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Beyond banking: Specialised MBA programmes
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February 15, 2008

Indian students with an interest in business but possibly not the stereotypical MBA careers shouldn't give up their passion for commerce.

According to the latest QS TopMBA Applicant Survey, 27 per cent of Indian MBA applicants chose Financial Services, Banking, and Accounting as a preferred sector of post-MBA employment.

The Consulting field came in at 25 per cent. IT and Telecommunications came in, not surprisingly, at a little over 18 per cent.

Preferred industry sectors: India








But many students, both in India and around the world, have dreams beyond resigning to such conventional professions. As such, many business schools are recognising the need to reach out to a more diverse group of potential candidates, including those who may not particularly intend to work in typical MBA positions.

The University of Liverpool's Management School offers the unique Football Industries MBA -- a dream course for any football fanatic.

The course focuses on the management, marketing, and administration of, you guessed it -- the issues related to the football industry. Full and part-time studies are offered.

The Bordeaux Business School, in France [Images] offers a Wine MBA -- that's right, you can earn an MBA on the wine industry, in one of the most famous wine regions in the world.

According to the school, they provide 'a management education programme at the forefront of current issues in the global wine industry,' and are committed to, 'being at the service of the world's future wine leaders.'

If wine isn't your thing, governmental and non-governmental organisations might be. The University of Geneva, HEC School of Management, for instance, offers the International Organizations MBA -- an MBA for those who wish to 'pursue a career in the increasingly interconnected fields of international governmental and nongovernmental organisations and companies that work with these institutions.'

Socially-oriented students who wish to found their own philanthropic or environmental organisation would be great candidates for a programme like this.

Ambitious future MBAs with a passion for marketing and its related industries may be interested in the Luxury Brand Management MBA at ESSEC. This course focuses on the fast-paced and finicky nature of this rapidly changing industry, as well as developing the management skills to survive within this active and often imperious sector.

Alain Lempereur says, "Our Luxury Brand Management MBA is only young. But if someone wants to work for LVMH, Gucci, or L'Oreal, ESSEC is the place to be. Marketing luxury goods requires very specialist skills and there is no doubt the French are the best in the world in this pursuit."

What's also unique about the Luxury Brand Management MBA is that students learn from many experienced leaders within the luxury field, therefore delivering a very tailored approach unmatched by a general MBA program or even a marketing-focused MBA.

Some niche MBAs follow fashion, and their durability is yet to be seen. In recent years there has been a flurry of new MBAs specialising in Corporate Social Responsibility, with new programmes launched at Nottingham University Business School and the University of Geneva.

It is, however, the top tier schools that are achieving greatest recognition in this field. Tuck has launched several conferences on the topic and corporate governance is a mandatory core course as well as being integrated within many other subject areas at the school.

Dean Paul Danos says, "We take corporate governance very seriously at Tuck. We aim to instill good practices with our students, which will stand them in good stead throughout their careers."

The bottom line is practically every broad career field is in need of strategic thinkers with analytical minds and the management skills to conquer the toughest competition. Business-minded people who think beyond the typical MBA jobs are just what many sectors need, both in India and around the world -- and the foreseeable future only predicts a further increase in demand for such 'types'.

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