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Best MBA Alternative Courses for You in 2022

Almost a decade ago, an MBA was considered the gateway to the corporate world. The scenario has changed now, and specialized courses are available for students in place of a regular MBA. As the technology and business ecosystem has evolved, organizations need specialized talent rather than business graduates who are aware of all aspects of the business. As a result, many MBA alternative courses can be considered by the students. It is essential to note that these courses help individuals to gain knowledge in a particular domain.

While an MBA provides an overview of the functioning of various departments in a business to the student, MBA alternative courses aim at dwelling deep into a specific topic and help the student be an expert in that field. In other words, MBA alternative courses help students gain mastery over a specific business area and grow further in their careers. These courses can also help deliver a customized experience to the learner and improve their job. 

Here is all you need to know about MBA alternative courses and how they can help you grow in your career:

Best MBA Alternative Courses

Several MBA alternative courses can help you gain deep knowledge in a specific niche. Some popular MBA alternative courses are as follows:

Specialized MBA Courses

Rather than going for a general MBA that provides an overview of various business functions, it may be more sensible to go for a specialized MBA. There are several specialized MBA options in areas like retail management, risk management, marketing management, and retail management. These specialized courses help a student learn great detail about a specific business area. For instance, an MBA in Finance Management can help a student learn in detail about the history and contemporary practices in finance and accounts. Similarly, other specialized courses allow a student to be an expert in a specific business area.

The student should have some level of experience and interest in the area chosen for the specialized MBA. The eligibility for a specialized MBA is similar to the eligibility criteria for an MBA course. However, since the student is expected to learn in-depth about a specific business function, it is usually seen that these students can attract better pay packages and designations in the corporate set-up after completion of the course than a regular MBA.

Certification Courses

Like MBA, several other specialized certification courses can help students learn more about a specific business function. These specialized certification courses include names like Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or the certification issued by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). In terms of the content, these certification courses offer knowledge closer to a specialized M.Sc. course rather than a standard MBA.

The fees of these certification courses are usually lower than an MBA. The time taken for each certification course varies and can be more or less than the MBA course. For instance, the CFA course can take four years to complete the three levels compared to the two years of an MBA. There are a lot of studies that students are expected to go through to complete these certification courses. Usually, assessments and projects are how learning is assessed during these certification courses.

As learning is self-paced, students can decide on their schedule and complete these courses while working a full-time job. However, doing this requires serious commitment from students, and it is wrong to think that they will be able to complete these certification courses without studying much.

You can also consider the Accelerated Management Program (AMP) for your higher studies. It is a live-only management program that can provide an application-oriented curriculum to learners. It offers Ivy League faculty and involves interactions with inspirational entrepreneurs and senior industry leaders. These people are also involved in the design and delivery of the program. Harappa’s AMP program ascertains tangible learning outcomes for learners.

Diploma Courses

A student can also undertake a diploma course in digital marketing, hotel management, project management, international business, etc. These short diploma courses provide knowledge and experience in a specific business field. 

While the knowledge provided under these courses is similar to the curriculum design of an MBA, the short duration makes it an impactful and value-packed course. As these diploma courses can train you in a specific business area, you can select the right course based on your interest and career ambitions.

Factors like industry potential, job prospects, pay package, etc., should be considered for selecting the right diploma course. These diploma courses can prove to be more effective than a general MBA. As these also provide specialized knowledge in a specific business area, there is a high probability of becoming an expert in an area rather than becoming a general business graduate.

A learner can opt for more than one diploma course in the medium to long run based on interest and job requirements. You should research to find the right institute or platform for the selected diploma course. 


These MBA alternative courses can be considered for designing a successful career. You can also undertake specialized training courses that can help you learn more about specific business functions. For instance, you can opt for negotiating training, SEO training, soft skills training, or any other as per your interest. These training sessions effectively develop the skills required to be a successful manager. You can take these training courses after completing the main course as you grow in your career.

The MBA alternative courses discussed above can be filtered per your area of expertise, experience, and expectations. By selecting the right course, you can boost your career and move up the ladder quickly.