MBA in Marketing vs Finance – Choosing the Right Course
MBA Marketing Management is a postgraduation course in Sales and Marketing that caters to the need of the corporate. Marketing is about finding a potential market for an industry’s goods and services.
This is achieved through a number of steps such as analyzing the existing market, researching the competitors, customizing the product according to need, generating interest in the minds of buyers or customers, and finally, the task of releasing the product in the market. There are multiple strategies involved in the process of Marketing.
Marketing Management as a course in MBA is one of the most popular choices among students. The primary reason behind this is that there are innumerable opportunities in businesses in the marketing team.
In the post globalized world, there is an increasing demand for creating a niche in a market that is full of similar goods and products. Every company is vying for attention, and there is a cut throat competition between service providers.
The objective of every business is to try and prove how their products serve better than the others and why, to promote on the basis of unique selling property, convince customers and analyze the future scenario.
This requires a competitive marketing team that can think strategically beyond the obvious. Companies are willing to invest in their marketing strategies which ultimately help them to sell their product, unlike the product itself.
The success or failure of a newly launched product depends almost entirely on the strategies etched out by the marketing team.
Students with a specialization of marketing in their MBA learn concepts such as advertising, brand promotion, market analysis, research, digital marketing, competitor analysis and sales. MBA colleges usually have their courses spread in two years and divided into trimesters or semesters.
The first year is general management for all students, where every student is introduced to the basic concepts of all streams of management. The final year is when a student chooses from the available specializations.
Thus a student deciding to study marketing management can enroll for all or some of the marketing papers in his or her second year. Some students also choose to keep a dual specialization in which case; they select a few papers from another subject, such as marketing and finance, or marketing and operations.
On average, the salary of a student who completes his marketing management course from a college of repute can start from 6 lacs to 20 lacs per annum and can go even beyond that.
It varies from college to college, existing requirements and also previous experience of students prior to the MBA course, in some cases.
Almost all institutions offering an MBA degree, have marketing management as a specialization.
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Who should choose?
Although anybody can apply or choose a marketing management course, some students have certain attributes that make them better marketing managers than the others. Some of these attributes are mentioned below:
- Analytical bent of mind
- Ability to communicate reasonably and confidently with clients and customers
- Problem-solving ability
- Innovative thinking
- Ability to make decisions in ambiguous situations
- Adaptability in any situation
- Result Orientation
Students who are relatively better in these qualities can, with the help of a good education, succeed well in their career as a marketing professional.
Some of the concepts of marketing are grouped into modules that are usually taught in management schools, and they are as follows:
- Developing marketing strategies and plans
- Analyzing consumer behavior and selecting markets
- Product and brand management
- Managing distribution, marketing channels and retailing
- Digital Marketing
- Integrated marketing communications
- Marketing Research
Why is it Critical for Business?
Marketing is critical for any business to maintain the status quo and flourish. Even a company with a good product and no competition can fail in the absence of a strategic marketing team. Thus, marketing helps:
-> Understand the needs or requirements of customers
-> Customising existing products and services to tailor them better as per demand
-> Reach out to newer markets and tap more customers
-> Better analysis of competition and preparedness
-> Rational utilisation of resources
Such professionals are recruited in profiles such as:
- Market Research Analyst -. Examine and analyse market information to decide strategies
- Brand Manager – Plan and create strategies and campaigns to retain and promote a brand
- Marketing Manager – Marketing Managers create and execute advertising campaigns to tap more customers and generate newer markets
- New Product Manager – In charge of launching a new product
Some of the other important career options for a marketing professional are:
- Promotion manager
- Sales manager
- Marketing executive
- Advertising executive
- PR and Communications Manager
Several students, after completion of marketing management, pursue higher education and research and choose to opt for a Ph.D. in the marketing discipline. They either pursue research or move into the academic field as a professor.
MBA in Finance Management is a post-graduation course in financial management that is in high demand. Finance is an inextricable part of any business, small or large, local or international, government-owned or private, monopolistic or having competition.
No business can function without its book of accounts. This is one of the most important reasons for the popularity of this course.
Students belonging to the various background – science, arts or commerce opt for a specialisation in Finance, because companies reach out to hire good finance managers.
Students who opt for a specialisation in Finance mainly learn some concepts that are critical to the functioning of a business.
Some of these concepts are bookkeeping, accounting, strategic financial management, capital funds, statistics, managerial economics, international financial management, risk management, treasury, cost management, security analysis, portfolio management, investment strategies, mergers and acquisitions.
The first year of MBA is common to all students and in the second year, the student opting for finance can choose to take up finance papers alone or in combination with papers from other electives depending on whether they want to pursue a dual management degree or not.
Although no background is required as such for a management degree in finance and colleges do not make selection criteria to the electives on the basis of such distinctions, it is seen that students with mathematical or accounts background prefer to move into finance management.
Who should choose
As already mentioned, there are no fixed criteria for making a choice, however, in order to make it big in the world of finance, certain skills and attributes are known to work favourably.
- Analytical bent of mind
- Number cruncher
- Attention to detail
- Diligence to work with certain tools as used by organisations
- Driven by results
However, a student who successfully completes a course in Finance management will not necessarily work as a doer in a firm. In order to lead a team of people, he should also be a good people manager, exhibit leadership skills, and be able to communicate well.
Finance Management students go through a lot of real-life case studies to understand the working of financial matters in a business.
These case studies help them understand the success stories and reasons for failure for certain businesses. Some of the key modules taught in management schools are as follows:
- Investment strategies
- Local and global economics
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Insurance and corporate risk
- Securities and portfolio management
- Direct and indirect taxation
Why critical for business
Finance is the most important aspect of any business whether it is a start-up or has reached maturity. Without funds, a business cannot come into existence.
Finance is that fuel that helps the wheels of a business to turn. The objective of a business is to ensure that there are enough funds for the future and maximising its profits to enhance the returns to investors. It is not possible to achieve these objectives without effective financial management.
Finance Management in an organisation starts with financial planning and allocation of funds to meet the needs of running the business.
It also formulates the policies and regulations pertaining to financial matters and secures the company’s monetary assets, thus creating investment opportunities for the business.
There has been a spurt of the requirement for finance managers in certain sectors such as banking and finance, hospitality, educational institutions, export and import, insurance, retails and FMCG, Telecom and the stock markets. Every year these sectors see a huge influx of management trainees in Finance from good colleges.
Some of the profiles available to students of financial management are:
- Cash Manager
- Credit manager
- Chief Finance Officer (CFO)
- Finance officer
- Insurance Manager
- Corporate controller
- Investment officer
- Relationship manager
- Investment banker
- Risk managers
- Financial analyst
Of course, a lot of students who have already pursued a CA course prior to pursuing their Finance Management can start their own financial services firm.
Higher studies in finance include Ph.D where students opt to research on financial subjects and move towards the academic path as a trainer or a professor.
There can never be a dearth of opportunities for a student who has successfully completed a management course in finance. There will always be a need for good finance managers as they play a pivotal role in money management.