Is There an Edge to Specialized MBAs?

Is There an Edge to Specialized MBAs?
  • Opening Intro -

    There is a growing debate in the business community over the merits of a specialized MBA.

    This option allows students to focus their electives in a single field, with finance, marketing, operations, and accounting making up some of the most popular options.


The majority of graduates from the top business schools in Canada complete their degree without specializing in any particular field. Some educational professionals believe that this stays true to the program’s origins as a general management degree. Others, especially employers in industries facing unique challenges, are looking for industry-specific knowledge.

Agreements and Disagreements

Although some disagree, a specialized MBA can bolster a person’s career if they already have industry experience and are looking to learn management skills specific to their area. A specialization works best for students who:

  • Already have years of experience in one industry and are ready to move into executive positions;
  • Want to become functional managers in marketing, finance, or operations and will require narrower but more thorough skill sets;
  • And want to distinguish themselves as star candidates in a single area.

On the other hand, choosing this path can narrow a student’s career, so it’s always smart to research post-graduate job opportunities and the conditions facing the sector. A general degree from one of the leading MBA programs in Canada is the best option for:

  • Students who want to keep their options open and don’t want to commit to a particular industry;
  • And individuals who want versatile skills that they can transfer across sectors.

The Dividing Gap

The gap between these two camps is being bridged by a Canadian school in particular. Wilfrid Laurier University offers an Integrated Core curriculum which challenges students to draw on eight key business fields (including marketing, accounting, strategic management, and analytics). Case studies that are based on the real corporate world are given to students and require them to draw on diverse business theories in order to succeed. The Integrated Core helps students think beyond the focus of their weekend or full time 1 year MBA.

Golf and Resort Management Degree

Golf and Resort Management has been an available specialization at Wilfrid Laurier since 2014. While accounting, operations, and finance MBAs have long been popular concentrations, sectors like supply chain and golf management have been pushing universities to develop programs that teach skill sets that many current graduates lack. The school’s students often find post-graduate work with firms like Golf Canada, Mizuno Canada, and Pacific Links International. Despite its success with the new program, it remains one of the only internationally respected MBA schools in Canada to offer a specialization in Golf and Resort Management.

The golf industry accounts for $14.3 billion of the Canadian economy. The program requires students to take five electives outside of the first Integrated Core term, and prepares them with managerial talents the golf industry desperately needs. Grant Fraser, the founder of the Golf Management Institute of Canada, said in The Globe and Mail that Canadians need better-prepared managerial talent to take advantage of the international industry. A full time MBA in Golf and Resort Management places graduates in a unique position to enter a sector that’s ripe for change.

College Campus reference:

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