Over the last many years, the student mix at many top-notch B-schools has grown to be diverse. Now, there are engineering graduates, advertising professionals, accountancy specialists, pharmacists and even medically qualified doctors who want to get the coveted MBA? Why is MBA still the most popular option among those who are looking at specialised higher education after graduation?
The answer according to many is simple. It has a ‘good’ future. “I want to do an MBA because I now that once I clear out of a good B-school, I will be placed well from campus itself. Thereafter, I do not have to bother, the ladder to success will be easy to climb,” says Premal Parekh, a qualified chartered accountant, who has also cleared his second year law exams and is now preparing hard to appear for the CAT. He realises that he could make a similar career in chartered accountancy, but his eyes belie the fact that the glamour of getting into a highly regarded b-school has consumed him. To him, it’ll be ‘cool’ to graduate from IIM-A or even the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS) closer to home. And for now, his rose-tinted vision about life after the MBA cannot be replaced with any other reality. “Of course it cannot be replaced. It is a field that has proven itself time and again and helped fresh graduates to get a great head start and has catapulted those with experience straight to mid-management level,” says IIM graduate Nirav Mehta, who now runs coaching and counselling centres for those seeking admission to an MBA programme.
For many, it is clearly about the financial aspect. Shruti Menon completed her BSc in Life Sciences, and is now preparing for the various entrance exams to an MBA programme. It doesn’t bother her that her fundamentals are geared towards the sciences, and for a management entrance exam, she’ll have to start from scratch. “It isn’t as difficult asyou make it sound,” she says, “besides, once I graduate from a good college, I’m likely to make much more than I would have ever made as a research scientist after completing my MSc.” Well there she is correct. During placement season, the papers are full of stories of the kinds of placements that MBA graduates have landed. Annual salaries have known to go as high as a crore! Even if we consider the average starting salary that a student can draw after being placed through the campus, it touches about ` 3 lakh. That is an amount a researcher earns after putting in at least two to three years in the lab. Even after, increments and incentives are never going to be comparable to that of an MBA graduate. It is therefore obvious that students want to look at greener pastures!
There is, however, a flipside to this like everything else. “Lack of introspection and information many times results in young people applying to these programmes whether they have the aptitude or not, and the mushrooming of sub-standard institutes catering to the demand, which provide MBA degrees that can only be described as worthless. Very often, a person finds that the MBA degree does not get the promised job in a good company,” says Sriram Karanth, Director, Growth Centre+. “Even though there is high demand for MBA graduates in our country, our country needs almost five lakh ‘efficient’ graduates, the operative word being efficient. I want to highlight this fact because most of them are just finishing their degree in order to acquire high packages,” says marketing professor Rasmikant Parekh. “A majority of students opt for MBA to pursue ‘the great middle-class Indian dream’ – to achieve success, fame and money in a short span of time. What they don’t realise is that interest, inner talent and background matter a lot to achieve success.” That’s where students need to realise that a mere MBA label is not a ticket to a good career. The student must learn everything that may be required in business situations. A good personality should be developed. Unfortunately, many lower-rung institutes and university departments do not have facilities for personality development or teachers trained in group dynamics and group methods.
MBA Some Facets
• Just having an MBA degree will not help you. Dig into the reason why you want to do an MBA. Discover your core skills, and choose your course accordingly.
• If you are good at creativity and have an aptitude for advertising, advertising schools are a better option for you than a B-school.
• Don’t get bogged down by the pressure of securing a fat pay package. These are just a function of economic growth.
Volume 1 Issue 8