There may not be a single educational path that will work for every person, but it has been my experience that selecting MBA specializations has been tremendously beneficial to my education and to my career. When entering the online MBA program at the University of Scranton, I was torn between specializations in Operations Management and Healthcare Management as both were very relevant to my desired career path. Luckily, when speaking with the program manager at the University of Scranton, she advised that I could do a dual specialization in both Operations and Healthcare, and the decision to do so has been absolutely invaluable. While I have switched career paths since starting my MBA, the specializations I have chosen are still just as relevant and useful to my new occupation.
Specializing in operations management has been critically important since operations pervades so many aspects of business. Learning operations in detail through specialized courses has allowed me to understand more clearly how to efficiently and effectively operate a business in a variety of industries. As part of my Operations Management specialization, I have taken classes such as Project Management, Supply Chain Management, and Quality Management, and these courses have provided me with a diverse, yet important knowledge base. The information I have learned makes me feel extremely prepared not only to assist with operations at my current employer, but also to feel comfortable accepting leadership positions as they become available.
In Northeastern Pennsylvania where I reside, healthcare is a growing and critical industry, likely as the result of an aging population and the ever-growing need for quality care. When I began my MBA, I was working directly in the healthcare field and the knowledge I gained my healthcare management classes was incredibly valuable to improving my industry knowledge. However, when I began working for a local community foundation which, amongst other things, provides grants to nonprofit organizations in the area, I was no longer directly in healthcare. Despite this, I continued my specialization in healthcare management as these courses allowed me to better understand the unique concerns and considerations faced by healthcare organizations. Since I continue to work with many healthcare providers through my work at the foundation and since this industry will continue to be vital to this area into the foreseeable future, I feel that the specialization in healthcare management and the courses I have taken put me at an advantage.
While I know that choosing to specialize in Operations Management and Healthcare Management has been the right decision for me as I continue down my career path, I also know that others without special interest in particular industries or fields may not prefer a specialization. However, I do not feel that choosing specializations has limited the general knowledge I have gained from an MBA. I have still taken marketing, management, accounting, and finance classes that have all been very beneficial, but I feel I have a more detailed understanding of operations and healthcare management as a result of choosing specializations. This more thorough education has allowed me to bring unique skills to my career and to make me more confident in my ability to be a valuable employee.