Your Graduate Brand, a Major Decision

Many of you may have just finished “walking” at your graduation. Your friends and family were there for your big moment. Congratulations!

What’s next?

The economy is tough, no? Many of you are deciding between entering the job market or going to graduate school. For those of you who decide to go to graduate school, listen up. You have some decisions to make. Among them are what school to go to, and what should be your major or concentration.

The first path is to continue your education along in the same major or concentration you had as an undergraduate. Like a decadent dessert, you should probably avoid that temptation. Sure, you might like continuing on your familiar turf, but later on your might regret it.

Graduate school is a brand-building opportunity.

Think about a major or concentration that will be an excellent compliment to your current degree and experience. Why? Because your undergraduate degree provides you with a skill set that will carry you far, but a graduate degree that provides a complementary skill set can act as a catalyst in your career.

Let’s say you have an undergraduate degree in operations management, and you would like to pursue a career in that field. That’s a good start. People successful in operations need skills that transcend a focused operations approach. For example, operating manufacturing plants or distribution centers requires managing people. A graduate degree in human resources would provide the additional skills to make you a much more well-rounded and effective manager.

Want to consider something outside of the business realm? Why not? How about pursuing a degree in psychology, industrial psychology, or maybe even industrial sociology? Learning how to effectively motivate people in an operations context will improve your employees’ performance, and by definition, your performance as well. In short, a complimentary degree will help you build your company’s bottom line and speed your way to the top.



Howard, an Associate Professor of Marketing in the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at the California State University Fullerton, earned his Ph.D. from Temple University. Prior to joining the faculty at Cal State, Howard was on the faculty at Drexel University and The Pennsylvania State University. A native of Philadelphia, Howard has extensive experience in the public and private sectors working for organizations such as the Department of Defense, Motorola, and the CSX railroad.  His research expertise is in branding, sustainability, strategic pricing, and education. In addition to teaching at Cal State, Howard has a consulting business focused on branding. You can follow Howard on Twitter or connect with him atLinkedin.

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  3. Compliments and Complements Help Build Your Brand

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