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General vs Specialised MBA: Which is better for You? Scope & Career Options

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliUpdated On: July 14, 2022 01:02 pm IST

The choice between a General MBA and Specialized MBA confuses many MBA aspirants. However, the question of which MBA course is better can be answered by taking a look at the pros and cons of each. In this article, we help you choose the right MBA course for your needs.

General MBA vs Specialized MBA in India

MBA is a popular choice of postgraduate course in India. Many students opt for an MBA degree right after their graduation while others go for an MBA after gaining some work experience. However, what is common in both cases is that both of these aspirants are looking for a better salary and a better growth opportunity.

Since the MBA is becoming very popular, the competition among MBA graduates is also increasing but there is still a very high demand for MBA graduates in the market. However, it is an expensive course and to ensure that time and resources are not wasted, a student must ensure that they are choosing the correct course that matches their professional goals and also choose the correct MBA college.

Two terms that students come across while researching for MBA colleges in India are General MBA and Specialized MBA. Many students are often confused about which type of MBA would be better for them. In this article, we provide the difference between General MBA and Specialized MBA so that students get to know the essential information about each type of MBA course as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

General MBA

A general MBA (also known as MBA General Management or GM) is the type of MBA course that broadly explores the subject of management. Students in a general MBA course learn the essential skills in management. Skills such as critical thinking, business management, leadership etc. are developed in this course.

The course curriculum of general MBA is divided such that in the first year, students focus on the overall aspects of management and in the second year, students are asked to choose their elective subjects. Choosing electives does provide a certain level of specialization to the MBA course but the overall nature of the course cannot be said to be single-focused.

Advantages of General MBA

  • Provides broad knowledge of key management domains, which can work across industries and job profiles.
  • Has a wide scope and provides more career opportunities as compared to specialized MBA courses.

  • The option to choose electives makes the course flexible according to a student's requirements.

Disadvantages of General MBA

  • It is the more traditional MBA degree and cannot be considered the best fit for every niche.
  • Since the value of a general MBA degree is not because of its course curriculum, it becomes necessary to pursue it from a top-level management college to add value.

Specialized MBA

Specialized MBA is a course which has a specialization attached such as Finance, International Business, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Operations etc. Specialized MBA courses are designed to cater to the requirements of a specific industry or a specific section of an organization.

In a specialized MBA course, students do learn the general aspects of management but the curriculum is designed to train them in only a specific area. Therefore, students who pursue specialized MBA are considered to be experts in their respective fields.

The MBA specializations in these courses are mostly based on industry-requirements. Specialized MBA courses allow colleges to come up with unique programmes that benefit a certain niche of the industry such as Rural Management, Family Business Management, Hospital Management etc.. While these courses cannot be said to be for everyone, they are just perfect for many candidates.

Advantages of Specialized MBA

  • Considered to be the best fits for specific niches. Candidates with Specialized MBA will be preferred over candidates with General MBA for many areas of businesses.

  • Usually take less time to complete. These courses can be of 1 year or 18 months duration.

  • Excellent options for students who have decided their career pathway or are passionate for a specific field.

Disadvantages of Specialized MBA

  • Limit candidates to a specific niche. For a person with specialized MBA, it may be difficult to change industries or switch domains in future.
  • Since they may have specific requirements in work experience or academics, they are generally more difficult to get admission in.

General vs Specialized MBA: Which is better for you?

As we have seen, both the General MBA and Specialized MBA offer several advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right course depends on the career goals and aspirations of a student. Using the information given below, you will be able to decide whether a General MBA or Specialized MBA is the better option for you.

Choose General MBA ifChoose Specialized MBA if
  • You have at least some work experience.
  • You wish to take up more responsibilities but do not have any specific industry in mind.

  • You are switching career profiles.

  • You have decided upon a career pathway in a specific domain.
  • You are a fresher candidate and wish to become an industry expert. For eg. MBA in IT after BTech in IT.

General vs Specialized MBA: FAQs

We have answered some frequently asked questions related to General vs Specialized MBA in India.


Is General MBA better or Specialized MBA?

It depends on your requirements. General MBA is better if you have some experience and are looking to move up in the workplace. Specialized MBA is better if you wish to join a particular industry.

Which are the highest paying MBA specializations in India?

Some of the MBA specializations that offer the best pay include Finance, Operations, Marketing, Data Science etc.

Here are some other articles that will help you choose the correct MBA course.

If you have any doubts, ask our experts on the CollegeDekho QnA Zone. For help with admissions to MBA colleges in India, fill our Common Application Form (CAF) or call our toll-free student helpline number 1800-572-9877.


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