Apr 23, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

The business education world has seen an impressive upsurge in the demand for specialized MBAs in recent years, and with good reason. You’re probably familiar with traditional MBA degrees, which represent a sound qualification for any managerial position in the global business landscape, but specialized MBAs target a more specific audience, who are looking to acquire focused expertise in a particular industry or field.

Working professionals often opt for specialized MBAs because of the high level of specialized knowledge they can acquire, plus the almost guaranteed benefit of a better position, or promotion in the industry they wish to be in plus the sense of job security this qualification affords them.

For example, a large corporation looking to hire an HR Manager may look more favorably on a candidate who has a specialized MBA in Human Resource Management, as opposed to a candidate who has a general MBA.

Now, more than ever before, professionals are opting for specialized MBA degrees. While the trend is a global one, these degrees are especially important for Africa.

Why? Because in Africa new businesses and new industries are emerging all the time and markets are booming in many countries.

Let’s take a closer look at the main reasons specialized MBA degrees are so important for Africa, and which is the best place you can earn such a qualification.

1. They’re designed for professionals with specific career goals

Specialized MBAs are designed for professionals with specific goals and visions for their careers. You may know such ambitious individuals, you may even be one of them: you have specific career goals, you want to advance in your career, or develop your own business in a certain industry, or you wish to get involved in a specific industry that’s taking off in your country right now.

Professor Mpazi Sinjela Vice Chancellor at pan-African UNICAF University says, “Students aspiring to study for a specialized MBA degree programme often have specific career goals, such as enhancing their leadership skills, or developing other specific skills which can accelerate their careers. A specialized MBA can help professionals redefine their career paths, update their expertise in a particular field, or develop a specialization in an altogether new area.”

2. They’re current

By earning a specialized MBA, you’ll be up-to-date on everything new in the specific industry, which is critical for success in Africa’s emerging economies.

Professor Sinjela says that successful MBA graduates in Africa need the most current, relevant information to make informed decisions, which can help them succeed in the global economy.

He says, “The curricula of our specialized MBAs reflect and impart skills which are in great demand, so that our students graduate with the most relevant knowledge. Our programmes also offer a range of flexible electives, so that students can select those that are tailored to their specific interests and professional goals.”

And Professor Sinjela continues, “Our specialized MBA programmes contain the most up-to-date knowledge in the specific specialized fields they focus in and have a practical orientation, to enhance the return to investment, and equip students with valuable new skills, which will lead to an immediate job offering, or a promotion after graduation.”

3. Why they matter—especially in Africa

In sectors of the African economies exhibiting the biggest growth, like health, business, and natural resources, Africa needs well-trained graduates with the skills and the expertise to become credible leaders, and the social conscience to give back to the community, thereby contributing not only to the economic, but also to the social development of their countries.

Professor Sinjela emphasizes, “It is important for candidates in Africa to study for a specialized MBA, because it enables them to develop in-depth knowledge and skills, relevant not only to the highly specialized field they will be studying, but also to wider societal needs in areas such as public health, social entrepreneurship, sustainable development and resource management.”

4. Where should you study?

You guessed it: Unicaf University! With two branch campuses currently in operation, (in Malawi and Zambia), and several more being developed across Africa, the independent, pan-African Unicaf University partners with UNICAF, the largest digital platform on the continent, to deliver quality international education with a local focus, through an affordable and flexible learning model.

In addition to a general Master’s in Business Administration degree, Unicaf University in Zambia offers specialized MBA degrees in the following areas: Management, Finance, Oil and Gas Management, Health Management, Management of Information Systems, as well as the MPA - Management of Public Administration.

 

The generous UNICAF Scholarship Programme can help individuals, interested in studying for a specialized MBA, pay only a small part of tuition fees, depending on their financial circumstances. The specialized MBA degree programmes of Unicaf University in Zambia are available through online study, (utilizing the state-of-the-art UNICAF Virtual Learning Environment and new technologies), or through blended learning, (which combines online delivery with regular face-to-face teaching). If you're looking to advance your career with a specialized MBA degree and at the same time to contribute to the socio-economic development of Africa, look no further than Unicaf University in Zambia. For more information go to www.unicafuniversity.ac.zm or www.unicafuniversity.com

 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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