While experts continue to debate whether management education has lost its sheen, B-schools across the globe are striving hard to retain the relevance of a management degree in a dynamic market scenario. This has led to a rise in a number of new-age MBA specialisations. Here are a few niche areas that students can consider:
LUXURY BRAND MARKETING AND MANAGEMENT
A rise in the urban elite class has opened up a clientele for luxury merchandise and services ranging from designer dresses, bags, handmade jewellery, watches, accessories and custom cars to premium vacation resorts and exotic real estate apartments. Creating an aura of exclusivity, prestige and social status around a product is a specialised and complex science. Luxury brand management, as an interdisciplinary subject, helps students understand the value associated with a brand and set a specific marketing plan for the product. Client association is an integral part of this field to keep the brand popular while retaining its exclusivity. A strong business management background, coupled with functional marketing practices, is essential for those who wish to make a career in this field. A luxury brand manager learns to constantly redefine luxury contours keeping in mind changing times, perceptions and tastes of the public. Students may opt for an MBA or a PG specialisation in European countries like the UK, France and Italy which are home to some of the best luxury brands. Essec and HEC in France, International University of Monaco in Italy, Regents and Southampton University in the UK, and Columbia and NYU in the US also offer courses in luxury and brand marketing and management.
With a growing television audience for all kinds of games, sports is now a US$ 200 billion industry annually. A career in sports management is for students with core business and management skills. The course modules focus on international sports governance, managing sports technology and innovation, business, finance and law. Aspirants can apply to universities in Australia, Europe and US. There are a number of sports management programmes at the University of Loughborough and Coventry in the UK, University of Alberta in Canada, IE in Spain, the University of Western Australia, La Trobe and Griffith in Australia, as well as the University of Virginia and the University of Massachusetts in the US.
LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
A large consumer market with mega malls and multiple outlets of the same retail chains has created a demand for products from different regions under one roof. A career in logistics and supply chain management is for students with strong management skills. A course in this field will train students in logistics, that is, managing transport, air freight, couriers and shipping, managing retail stores, etc. Qualified professionals can work with organisations with a need for co-ordination of resources like the real estate sector, hostels, hospitals, catering firms, transport management and large international trading houses, etc.
The logistics specialisation is offered by most B-schools such as Cranfield, Warwick and Aston in the UK, Rotterdam School of Management, HEC and INSEAD in continental Europe, and Purdue, Arizona State, Michigan State in the US.
Students who wish to build a career in music management must have a fair knowledge of music production, sound engineering electronic production management and e-marketing. A Master’s in music business management trains students in key business areas like finance, marketing, leadership, organisational management and entrepreneurship with special application to the music industry like knowledge of intellectual property and copyright laws, and a focus on the live music industry and revenue through digital content. The University of Westminster in the UK, Berklee College of Music, NYU, and University of South Florida in US offer music management courses.
Since most B-schools look for students with work experience, freshers should work in their field of interest for a short time before making the final decision. This will help them understand the way the industry functions as well as gauge their individual long-term interests.