Choosing your specialization.

Something you are going to hear a lot going into the business program is “What specialization are you in?” or “What one are you thinking of taking?”. To clarify for anyone unaware; the Business Administration 4 year program has specializations in; Accounting, Economics, Marketing, Organizational Studies/Human Resources and Technology Management. A student may choose to specialize in one area, which means they must take extra credits in that field of study and at graduation, they will graduate with a specialization.

Many people are going to try and convince you to join their specialization because of how much they love it, or how great the professors are, or how it will help your chances for employment, and so on. This post will give you a general feel of what each specialization entails from a student perspective.

Now all biases out front, I myself am in the Economics specialization. I focus more specifically on banking and labour economics, learning how upper management decides on expansion, this a rare trait that few know. I will be talking about the economics specialization later but I strongly urge it as a key contender.

Accounting: The Accounting specialization is for those who are practical and want to ensure employment right away. Chartered accountants are always in demand as every corporation, business etc needs to keep recorded financials and the only people who can record them and are authorized are those who are CFA (Chartered Financial Accountants). This specialization ranges from the basic recording all the way to learning how to do taxes or auditing others. Accounting is not just balance sheets and income statements! Accounting is a strong program and they offer some courses that help prep you prepare for taking your CFA certifications after university so you can get right to work.

Economics: The Economics specialization (my specialization) is a very small group of individuals for those preparing for financials and making something efficient. Classes range from money and banking, to third world development. A common argument is you can never go wrong with an economics degree as it gives you both the practiciality of the business field but also the overall understanding of how money and growth works. Therefore if you know how money works, then people want to hire you to solve their economic pain. Of course you might wonder then why we are such a small group; I will be straightforward, economics is hard, you work tirelessly to get your marks but in the end you’ve earned that mark and you feel like you know what you are talking about.

Marketing: The Marketing specialization ranges from sports marketing to the theory of consumer behaviour and consumption. It is by far the largest specialization and has some stellar professors who have backgrounds in places like P&G, Tylenol  etc. This specialization is amazing for those going into marketing and advertising/sales. Overall a great specialization.

Organizational Studies/Human Resources: This specialization is diverse because those in HR can be found in a variety of careers that range from day to day motivation and team morale to collective bargaining, and ‘putting out fires’. Human Resource is another program many pick because as long as humans have to work together there will always be a need for it.

Technology Management: Technology Management specialization is the most unique one that we offer. You will be required to take computer science courses as well as business classes. This specialization is a safe bet in every fashion as this specialization discusses and teaches about the growing use of technology and how to understand it. This specialization is for those who have a passion for technology and want to work with either instilling it into business or revamping current businesses with technology improvements.

Overall I cannot give you the golden rule as to what specialization will give you a higher salary or better employment, all that matters is to follow your passion. Do not be one of those students who goes into accounting because there is lots of demand for the job. If you are not passionate about your work it will tire you out and the motivation will just not grow. Take your first year courses, see which courses speak to you and make the choice then, be open to all the options in first year and once the first year is over, then declare economics… I mean any specialization you are passionate about.