Managing choices

I am a third year BE mechanical engineering student. I am interested in pursuing an MBA from a well-known business school, but I need some guidance on the specialisation to opt for. Please help.


You would be making use of your engineering education if you join production or systems management. People often talk of ‘hot’ options. But no stream remains hot forever. However, the ‘hot’ choice for you should be where your heart lies. All the five broad areas of management are on par. The key areas of management are on par. The key areas of management are marketing, finance, human resource management, systems management and production.

Marketing: No doubt, marketing is the most popular area among students of management. There are four specific functions:

  •  Sales and distribution management.
  •  Product/ brand management.
  •  Advertising.
  •  Market research.

The opportunities in sales and product management in particular are vast.

Finance: This function is concerned with the efficient use of money. There are seven career paths for people who have specialised in finance;

  •  Consumer banking.
  •  Investment banking.
  •  Institutional banking.
  •  Merchant banking.
  •  Development banking.
  •  Non-banking finance.
  •  Corporate finance.

Human resource management: It involves activities like performance appraisal, employee counselling, training and motivation programmes. Handling union problems and labour disputes could also be part of your work profile. The broad areas of work are:

  •  HRD.
  •  Personnel management.
  •  Industrial relations.

System management: The job market is very good. There are four career options in this field:

  •  Systems consultancy: Systems consultancies recruit MBAs for their teams which provide consultancy to their client organisation.
  •  Business development and sales and marketing account management: Organisations specialising in hardware/software solutions recruit MBAs for business development and sales and marketing functions.
  •  Project management.
  •  Systems departments of organisations: Since information technology is an integral part of every business today, organisations require managers for their systems departments.

Production: Many production theories and techniques have been developed by management schools. How to mange production and make a production unit more efficient is the crux of this area. This field is particularly relevant to engineering graduates. The basic functions are:

  •  Productivity improvement.
  •  Quality control.
  •  Inventory control.
  •  Production planning.

You have to take the decision based on the job profile in each area, and on your own interest and aptitude.


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