Should I pursue specialized MBA after 5 years of work experience?


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Most of the One Year MBA programmes today which attract students with a minimum of 5 years of work experience are traditionally General Management Programmes. These programmes train students to be generalists by providing them with an overall enterprise perspective of corporate strategy.

But, the competitive marketplace is changing at a very fast pace and organisations are undergoing transformation and some are witnessing major shifts due to leap in technology. Digital is impacting the fundamental ways of doing business and the way teams are organized and integrated into the organisation to achieve higher goals.

The specializations are offered, as in our view, these are most useful to participants with 5 – 10 years of experience. We believe that the deep experience that we provide to our students helps them join back in leadership positions. 

The marketplace is thus demanding highly specialized skills for these emerging business requirements. Hence, there is a need to review and reflect on the generic offerings, in form of General Management Programmes in one year MBA space. And as the business dynamics is fast evolving, all Schools offering such a programme will have to invest resources in developing and offering highly focussed distinctive programmes tailored to the needs of a new generation of professional leaders.S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research(SPJIMR), Mumbai had anticipated these future trends back in early 2000 and envisioned the specialization based PGPM Programme for experienced professionals.

SPJIMR launched a highly focused and specialized programme for working professionals with minimum 5 years of work experience in the year 2005. PGPM is an AICTE approved programme, having One Year Full Time, Residential component, preceded by a 3 month off-campus web learning component. In aggregate, the programme has a 15-month duration. Today, we offer specializations in four key areas: Information Management, Operations & Supply Chain Management, Marketing and Finance.

The specializations are offered, as in our view, these are most useful to participants with 5 – 10 years of experience. We believe that the deep experience that we provide to our students helps them join back in leadership positions. The programme offers an opportunity to study specialized courses and at the same time identifies the adequate importance of general management in the curricula.

The expectation is that more and deeper inputs in the chosen area of specialization would equip participants with knowledge in functional as well as cross-functional disciplines.

 We also identified that for such experienced professionals who are getting ready to take on new management roles and leadership positions, the curriculum must include not only courses addressing knowledge gaps, but courses focussed on skill building, and attitude formation. For addressing this issue, the programme curriculum also embeds training in topics like design thinking, negotiation, and leadership, to hone their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Other areas identified as important for participants include International Business, Business Consulting, New Venture creation etc. Students also have an access to Incubation cell for entrepreneurial career options. Workshops like “Learning to Learn” make them lifelong learners and make them capable of discovering innovative solutions to the various business problems that they may face as they grow up in their careers. Other highlights of the programme include an emphasis on the importance of developing a global mindset and experiencing the international environment first-hand. Students attend advanced specialization courses in a three-week international immersion component through the School’s partners in the United States.

Participants visit The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin & The Eli Broad College of Business is at Michigan State University.

The International Immersion helps in strengthening the knowledge of changing IT landscapes and emerging technologies, global aspects of supply chain, marketing theory and leadership strategy and of global markets, valuation and financial analytics and consulting.

Last but not the least, SPJIMR aims to prepare a new breed of professional leaders who are ready to lead the teams and successfully face all challenges thrown by the digital business world as well as acquire a deeper understanding of issues at the grass-root level.

To meet this, the programme integrates a two-week unpaid internship with underserved sections of society. Students work with NGOs and support them to solve various business issues faced by them. This opportunity not only sensitises them towards the needs and challenges of the underserved sections of the society but helps cultivate a balanced approach to leadership.


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