Most advanced leadership and management positions hire MBA candidates with a specialization in Finance. This is because the MBA finance syllabus covers a wide array of core areas pertinent to an organization’s success.
When one thinks of ‘finance,’ one may picture a work scenario loaded with numbers and spreadsheets. But a glance at the coursework is enough to counter this belief. We have made this task more convenient for you by compiling the subjects below. So, read on to get familiar with some essential components of an MBA Finance program!
MBA Finance Syllabus
1. Business Economics
Business Economics links economic theory and quantitative techniques with an organization’s structure. It explores the relationships of firms with capital, labor, and product markets. And in this way, this subject attempts to give you a ‘big picture’ view of the overall business landscape.
Typically, the learning module covers both microeconomics and macroeconomics. The former studies the behavior of individual units like households and enterprises, the latter helps you understand the economy as a whole. This knowledge guides managers in their different decision-making and analytical tasks, such as framing pricing policies, predicting future market trends, etc.
2. Financial Accounting
This subject focuses on the baseline financial health of an enterprise. When a manager is trying to assess the existing money position of the organization to visualize its business prospects, having the financial information communicated as reports and analyzing them forms the first step.
Financial accounting equips you with the knowledge of the rules and nuances of preparing such statements and reports, which further aids the critical choices you make – for example, investing in a new asset or letting go of an unprofitable product. This includes getting a grasp on some fundamental concepts, such as preparing profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and so on.
3. Corporate Finance
When you are working on a senior position in a corporation, heading a particular department, you are invariably held accountable for the success or failure of the initiatives undertaken under your leadership. Some of your responsibilities may be to justify the application of several financial resources and advise the C-level executives on money matters.
The task of evaluating the pros and cons of new financial decisions is a highly perceptive task in itself as it has a direct bearing on the sustainability of a business. You would require two basic skill sets to implement corporate finance strategies:
- Evaluating the risk of a particular financial decision
- Evaluating projects and their returns on investment
For instance, when a company is considering avenues like investing in stock, procurement of funds through debt, and distribution of funds to inventors in the form of dividend, it would need people with expertise in the domain. As a manager, you would make comparative statements for different alternatives and recommend solutions that maximize the returns and minimize the risk for the corporation.
4. Business Communication
Working as a manager encompasses written and verbal communication for various purposes. No matter which department you are leading, skills like logical and analytical thinking, writing, presenting, etc. come handy while managing people and workflows.
Firstly, you have to be well-versed with the factors that influence the choice of a communication style under specific situations. Secondly, you should build your personal brand in accordance with the requirements of the job. Thirdly, you must know how to combine these two things to deliver high-impact interactions with internal (subordinates and coworkers) and external (customers, creditors) stakeholders.
With this view, the MBA finance syllabus entails lectures, cases, and assignments that develop effective business communication skills.
5. Marketing Management
MBA programs are designed to give students an overview of general management principles that they would need to apply upon entering the world of work. So, subjects like Marketing Management are a mainstay in business schools.
Marketing is concerned with the promotion of distribution of goods and services using multiple channels. It covers activities like analyzing the business environment, undertaking market research, and generating ideas for communicating value in a range of contexts and settings. Even if these tasks are not directly related to your job responsibilities, recognizing the fundamental concepts and thinking critically about them are integral for decision-making.
6. Decision Sciences
With the advent of Big Data, modern MBA programs have incorporated ‘decision science’ and ‘business analytics’ into the curriculum to facilitate data-driven actions. This means that management graduates are taught to guide corporate strategy by performing EDA sampling, Hypothesis, Testing, Regression Analysis, Forecasting, etc.
Nowadays, managers are expected to know how to conduct empirical studies, apply statistical techniques, and draw inferences. The next step is to suggest solutions for improving organizational productivity, advertising initiatives, digital strategies, among other day-to-day business functions.
7. Operations Management
This area of management is concerned with streamlining activities related to production, manufacturing, and supply chain. In other words, it allows managers to analyze the inputs and outputs in everyday business operations and come up with innovative ways to organize them optimally.
The standard MBA curriculum has Operations Management as a subject to impart knowledge about quality control, demand forecasting, performance measures, etc. This way, graduates can identify inefficiencies and propose effective changes and redesigns for the existing practices and processes.
Apart from the subjects mentioned above, MBA finance syllabus may also include specific modules on Research Methodology and Business Strategy. These courses can help you understand data collection and report writing while giving you a strategic perspective of the business functions.
If you want to pursue a postgraduate degree with a specialized track in Finance, you can go for any of the following options.
- Global MBA with specialization in Finance: Suitable for early to mid-career professionals looking to qualify for senior positions and work in financial management and related roles
- MBA in Digital Finance and Banking: Suitable for candidates who are interested in managing Fintech ecosystems or job-market aspirants who are looking to transition into ‘jobs of the future’ like AI and Blockchain
While choosing your desired learning track, you must evaluate the alternatives in terms of the benefits they will bring to your profile and experience. We recommend opting for an accredited program that offers hands-on learning opportunities (assignments, projects, etc.) along with flexibility and career support. Compare the takeaways of the MBA degree with the cost and time commitment and choose the option that fits your requirements.
With this, we have broken down the MBA finance syllabus for you. Hope you use the above information to select a program that takes you closer to your personal and career goals!