A few days back one of the aspirants of mba i met in train asked me ,” Sir which specialization is doing well in mba currently?Is it Hr, Marketing ,finance or operations?” . I asked him ,”why?”. He said ,” I think i want to do marketing because i like marketing kind of jobs . I cannot do HR i feel it is boring and does not need any calculation!” . I smiled and asked ,” So if u like calculation why not finance? or why not bstat or mstat in statistics?”. He said,” No i want to do mba . I want to be a CEO someday” . Well that is more or less how most graduates today feel about mba in general. But then unfortunately most aspirants today dont get adequate information on career trends or post mba job offers to graduates with different specializations and end up assuming things on face value.Having myself been an aspirant at one point of time today finally i decided to write this article.
First and foremost , taking one particular specialization doesn’t guarantee or debar an individual to take a job in another domain .After all , one is doing an MBA first and then specialization next and not the other way round.In very small companies ,In fact there is only 2 -3 guys who manage everything ,they are HR ,they are marketing agent ,they are themselves finance expert and operations in charge , all in one. So basic idea is given in all mba courses about all other courses along with the freedom to choose electives of ones choice. Say a HR graduate is interested in marketing or finance can choose substantially a high number of electives in 2nd year in these domains after meeting the institute basic minimum limit of courses in his specialization. So end of the day there will be many cases in which one finance elective class of 70 may have 40 hr grads taking it and say 10 marketing and 20 fin guys taking it. So that kind of flexibility is always there. Now lets come down to the be all end all factor for most mba aspirants of india ,” The Placements”, Now if study closely the placement sheets of top 4-5 institutes of india IIM A B C XL L and so on , you will observe that there is usually high number of intake in consults and general management profiles . Some people often wonder what kind of profiles do consults offer to different streams. Well , unfortunately or fortunately they all are offered the same profile and start as junior consultants then with career progression move on to become senior consultants and then later partner. So in effect even if u had say a marketing major or a hr major u end up working completely in a different domain which has little resemblance to the work u were expecting to do that is marketing strategy/sales or say hr strategy/recruitment/ t&d; etc.
After consulting comes general management. The general management is one profile in which an hr gets hired and ends up with sales and marketing and a marketing grad may end up with Human Resource . There has been multiple such instances of late when a marketing grad ended up with HR and an HR grad ended in sales. Most often though both HR and Marketing graduates end up in sales to start with . And here again they then work and come under sales profile career progression list and not under they expected ones that one associates with marketing or HR .
Now comes the disclaimer part, although yes as said switches between marketing HR is very common as such core roles usually never goes to other branches. Like say it is an investment core role that a company has come to hire for , then inevitably it would want a finance grad failing which it will leave the campus without hiring anyone. In the same way , if say a strategy hr role is what a company has come for hiring then if there is no suitable hr candidate to be hired then they will leave without hiring anyone no matter how many marketing or fin grads were interested in it. Yes there are instances of few finance grads who given the market scenario and company availability may have to get into marketing profiles or sales profiles same along with HR and marketing grads. Usually companies having sales profiles don’t much distinguish between specializations marketing , hr , finance all suits it. That is precisely the reason most top colleges IIM A , B , C , XL try to accommodate desires of students first. If a student has say done a major in finance , at least in the initial part of placements they are given priority to choose his or her fancied company or profile. However , practically speaking barring maybe top 2-4 people of every branch hardly any can get the combination of both that is dream profile and a dream company both in one. Hence ,job switches follow in abundance after joining as the search continues.
As far as dream career profiles are concerned a finance major student usually wants to get into leading banks with investment banking profile . For an Hr grad usually it can be either strategy hr role in leading FMCG .. However remember one thing if say you are an HR and end up in media industry you will have to be actively involved in marketing and sales , cant avoid it and same hold true for a marketing guy who ends up pure hr consults .In current business context , a line manager just cannot avoid hr functions (performance management , t and d) and vice versa( hr setting business strategy as part of board, directly leading sales teams). Later as board members too a Hr or finance or marketing guy cannot be limited to his or her own function. So choose mba colleges not specializations! I wish the train guy read my this article 🙂 I did not explain so much then 🙂