How To Choose Your MBA Electives

Nearly half of the credits you earn in an MBA come from electives.

Choosing the right electives, experts say, can play an important role in shaping your career path. US News recently offered some advice on how MBA students should go about choosing their MBA electives to best position themselves in a competitive job market.

THE ROLE OF ELECTIVES

Mapping out your electives can help you expand your knowledge and gain expertise in a specialized field. Peter Severa, assistant dean of student engagement for MBA programs at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business, says that’s important especially when you’re figuring out what you want your career to be.

“Electives can be useful in helping students find their passions and make decisions on what kind of impact they want their work to have after they graduate, both on their lives and on the world around them,” Severa says.

POSITIONING YOURSELF IN THE JOB SEARCH

The electives you choose help differentiate you from other students once you start looking for a job. Severa recommends that students have a mix of electives that cover technical skills as well as soft skills such as leadership and management.

Bradley Staats, senior associate dean for strategy and academics and a professor at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, suggests students to choose electives based on their function and industry.

“If I want to go into tech, and I want to do product marketing for a company, then I need to build out those product marketing skills while building knowledge on technology, and electives help achieve both of those things,” he says.

Additionally, choosing a mix of electives across different areas can help you to become more well-rounded as a candidate.

“It’s like an all-you-can-eat-buffet – you don’t want to just load up on dessert because it’s your favorite, you also want to eat other things,” says S Sriram, a marketing professor and associate dean for graduate programs at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Sources: US News, Admissionado

Next Page: The Power of a Campus Visit

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.