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April 20, 2020

General MBA or Specialised MBA


An MBA degree from an accredited institute is accepted globally as a high standard of leadership and management skills. Whether to do an MBA or not is no longer the question as market trends indicate that organisations expressly want to recruit management graduates. The decision to pursue an MBA is almost a given, the question is whether to go for a general MBA or a specialised MBA. It can be quite a daunting task to decide which course to follow as the decision could shape your future. 

General MBA

A general MBA program teaches a broad overall view of business management, strengthening  leadership communication, and critical thinking skills, which are needed to succeed in any sector. Most MBA programs require you to choose a major whether it is finance, marketing or business development etc. which could apply to any sector in general. There is no in-depth knowledge about any particular sector. At the end of two years, one gets a degree, but it seems to carry less weight than a specialised degree as a general MBA seems to make you a jack of all trades and master of none. The skills acquired in a general MBA are more useful in senior management positions and it takes many years of hard work for a general MBA graduate to reach the top. 

When looking for an entry-level job, a person with a general MBA might struggle to first identify a sector to get a break in and then it is difficult to secure a job as most organisations look for specialised education that would be most suitable for their sector. 

Specialised MBA

As the name implies, here students follow a program of specialisation in a particular field or sector. One should be aware of the difference between a ‘specialised MBA’ and an ‘MBA with specialisations’. The former involves a detailed knowledge and exposure of a particular sector (e.g. MBA Pharma, MBA Real Estate and Infrastructure) and the latter is just a general MBA with a major in some field like marketing, finance etc. With a specialised MBA, students acquire an expertise of a particular sector which is something which they would never be able to obtain with a general MBA. 

When beginning one’s career, it is especially helpful to have more specialised skills as it is easier to secure a job and later, the expertise of the sector obtained while specialising helps to get faster promotions. Organisations are increasingly choosing domain specialists over general management graduates. Some sectors among others that are witnessing a growing demand for specialisation are Real Estate and Infrastructure, Hospitality and Tourism, Petroleum, Telecom, Retail, Textile, Healthcare etc.

Strong demand for specialisation

The demand for specialisation is so strong that some industries are collaborating with institutes to help to customise the curriculum according to their specific requirements. E.g. RICS School of Built Environment (RICS SBE) Amity University was set up on the demand of the real estate industry which was facing an enormous shortage of skilled professionals. Even within the Real Estate sector students can choose to do an MBA in Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure, Construction Project Management, Construction Economics and Quantity Surveying or Facilities Management. Education here is tailored to fit the demands of this sector. A good curriculum will ensure that the students have in-depth, theoretical as well as practical knowledge of all aspects of a sector and they have a distinct advantage over candidates who are only generalists.

Which one to choose?

The answer would depend on what your professional goals are or if you have already charted the trajectory of your career graph. If you are still unsure and confused about your career goals, then, by all means, opt for a general MBA. Your career graph would probably rise a little slowly but by sheer dint of hard work, you might eventually reach a senior management position. If you want a faster professional growth and want to carve a niche for yourself in an industry, then a specialised MBA should be your choice. The next step should be to identify a sector that is already facing a shortage of skilled professionals and then choose an institute that would give you not only an accredited degree but also good network, and career placement services. A school that would contribute to a student’s life beyond academics. 

Specialise to rise.



RICS School of Built Environment (RICS SBE), Amity University is an industry led academic institution which delivers specialized undergraduate and postgraduate programs to students ambitious to work in real estate, construction and infrastructure sector. It also aids as a hub for research and development of technical proficiency in built environment.

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