Some years ago, like many years ago for the Engineering domain, an MBA (Master of Business Administration) was a password for a respected well-paying job in a large organization. Not to talk of the respect and status it brought in society at large.
Over the last few years, an MBA degree or certification has lost its sure-shot appeal. It no longer ensures a good well-paying job, necessarily.
Nowadays, employers also want to know where you did your MBA from, your specialization and the subjects during your curriculum. This is an outcome of numerous poor-quality institutes offering something called an MBA where numerous students just spend two years and a lot of money without really gaining the required knowledge or experience.
So, what should you do after getting an MBA from a School and not really landing up a job that you like, or which pays you well?
There are many options and courses after MBA to add value to your qualification, most of them recognized by organizations and managers, which provide growth opportunities for many of us stuck with worthless pieces of paper called an MBA degree.
MBA – Finance
The MBA graduates who have specialized in Finance have options like Investment Banking, Retail Banking, Financial Modelling, and International Certifications like CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst), FRM (Financial Risk Manager), etc. open to you. Many of the aforementioned international certifications are recognized by almost all international and Indian organizations. Since they are recognized by international employers, they also provide opportunities to work in foreign countries, where some Indian degrees and certifications may not be recognized.
With the advent of technology, the risk related to finance and financial assets have increased as well. Understanding of a Financial risk, the ability to foresee the criticality and complexities of those risks would make you eligible for an array of lucrative opportunities with the biggest of organizations. FRM makes for a solid plus on the MBA – Finance degree. Another option in the list of Finance courses after MBA is the CFA® Program. It is one of the highest qualifications under the finance industry globally. It not only gives you a global edge but holding a CFA® Charter makes you one of the most sought-after finance professionals. The designation opens doors to a wide variety of opportunities in the MNCs established in India and corporations globally.
Pro Tip: Take help from a reputed education support provider who can help you prepare for these certifications and provide support through qualified and trained faculty who themselves have done these certifications and come with first-hand industry experience.
MBA – Finance (Accounting background)
For MBA Finance graduates with an accounting background, apart from the above options, they could consider options like CPA (Certified Public Accountant), ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and CMA (Certified Management Accountant) to add to their qualifications and knowledge. All of these are International certifications recognized globally and allow members to work anywhere in the world. The other advantage of having the aforementioned credentials is that employers for candidates with these certifications would be American and British companies that require employees who can certify and audit their accounts, which a person with an Indian CA, may not be authorized to do. Also, most American and British companies have good career growth opportunities with generous employee welfare policies.
MBA – Marketing
Those with a specialization in Marketing also have multiple options of courses after MBA. With Digital Marketing reaching new milestone every now and then, the opportunities for digital marketing enthusiasts are unlimited. While traditional marketing still rules a major share of the market, the future lies with Digital Marketing. The measurability of the impact of digital marketing is what makes it superior to traditional marketing and the marketing world is leveraging that extensively. But because digital marketing has not been adopted as a formal educational curriculum there are very few eligible candidates who can take up a career in the digital industry from day one. For those who want to take up digital marketing can go for hands-on, practice oriented Digital Marketing Courses after MBA to get an idea of the tools, the market and requisites of the digital world.
Coming to traditional marketing, most MBAs are made to believe that they should directly start work in Marketing or Strategy areas. However, we should start from knowing our customers, our products, our channels of reaching out to customers, why they buy, what they buy, and what is the larger purpose it serves, consumer behavior, and similar other areas. A deep knowledge in these areas, over a period of 5-8 years, will allow the student to get insights into what business the Company is in and how one could work to serve customers better. Hence Sales and Trade Marketing could be a good area to start in. One could do it directly after an MBA Marketing or take some specialized programs which teach about Sales Management, Merchandising, Trade Marketing, Channel Management etc. to equip the student with better knowledge to give her a good start. A stint in the field is always more rewarding than spending hours doing presentations in an air-conditioned office!
MBA – Human Resources
An MBA in Human Resources (HR) also needs to go beyond general knowledge and dive deeper on practices of working in such a vital department, globally. Courses after MBA in HR are available through globally recognized bodies such as SHRM and HRCI. These certifications are modular and allow you to build capabilities as you go long. These are international certifications and come with credibility, recognition, and acceptability with the employer.
MBA – Operations
The MBA degree holders with a specialization in Operations Management (OM) need to evolve with time. The domain keeps refining and updating as practices and processes evolve, the curriculum of the program does not, necessarily. The section requires the highest level of efficiency hence getting your coveted job requires experience more than a degree. Apart from those who have graduated from the top colleges, the growth is limited and for them the advice is to go back to the general business management skills that you acquired during the curriculum and create their initial career path based on that.
MBA – International Business
Having an MBA degree with a specialization in International Business means there are no geographical boundaries. The degree equips you with basic knowledge and training of international operations, behavior and business planning; great for those who are willing to travel anywhere in the world at any given point of time. Working professionals who go for an IB degree get a global edge in their career, however, freshers with an IB degree may not get as huge a kickstart in their career as presumed. Having a few years of work experience based on your previous degree, be it a B. Tech. or a B. Com, will help you reap the benefits of pursuing an MBA in International Business.
MBA – Logistics & Supply Chain Management
Logistics and Supply Chain Management is one of the largest growing sectors of business and has a great future, however, the highly specialized degree can be a drawback for those who don’t find the job exciting enough to pursue throughout life. Because let’s face it, management of stream of goods and administration of purpose of origin and supply can get monotonous. And once you take such a specialization, going back becomes difficult. In that case, one can choose profiles that are not reliant on a degree as such and can get you a profile basis your business understanding such as Business Analytics, Data Engineering, etc. Take up a course after MBA which will help you skill up in data structuring tools like Hadoop, Scala, Spark, etc. This will make you eligible for exciting profiles like Data Scientist, Data Engineer, etc.
MBA – General Management
MBA in General Management is usually beneficial for professionals with a technical/execution background who intend to add a credential to their CV for career growth. For a fresher who is basing his/her entire career on this degree, there will be a need for specialized qualification in order to get a decent job. For example, one can pursue a certification in Investment Banking and incline his management profile towards finance or get professional training in Business Analytics which can give your career a specific profile where you can pursue Data Science.
To sum it all, an MBA is a much-required qualification, provided it comes from the right school with the right knowledge and credibility. Unfortunately, that is not how things have shaped up, thus necessitating the need to supplement your qualification with certifications and courses after MBA that are recognized and respected by employers and can be done in a flexible and cost-effective manner.
There are many opportunities and students would be well advised to approach leading schools which can provide unbiased guidance on multiple paths for aspiring and ambitious future Managers.