Most students and professionals alike associate an MBA degree with an office space that lies on some multi-storied complex, where the employees strut out their stuff while wearing a suit and tie set. An MBA is ‘supposed to’ work in storied areas such as in investment banking, business analysis, marketing research, digital marketing, or international sales. However, a management degree is much more than that. Aspirants to CAT and other leading management exams for this season, must not restrict their choices to a few courses alone. Instead, they must explore varying options, some of which would be outright unconventional. This will also enable a relatively unique persona and skill sets among the concerned individual.
Beyond the usual management degree specializations in Finance, Marketing, Human Resources (HR), Systems or Operations, there are several other options as well. Indeed, an MBA student could also specialize in areas such as Travel & Tourism, Environment & Finance, Fashion, Hospitals, Advertising, and more. The following are in fact, some of those colleges which specialize in such unconventional career paths, within the broad area of business management:
Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA)
If India has to grow to be a genuine superpower this century, we need to ensure that the growth story moves out of the few big cities alone. Agriculture and rural development need to be at the center of the next growth phase. IRMA is one college, located in Gujarat, at the heart of the world’s greatest cooperative movement, that allows students to be a part of this growth story. The town of Anand is synonymous with the establishment of Amul, the company that ushered in the White Revolution in India. Students need to qualify for IRMA’s internal exam through the CAT or XAT as the first round. IRMA’s own test will finally determine the selection.
Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM)
IIFM is a nodal institute part of the MoEFCC (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change). The campus alone is worth the entire admission fee, as it is a beautiful two- hundred and thirty-acre campus perched on top of a hill, adjoining the Van Vihar National Park. The course here is replete with hands-on training, in forest and rural areas, so that students emerge with a holistic skill set. The college accepts both the CAT and XAT scores before its own GDPI process.
This institute was formerly known as the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad. It was founded by the Mudra advertising agency. MICA is an ideal place for future marketers, PR professionals, and advertisers. Creativity and innovation are accorded top markers for selection to this college. Like IRMA, here too the CAT exam is used as a qualifier. After that, those shortlisted need to appear for the MICAT, which also possesses some subjective questions, that tests the students’ creative abilities.
Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism Management (IITTM)
This has several branches, though the one in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh (MP) is considered the flagship one. The course content is geared not solely on hospitality, as would be the focus in a hotel management course, but on the broader aspects of the travel and tourism segment. A policy maker’s perspective is taken into consideration here. A career with the tourism boards, international tour operators, or booking portals could await a graduate from here.
This is the National Centre for Management of Agricultural Extension, which is based in Hyderabad, Telangana. Like the IIFM, MANAGE too was established by the respective ministry, which in this case is the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. The college specializes in courses related to agribusiness and warehousing management. Like IRMA, students graduating from here too should be right at the forefront of the next agricultural revolution in India.
Global Risk Management Institute (GRMI)
The GRMI is the youngest of the institutions mentioned here, having been established over the last decade itself. As the name suggests, risk management is the principal area of focus here. The college is located right at the heart of Gurugram’s corporate hub. For those who have a knack for finance, this is the college. A lot of students also come here, while attempting for their CA exam, as alternate career options open up.
These are just some of the alternate options mentioned for now, that students must seriously consider. A unique skill set will always help a professional stand out versus the rest of the competition. These colleges do offer uniqueness, while also being standardized enough to ensure that one does not struggle for openings in their respective industry areas.