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Specific Career Tracks for Global MBA Programs

Throughout the world, MBA programs are instituting career tracks to tightly align business school education with the needs of the marketplace. Leaders at global MBA programs are joining forces with leading industries to implement these changes. These new focused programs are popular with business school students, because they can help the students rapidly progress in fields they're passionate about.

There are a variety of MBA career tracks, including general areas of business including entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, and operations; and more specific topics such as the arts, retail, and real estate. Growing segments of business, such as analytics, consulting, leadership, sustainability, and technology, are also addressed by some of these tracks.

The MBA program at the Wisconsin School of Business, for example, is designed around career specializations in hopes of providing graduates with increased expertise in their fields and potentially more worth to companies that might be interested in hiring them, a web page at the Wisconsin MBA at the Wisconsin School of Business indicates.

Business school tracks for part-time students

Full-time MBA programs are not the only types of programs to focus on an individualized career track. Professors are also focusing some of their part-time MBA programs into the field. In January 2012, a new MBA for Working Professionals is to be introduced at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business in Charlotte, N.C., and focus on specific topics such as healthcare administration, financial services, and general management.

"Two of the largest employer industries in Charlotte are healthcare and financial services," said Yvonne Hinson, dean of Wake Forest University Charlotte Programs. "There is a demand for a defined series of MBA electives in these areas, so we are moving to meet the needs of the market with specialized, quality educational offerings."

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To boost these offerings, MBA programs will seek assistance from faculty members and industry experts. Wake Forest will rely on its accounting, finance, general management and medical school professors to provide the MBA career tracks.

"Industry experts will collaborate with faculty members to provide guidance for learning objectives and goals for each MBA track," Hinson said. "We have always made an effort to stay ahead of local, national and global business trends and provide opportunities for students to thrive in the marketplace."

Incoming Wake Forest MBA candidate Bruce Strum is thrilled about the introduction of the career tracks. Born in Franklin, N.C., he now works as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in Asheville and is slated to start the Wake Forest Charlotte Saturday MBA Program in January.

"The financial services track is precisely what I was looking for," Strum said. "It offers the focused education I need to move my career to the next step within my current employer. Prior to the introduction of these tracks, I was trying to determine how to overlay additional finance courses within the MBA program."

Strum hopes to learn the quantitative skills necessary to create custom investment portfolios, function as a high level investment analyst, and engage in a management role at the branch or regional level.

Business school tracks in overseas MBA programs

The career tracks expansion extends beyond U.S. MBA programs. France's EDHEC Business School is also integrating three specialist tracks into its MBA program: global finance, global leadership, and global entrepreneurship.

"We aim to provide the business community with the leaders they need to successfully manage global developments," EDHEC Global MBA Director, Professor Emmanuel Metais, is quoted on the school's web page as saying. "We therefore have to equip these managers with the tools necessary to carry out their missions."

The global finance track should provide courses in international corporate finance and financial economics followed by a London seminar to understand the mechanisms of international financial markets. Slated to be offered in conjunction with IBM, the global leadership track should include a seminar in Singapore to learn more about leadership from an Asian perspective. Participants with budding business ideas should learn more about project financing and technology companies during a seminar in San Francisco, as part of EDHEC's global entrepreneurship track.

Essential business school education to make a difference from the get-go

As more MBA programs adopt job-related tracks, business school students should acquire direct knowledge on general, specific and local business disciplines. This knowledge can help them make an important difference in their areas of interest from Day One.

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