Management Education – Option or obligation

Every graduate today aspires to purse a management education, regardless of his /her abilities and long term career aspirations.

Though it is too early to predict the exact number of candidates that will be appearing for the CAT in October later this year, one thing that can be said with certainly is that the exam continues to be the most popular entrance tests in India. Today, a majority of graduates attempt the CAT or a management entrance exam whether or not they are serious about pursuing a management degree.

In this era of cut throat competition, a graduation degree is considered a basic qualification that can give one theoretical knowledge but can’t prepare them to take on the corporate world. In contrast, an MBA / PGDM is perceived as something that will open up various employment options at a salary much higher than what a simple graduation degree can fetch. A major reason or the increasing reason for the increasing number of students opting for an MBA / PGDM is the hype created by the media that lead very student to believe that anyone who studies management becomes a billionaire overnight. Secondly, the growth of the corporate sector has opened up many opportunities. Many of the industries especially the services industry that has emerged over the last few years are essentially management driven. Apart from high paying jobs, this industry offers students the opportunity to rise up the career ladder by virtue of being an emerging sector.

Another reason is the easy availability of education loans that makes funding one’s MBA effortless. Lastly, an MBA degree opens up many international opportunities for students as well.

Word of caution Though the above mentioned benefits lure students into pursing a management education students often fail to see the real purpose and hard work required to pursue an MBA. Management students caution aspirants against an attitude of enrolling for an MBA only to get an additional qualification while laying emphasis on evaluating one’s long term career goals before taking the plunge.

Career goals aside students must take care to find out the exact nature of the course and not opt for an institute on the mere basis of its placement records. Placement figures are often misleading; very few students actually get the kind of salary published by institutes. Thus, the mean should be considered and not the median. Also, students must look at the placement figures of an institution with respect to the business cycle. For instance, in 2008 the Indian economy was flourishing and MBA graduates were offered high packages. However, the scenario completely changed in 2009 due to global financial crunch.

Lastly, with the number of institutes offering a management education mushrooming one must evaluate his/her options after gauging aspects such as the credibility of the institute its USP and the kind of companies that make placement offers on campus. The USP of JBIMS is its location. The institute is so based that it is in close proximity to a number of corporate houses and alumni. Thus, we are at an advantage when it comes to getting gust lectures and the best projects in the city. Similarly an institution like IIM-A or ISB would have the edge in terms of the average number of years of experience the students have. By elaborating on the importance of knowing the kind of placements offered t a particular institute . A company visiting two institutes would offer different roles and packages to students of both the institutes. Thus, instead of compromising on either the company or the role that you’d ideally want to kick start your management career with it’s best to find out such details from te alumni of the institute.

Five facts about management education

1) A management role is not a typical nine to five job. You must be sincere and willing enough to work odd and long hours.
2) Every one with a management degree does not become a manager. At most times, you will not even have your own team to manage for a long time after you join a firm.
3) Placement figures are often misleading. The salary one expects to get at the end of two years should not be the deciding factor while choosing an institute.
4) The faculty members of your MBA program will be mere facilitators. Unlike at the graduation level, you will not be spoon fed. You need to work hard.
5) Securing admission to a top institute is not the most difficult part of securing a management degree / diploma. Your talent will be tested once you enter the institute of your choice.