Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Is MBA degree a golden ticket to career advancement?

MBA is no doubt one of the most sought after graduate professional degrees in India. About three lakh management students graduate every year. AICTE figures indicate a steep rise in management schools from 2617 in the year 2006-07 to 3364 in the year 2013-14. Unfortunately, while the quantity is increasing, the quality has notably reduced with time. Alarmingly, out of 3,00,000 students graduating each year, hardly 35,000 are employable. The percentage of international placements is much lower than expected.

By virtue of industry being the prime taker of business graduates, there are a lot of expectations linked with management education. It is more than just the lectures, lessons and books for students. Management education is designed to inculcate decision-making skills in the students. It is imperative to make the course content dynamic to meet the agile requirements of the corporate world. The student is encouraged to imbibe adaptability and challenge driven capacity in his attitude.

Students perceive that an MBA degree is yet another professional certificate that will fetch them lucrative employment opportunities. This expectation is fundamentally flawed.The burgeoning rise in b-schools has created more supply than demand. Additionally, dynamic rise in corporate expectations makes it imperative for students to understand that knowledge and education are not the key determinants of a competent manager. Attitude and skills; be it technical, cognitive or technical must also be incorporated into a positively groomed attitude.

An aspiring management student must focus on becoming a true professional than consider the degree as a ticket to obtain a lucrative job. Below are few suggestions that aspirants may consider before finalizing their decisions to invest money and time into a two years education program.

1. Reputed management schools across the world ask students to submit a letter of intent which reflects the aspirations and career goals of a knowledge seeker. There are three key constituents of this declaration.
  a. What are the key reasons behind applying for an MBA program?
  b. What are the future career goals of the aspirant?
  c. Any past professional skill or experience?

Although this is not a mandatory exercise in all b-schools in India, it is suggested that any aspiring student must invariably carry out this exercise to fully align his objectives with the eligibility and outcomes of the program he is applying for.

2. The student must have a fair idea of his career roadmap. He must set clear career goals and identify the career fields. Many a times, it is observed that the career field the student had desired to choose did not actually require an MBA degree! Unfortunately, that realization happened after money had been spent and two vigorous years’ had already been invested!

3. Lucrative salary is definitely not the driver of management education! It is an outcome of the knowledge gained and the skills acquired during the tenure of rigorous learning. Besides, an MBA program delivers more than just a salary! It builds confidence, it imbibes skills and it sensitizes students to a number of business and management issues.

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