Break the Mould: Look Beyond an MBA

For many a mid-career professional, getting an MBA is a go-to option. The general perception among most professionals is that pursuing an MBA will lead to a better job and pay. But that only works if you know what you want, and eventually, an MBA graduate gets stuck in a rut and stagnated too.

In India especially, we see many professionals jump into the MBA bandwagon after a few years of being the quintessential techie. They believe people on the business side get paid more and have better jobs than people on the tech side, and see this transition as a natural progression. But the world is changing, technologies are evolving, and pursuing a program due to the mass hysteria and aura around it will only get you so far – and there are professionals who are realizing that.

Why An MBA Specialization? Why Is It Better Than A General MBA?

A general MBA will only offer a broad business and management knowledge base, whereas specialized MBA programs offer good career progression in a particular domain or career path. 

Why An MBA Specialization?

A specialized MBA allows you to align with your interest in the specific domain. If you have a clear objective in mind, pursuing a career in a specialized MBA is good for the future.

If you are considering an MBA specialization, evaluate your goals and why MBA is good for the future.

Start by questioning yourself:

  • Why should I do MBA?
  • Is MBA a good career option?
  • Am I interested in a wide range of industries or any specialization?
  • What jobs can I get with an MBA specialization?

Types of MBA specializations


An MBA in Finance is designed to help you broaden your expertise in areas like stock market analysis, investment banking, global economic trends, and corporate finance. If you have an interest in these finance domains, MBA programs offer good career progression in this domain.

Some top-paying job titles are Senior Financial Analyst, Investment Banker, Financial Manager, and Chief Financial Officer.


If you want to work as a Marketing Manager, a Marketing MBA is good for the future. An MBA in marketing will emphasize consumer behavior, research, international marketing, promotion strategy, and new product development principles.

Some top-paying job titles are Marketing Manager, Brand Manager, and Asset Manager.

Human Resources

Do you want to work as a Manager of Human Resources Operations? A human resources specialist career can be the best MBA alternative. An MBA in Human Resources trains you to effectively plan and direct administrative processes within your organization.

Some top-paying job titles are Human Resources Manager, HR Operations, and Senior Human Resources Consultant.


Are you looking for a career in accounting? Accounting MBA programs offer good career progression. The curriculum covers a complete spectrum of fundamental competencies, including financial reporting, business process, data analysis for decision-making, human resources, and marketing management.

Some top-paying job titles are Public Accountant, Financial Analyst, and Auditor.

What If MBA is not What You Looking For?

In recent times, not everyone has the liberty, inclination, or bandwidth to take a 2-year long gap from their work to pursue an MBA. These professionals are, although high;y driven and ambitious, are most often than not on the lookout for upskilling programs, which help them acquire advanced skills in a considerably short span of time to propel their career ahead.

Karthik Karunakaran is an OpenVMS System Administrator at IBM India, and he couldn’t agree more that MBA was not the right bet for him.

“Going after an MBA was a definite time involvement which I was not ready for. I needed a program which is more flexible, and can help me build on my existing skills. The cost of doing an MBA was also a major concern for me. I was in two minds between an MBA and a specialized analytics program, but after discussion with peers and seniors, I realized that specialized skills are valued more in the industry. Machine Learning and Deep Learning are the skills of the future. I’m happy I’ve chosen PGPDM which is more flexible and fits into my work life more easily.”, he says.

And that is why he chose the PG Certificate Program in Data Science and Machine Learning a 9-month specialized learning program offered by Jigsaw Academy and University of Chicago Graham School. The PGDM trains its students on amazing real-world technologies that are not only in huge demand but have also become essential skills to pick up for technology professionals. The Indian IT industry is saturated and is facing the heat of automation, which is making many of the jobs in the industry become redundant. 

What, If Not an MBA?

Data Science and Machine Learning are the key skills that are needed, and with the PGPDM, tech professionals can upskill to an in-demand and relevant area of expertise. For working professionals, dropping everything and pursuing a full-time classroom program may not be the best option and is not an appealing option either. The PGDM is a blended learning program – which means it is offered in a mix of online and offline modes. With the online mode, you can access the course videos at any time from wherever you are. The offline classes are held on weekends every few weeks, thereby not disrupting the professional and personal lives of anyone who pursues it.

Offered at a fraction of the cost of an MBA, the PGPDM is a more targeted learning program that gives professionals specific skill sets that prepare them for the future. With the provision of working on live projects and handling real-world data, the PGPDM gives you a glimpse of what a day on the job feels like, even before you graduate. Being taught by international lecturers from the University of Chicago is an excellent learning experience, getting exposed to the global market scenario.

Pursuing an MBA is a great option but not the only option. It’s no longer the age of generalists, it’s the specialists who are in demand, and a program like the Postgraduate Program in Data Science & Machine Learning (PGPDM) provides the right set of skills to be ready to build the future as an elite technology professional.

Suggested Read

Upskilling in the Times of Layoffs: What’s Your Best Bet?

Making the Mid-Career Jump with Analytics


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