GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

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Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | December 17th, 2020

Highlight the value of your MBA specializations

Highlight the value of your MBA specializationsSpecializations within an MBA program offer a deeper dive into a core business area or industry. Although an MBA can prepare students for working in any industry, specializations help improve their career prospects if they’re targeting a certain type of business or role such as cybersecurity, healthcare or HR. In the past, specializations may have been seen as pigeonholing. Yet, in the current business environment where degree stacking and “up-credentialing” are becoming trends, they can offer greater professional opportunities. A commitment to a certain skillset or industry is being seen as invaluable to employers at the moment and may make candidates even more desirable. Some schools are offering the opportunity to gain more than one specialization during an MBA program.

According to the Princeton Review, the most in-demand MBA specializations are:

  • General management
  • International business
  • Strategy
  • Consulting
  • Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Information technology

In an uncertain economy, anything candidates can do to make themselves stand out is important. It shows ambition, commitment and the desire to go beyond what is required for their employers.

Communication about specializations

For higher education institutions, communications around specializations are tricky. The goal is to seem intentional about the specializations offered and transparent regarding the benefits.

Specializations are a bit of a catch 22. Your school wants to be seen as innovative and poised to respond to the needs of the market yet be wary of appearing to chase trends. Your marketing needs to follow suit. Here are some tips on communications about specializations:

  • Give background on why your school is qualified to offer certain specializations. Cite faculty expertise and research to give credibility.
  • Use identified industry trends. Make a case for why a specialization will be valuable both now and in the future.
  • Know your audience. Based on your key demographic, be sure to tap into what’s important to them.
  • Use your geography wisely. If you’re in an area where entrepreneurship is booming, focus on metrics that show how they could enter the start-up market successfully. If your area is a healthcare hub, a healthcare management specialization could be extremely relevant.

Your competition may not be who you think it is

While creating a communications plan for your MBA specializations, you may first rely on a competitive analysis to see what peer schools are doing. However, be aware that the traditional set you’re used to reviewing may not be the only place to look. By now, you’re aware of online training platforms like Coursera, Lynda, Udemy, edX and Udacity, to name a few. With a variety of leadership, management and specialized courses – some free, and many a much lower cost than an MBA – these platforms are being used by today’s savvy business leaders to stack credentials and frontload their resumes. Don’t underestimate the power of these platforms to cast doubt on the value of an expensive MBA program.

Although it may seem like an uphill battle to compete, this is actually where specializations can be central to showing your program’s value and benefits. If your healthcare specialization is taught by a policy leader or a top-ranked physician, or it includes in-person immersions, highlight those. Does your HR specialization include a certification from an organization that would otherwise cost an additional fee? If so, be sure to include that in your messaging. If your strategy specialization includes working with a real client company to solve a business challenge, find ways to tell that story.

Need help?

If you need help crafting a campaign around MBA specializations, GPRS can help. With years of experience working in the higher education industry, we are skilled at customizing your message for your unique audience to increase enrollment. Contact us today to start the conversation.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | December 4th, 2020

MBA is the new undergrad

MBA is the new undergradWhile the trend of jobs that require a Masters’ degree or an MBA has been steadily increasing over the past decade, the recent pandemic has demanded that those who aspire to business leadership positions commit themselves to post-graduate education.

According to an article in the Economist, a bachelor’s degree is the de facto requirement in the world of business, but increasingly, it’s not enough for those who aspire to lead. While a bachelor’s degree is required for many jobs, here are a few reasons why an MBA is becoming the “must do” next step.

Raising the bar

Employers are raising the bar for the skillsets needed to succeed. These skills go beyond the staples of accounting, finance and operations to include strategic thinking and innovation – and can determine whether you sink or swim in today’s unprecedented economy.

Right now, prioritized value is being placed on skills like:

  • Analyzing problems
  • Communication
  • Strategy
  • Dealing with ambiguity
  • Leadership
  • Navigating technological disruption
  • Innovation

With an MBA being one of the most widely known degrees you can obtain, it can give you the flexibility to jump into any business challenge head on, armed with the tools to solve complex issues. In addition, the networking from an MBA program, regardless of the format, is invaluable due to the broad scope of perspectives you gain from fellow classmates, and the business network that you form with them.

What the data says

The findings of the 2020 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey suggest that, “employers remain confident about the value of graduate management talent, which is also apparent in their relatively steady hiring projections and salary trends. In sum, the skills and abilities acquired by graduate management talent during their business school experiences make them a valuable asset in supporting organizational recovery and resiliency.”

In addition, although confidence in the global economy has dropped, employers are still certain that graduate education will consistently be able to prepare future talent for the uncertain market and give them the skills to tackle the inevitable coming changes.

What an MBA can do for you

Although the cost of an MBA and its return on investment has been a long debated and studied conundrum, the skills you gain make you a valued asset to your organization, giving you a springboard to climb any ladder you choose. Also, finding a quality MBA program at a reasonable price is much easier today.

An MBA remains one of the most diverse post-grad degrees you can obtain. Regardless of your undergrad degree, it will give you a broader foundation to expand within your chosen industry, or even change course completely. It can be used in almost any industry, including those that you may not have an undergraduate degree in. An MBA enables you to make an impact and manage at a higher level even without extremely deep vertical market experience.

As the GMAC corporate recruiters survey confirms, hiring of MBAs remains steady, even in an uncertain market. So there’s no better time to plan to advance your career. And an MBA may very well be the next logical step.



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For over two decades, GPRS has been a trusted higher education marketing agency, offering custom solutions to institutions of all sizes and degree types. Admissions directors, marketing directors, deans, and presidents rely on GPRS to provide a depth of services, including strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, nurture communications, recruiting, and analytics.

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