Is MBA the new BA?
The MBA degree is now easy to get, but will it help?Ashwin Damera
Popularity of MBA
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) global survey indicates MBA to be the most preferred post graduate course among the Indian students.
• An increase of nearly 52% and 18% was noted in the applications sent to US business schools and Indian B-schools, respectively. (India Today, 2016)
• Around the year 2002, full-time professionals with Master’s degree earned nearly 8% more than those with Bachelor’s degree; the figure rose to 21% by the year 2012.
A business degree is considered to be transformative for both, the career-switchers and veterans; benefits include higher earnings, career flexibility, improved lifestyle, social stature and job security.
An MBA course attracts even those who are not keen to pursue business as a career. Skills such as leadership, finance, accounting, supply chain, people and team management help such applicants irrespective of their passion and goals – right from music, non-profit, medicine, etc.
The 2010-2013 stats published by GMAC stated that nearly 91% of recent B-school graduates believe their degree offered them high value and 66% believed their course was financially rewarding.(Poets & Quants, 2014)
Additionally, the popularity increased with business leaders and deans of leading universities claiming that MBA graduates are well-trained towards networking skills and therefore can navigate through complex problems of the dynamic business world. (Poets & Quants, 2014)
MBA and Employability
The rising demand for MBA graduates resulted in increase in the number of business schools in India. However, except for tier-1 B-schools such as the IIMs, XLRI, SPJIMR, MDI and FMS and some expensive private ones, most institutions provide mediocre graduates who lack employable skills and go on to make a sub-par living.
According to the ASSOCHAM study, if graduates from the top 20 Indian B-schools are excluded, only 7% of the graduates from the rest of the institutes manage to gain employment on course completion.(The Hindu, 2016)
Leading organizations and headhunters believe an MBA, only from top institutes, can boost existing salaries up to 79% and lead to career transformation. Nearly, 20% MBA graduates told the GMAC that their management degree didn’t boost their salaries. (The Economist, 2016)
Why is MBA losing lustre?
According to the ASSOCHAM study…
• For MBAs from subpar institutes, the employability barely stands at 7% with campus recruitment declining by 40%
• The placements are not at par with the exorbitant fees charged by these institutes
• The course content is limited to theory, offers inadequate practical skills and networking opportunities are quite scarce
An MBA might be counter-intuitive if pursued without significant professional experience. Moreover, student debt might discourage professionals from worthwhile career opportunities involving slight inherent risks. In terms of time invested, a full time course is not just expensive but takes away almost two years’ worth of salary.
Future of MBA
Considering tier-1 schools are extremely selective, expensive and intake cohorts in small batches, job-seekers should opt for specialized degrees and certifications from leading institutions. With huge outflow of MBAs and limited career opportunities, organizations restrict themselves to hiring MBAs from top-ranked schools.
The Indian EdTech industry is booming with industry veterans, enthusiastic founders and Ivy League B-schools joining hands to provide such specialized degrees equivalent to MBA.
Harvard, MIT, Columbia B-school, Tuck at Dartmouth, Georgia Tech and many other world leading schools offer their signature courses and certification through advanced online platforms.
They feature advanced course content delivered by world-renowned faculty through interactive video lectures. Additionally, the weekend webinars/seminars and interactions among global peer groups and leads to exciting networking opportunities. These courses are a hybrid of online and weekend lectures, thus encouraging working professionals to pursue them without a break in their career. These courses are not just highly affordable and accessible, but successful candidates are rewarded with certificates signed by these prestigious institutes – now that’s being a stand-out!