Almost all MBA students from Indian universities have this question in their minds as they begin with the 2nd semester. Well, this article will be useful for all such students who often get confused and keep juggling between the specializations.
The choice of Specialization is based on many factors like job opportunities, location, personality traits, specialized skills sets etc. Most of the B-schools offer basic specializations like Finance, Marketing, Human Resource, Information Technology, Operations Mangement. Other specializations available for students are Telecom Management, Hospitality/Healthcare management, Systems Management, Retail Management, International Business, Entrepreneurship etc.
In this article, we will focus on major basic specializations – what are the factors governing these specializations, what are the job functions of such specializations and skills required. Before choosing any specialization all MBA students should give a deep thought over job opportunities and future growth. Most importantly one must analyze his strengths, weaknesses, skill sets and interests and then select the appropriate specialization.
The duties of financial managers vary with their specific titles, which include Controller, treasurer or finance officer, credit manager, cash manager and risk & insurance manager.
Job Functions of a Finance Manager:-
Develop and analyze information to assess the current and future financial status of firms.
Evaluate data pertaining to costs in order to plan budgets.
Evaluate financial reporting systems, accounting and collection procedures, investment activities, make recommendations for changes to procedures, operating systems, budgets and other financial control functions.
Network within communities to find and attract new business.
Prepare financial and regulatory reports & communicate with stockholders and other investors to provide information, and to raise capital.
Analyze and classify risks and investments to determine their potential impacts on companies. Regulatory reports required by laws, regulations, and boards of directors.
Skill sets required to be a good Finance Manager:-
Candidates for financial management positions need many different skills. Interpersonal skills are important because these jobs involve managing people and working as part of a team to solve problems. Financial managers must have excellent communication skills to explain complex financial data. Because financial managers work extensively with various departments in their firm, a broad understanding of business is essential.
Financial managers should be creative thinkers and problem-solvers, applying their analytical skills to business. Financial managers must have knowledge of international finance because financial operations are increasingly being affected by the global economy. In addition, good knowledge of regulatory compliance procedures is essential.
Marketing can be a lucrative career if one has what it takes to be a winner. Marketing jobs may be broadly classified into domains like Sales, Pre-Sales and Market Research. However, the ultimate goal of all the marketing activities is to improve the sales. Marketing without sales is of hardly any use.
Job Functions of Marketing Management:-
Manage and coordinate all marketing, advertising and promotional staff and activities
Conduct market research to determine market requirements for existing and future products
Analysis of customer research, current market conditions and competitor information
Develop and implement marketing plans and projects for new and existing products
Manage the productivity of the marketing plans and projects
Monitor, review and report on all marketing activity and results
Determine and manage the marketing budget
Deliver marketing activity within agreed budget
Develop pricing strategy
Liaison with media and advertising
Skillsets required to be a good Marketing manager:-
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Organization and planning
Problem analysis and problem-solving
Formal presentation skills
Burning Desire to succeed.
Goal Oriented Approch.
Human Resource Management:-
The designations acquired by the Human resource professional based on Qualification and Experience are HR Generalist, HR Executive and HR Manager. However tasks performed by all Human Resource professionals are more or less the same.
Roles & Responsibilities of Human Resource Manager:-
Salary and Benefits
Skills required to be a Human Resource Manager
The HR skills will involve
People Handling Skills
Team Work Skills
Computer Proficiency & Presentation Skills
Salary & Tax related knowledge
Good e-mail writing
Job postings on web-portals
Information & Technology Management:-
Information & Technology Industry emerged as the Highest Employment generator in the year 2010 in India. So there is huge scope for Professionals opting for IT as specialization.IT manager can work broadly in following domains namely as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Functional Consultants, as Business Analysts, Project Manager or as System Analysts.
Duties performed by an IT Manager:-
Roles and responsibilities of an IT manager may vary with Product, work Pattern and HR policies of the company. But broadly an IT manager is responsible to carry out following specific tasks.
Managing the complete Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
Involving Various stages like feasibility, Analysis, gathering requirement from client, Design, Development , Testing, Implementation and Maintenance.
Generating new business by carrying out Market research, lead generation etc.
Reporting to Top Management.
Analysis and Documentation of various phases of Product development, User manuals, Tooltips, Training material for internal purposes.
Co-ordinating with other departments like Finance, HR and Pre-sales etc.
Skillsets required for IT manager are:-
Excellent Communication Skills both verbal and written.
Good Documentation skills.
Good people as well as presentation skills.
IT skills like managing various ERP packages, software products, handling search engines.
Market Research and Liaisoning.
Jobs performed by an operations Manager:-
All operations manager responsibilities are to be reported to the vice president or director of operations. An operations manager has to be aware of all the business processes being present in the company and review their performance at regular intervals. He has to discuss with the top management and suggest effective procedures for improving the processes. His main aim is to get quality production done in minimum expenditure, be it in any sector.
If he is working in the manufacturing sector, he has to manage inventory and logistics operations. He has to plan related policies and make sure they are implemented with regards to operations. An operations manager may also have to oversee aspects related to financial management and systems. He has to hold periodical meetings with members of the executive management for planning financial and operational concepts.
He has to review all the income and expenditure of the company and determine what else is required for the company to excel in its operations. At public and press meetings, an operations manager is required to act as a presenter for the goals and plans of the company. He has to face and try to resolve many different issues regarding quality of services, shipment delays, customer satisfaction and retaining, and other problems.
Some of the operations manager duties and responsibilities are associated with risk management, which is why this professional has to be good at decision making and problem-solving. This corporate job includes many other tasks in operations management. Now let us get to know about the operations manager salary range.
An Entrepreneur is one who owns an enterprise, in a way he is a Manager. Entrepreneurship is beyond chalk and the talk. An Entrepreneur who owns small or medium enterprise (SME) is self-driven and contributes to the economic development of the society at large.He/she is responsible for managing all the activities & operations taking place in his firm.
Entrepreneurship is vast subject it cannot be discussed in a paragraph like this and skill required vary from business to business so broadly following are must skill to be a good entrepreneur.
Skill Needed to become a Successful Entrepreneur
Problem Solving Attitude.
Sales and marketing skills
Time management skills.
This will clear all the doubts of most of the MBA aspirants however it is always advisable to work for at least 2-3 years before admitting yourself to premier B-school. This will help in getting a good understanding of the job market and areas of interests. Apart from this, there are tests like Aptitude test, Psychometric Tests, Brain Mapping etc. available. These tests followed by counselling sessions will help to perform a SWOT analysis(i.e. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats). Have great Career ahead All the Best!