In today’s business environment, making sure your job skillset is a marketable commodity is paramount to becoming successful and maintaining that success throughout your career. You could do a phenomenal job every day but suddenly find yourself out of a job because of company reorganization or other factors beyond your control. You may find yourself in a position where you have to prove to prospective employers that you have what it takes to make a contribution to their business.
To be sure you’re up to the challenge, you’ll need a solid educational base. Most recognize the need for a degree beyond the standard bachelor’s. That usually means an MBA.
An MBA is actually a generalized degree that is heavy on quantitative skills and may not give you the specialized training you may need in the real world of business. Before taking the plunge into an MBA program, you may want to consider some alternative choices.
Master’s Degree in Advertising or Marketing
If your area of interest and expertise is advertising and marketing, why not go for a degree that focuses completely on these interests? An advertising or marketing program will have the rigorous curricula that any master’s degree program requires. But this degree program will also include studies in demographics, psychographics, and analytics and business metrics. You’ll find you won’t have to suffer through the general business topics and survey courses you generally find in any MBA program.
Master of Human Resources
If Human Resources is your niche, and you intend to stay in HR throughout your career, then a Master of Human Resources degree is the obvious choice for you. A program in HR will focus more on business law, corporate policy, best practices in business and theory in your chosen field. You won’t be asked to spend time on subjects that don’t really have a practical application to HR, such as general corporate finance.
Master of Public Administration
If your goal is to work in the public sector, with a government contractor, or for a nongovernmental organization or nonprofit, an MBA may not be the best choice for you. If you’re looking at any type of highly organized, bureaucratic structure as your ideal career environment, then a Master of Public Administration may better serve your needs.
Master of Public Health
Health care is a field that is always open for new opportunities. If you’re thinking of a career in health care, or perhaps a government agency that deals with health care delivery, then a Master of Public Health may be your best bet. This degree program provides a wide-ranging curriculum that ranges from immigrant and non-native communications to epidemiology to marketing and public finance. This is a versatile degree that can appeal to many areas of corporate business.
Master’s Degree in Sports Administration
This degree is fairly self-explanatory. To succeed with this degree, you’ll need sports experience. That can come as a part of the degree program or you can chalk up the experience before you enter the program. But you’ll need experience in order the garner the maximum benefit to your career. This degree is a good fit should you be considering the administrative side of a college athletic program, working with a professional sports franchise or the Olympics. Even if you plan on running your local youth sports league, this degree can fit the bill.
These are just a few of the alternatives to an MBA that can be found at today’s colleges and universities. Any master’s degree will add value to your career. When you couple the degree with valuable skills designed to match your career goals, you can’t go wrong on your path to professional success.