified Manager designation on clearing the exams. Students who are less qualified can earn Associate Certified Manager certification while they can still prepare for Certifies Manager designation.


Many students studying in the top B-schools of India like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta etc. undertake general management in their course. This gives them a wide scope of opportunities and option to choose from various profiles offered. They can choose to take specialized roles like marketing, operations etc. or they can take up general management roles like those offered by Tata through Tata Administrative Services (TAS), Mahindra and Mahindra Group Management Cadre (GMC). The benefit of taking up general management roles is the close reporting to the top management and hence development of exceptional business acumen at an early stage in their career.


8. ENTREPRENEURSHIP

A course in entrepreneurship gives the budding entrepreneurs a vast platform for building a professional network. This network would help them in seeking venture capital fund in order to build a successful startup.


A B-school also gives a relatively safer environment for the entrepreneurs to test waters than a highly competitive and devastating real world which can lead to a loss of capital and effort.


The skills required of a candidate for MBA in entrepreneurship are flexibility and persistence. Flexibility is required to bend and mould the ideas according to the changing environment. As high as 90% of the startups fail, and it needs a lot of persistence to hold on to your ideas and keep bringing in innovative ideas to make it work. But first and foremost, the most important attribute required of a candidate for entrepreneurship masters is that passion and undying belief in their product, their idea.


The course involves studying general management subjects. The specialized courses taught in MBA in Entrepreneurship are entrepreneurial finance, entrepreneurship development, project management, information technology, business plan and ethics, managing diversity, business environment and ethics, technology innovation and sustainable enterprise to name a few.


The top business schools offering MBA in entrepreneurship are Harvard Business School, Stanford University, The Wharton School- University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD Singapore, Sloan School of Management- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, London Business school etc.


9. INNOVATION

Innovation has formed the basis of changing curricula at many recognized B-schools. Of late the importance of innovation as a specialized and focused course has emerged and is being offered as MBA in Innovation by esteemed institutions.


With the tales and stories of in numerous well known business honchos commencing through innovations of novel or modern processes as well as know-how, schools realize the significance of developing the skill to shape original ideas and implementing the same in the future business arena.

The top business schools across the world offering innovation management are Stanford University, Harvard Business School, Sloan School of Management- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, INSEAD Singapore, The Wharton School- University of Pennsylvania to name a few. Through this program in innovation management, students learn how organizations can use their strengths to gain sustainable competitive advantage through innovation by turning potential ideas into commercial success. Innovation in new products, services, business models etc. is also a vital aspect of the course.


Companies keenly seek managers who can apply innovation in all forms to create more customer value. Continuously evaluated in the light of pertinent issues in industry innovation, this specialized course in innovation management transforms the students to real innovation managers. The program also aims to develop skills that increase the creativity of the students.


10. BUSINESS STRATEGY

Strategy is becoming a much sought after and focused course in the business world. In today’s cutthroat market scenario, strategy is an essential management tool.


A strategy course trains candidates to see the organization as one entity, and to realize why and how a manager can bring a differentiation to the output of the whole company. Strategy helps in aligning the organization’s actions to guarantee long-term successful results. In addition, it considers a holistic outlook of the company and its operating industry in making business decisions. MBA graduates with a solid foundation in strategy are prized for their skill to take the business and profits forward and also to drive the company into diversified directions.


Various courses undertaken by students pursuing management in strategy are industry and environmental analysis, competitive advantage and internal analysis, organizational constitution, market progression and dynamics; in addition to specialized topics for particular industries, different geographic regions or phases of market development. Strategy draws upon industry as well as market fundamentals, and hence it is essential that a specialized strategy syllabus also includes a solid foundation in topics like money matters, accounting and bookkeeping, economics, sales and marketing, companies, and operations.


Harvard Business School holds the top position for Business Strategy management. The Wharton School, Graduate School of Business of Stanford University, and The Kellogg School of Management are the other top 3 US business schools that join Harvard in the recruiter’s top list.


This article has been researched & authored by the Content & Research Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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