As students aim to align their Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with their interests and career goals, they may ask themselves whether they should specialize in a specific business discipline or consider a general MBA. Since employers tend to hold both options in high regard, the best advice may start with a close look at the student’s own career trajectory.
Many students have varied interests and a desire to respond to changing industry trends and market opportunities. As such, these students may find that a general degree that offers many options for electives — such as the online MBA program from the University of North Carolina Pembroke (UNC Pembroke) — equips them with the flexibility and broad skill set they seek.
What Does a General MBA Mean for Your Career Advancement?
A general MBA provides students with the advanced study of an array of essential business and management subjects. Students learn the fundamentals of various business functions and specialties. Through these studies, students develop transferable skills that are applicable to myriad job roles in many different industries, as well as to everyday life. Employers in all business sectors highly value transferable skills and qualities like leadership, critical thinking, analytical reasoning, strategic decision-making, teamwork and communication.
Thus, the kinds of transferable skills students develop through general MBA studies can bolster their career versatility and adaptability to new positions and industries. This may be especially key in light of the number of job changes in one’s career — roughly 12 for the average U.S. citizen, according to Zippia.
What Electives Can You Take With UNCP’s General MBA?
Students enrolled in UNCP’s general MBA program online will take eight core courses and four electives. Students can choose from a wide array of electives, with 21 options available, allowing them to tailor the program to meet their specific interests and aspirations.
The scope of electives includes courses in accounting, business law, marketing, management, information and technology, finance, entrepreneurship, analytics and more. A few highlights include the following:
- Services Marketing covers unique aspects of marketing service firms and nonprofits in regard to pricing, distribution, customer retention and more.
- Entrepreneurship equips students with competencies needed to overcome obstacles and leverage opportunities in forming or advancing business ventures.
- Personal Financial Planning directs students to apply their financial planning skills in a scenario‐based approach and prepare comprehensive financial plans.
What Are Specific, In-demand Skills a General MBA Can Help You Develop?
As noted earlier, MBA students can expect to improve their understanding of essential business and management functions. Yet, perhaps the most impactful, widely applicable and desirable abilities that general MBA students develop are the transferable skills that they can use in any role. These are often the competencies employers look for in job applicants, making skill development an important component of an MBA program’s potential return on investment.
For instance, the following are skills that professionals can hone through a general MBA. They are also the skills and skill groups that top employers believe are most important both now and in the future, according to the 2023 Corporate Recruiters Survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council:
- Learning, motivation and leadership
- Strategy and innovation
- Interpersonal relations
- Data analysis and interpretation
When students choose their general MBA electives, they may want to keep this list as well as their own academic and career goals in mind. As they complete a general MBA online, students may find value in flexibility for a changing employment landscape and long-term career.
Learn more about the UNC Pembroke online MBA program.