Get qualified to get an edge over peers

Now that the anxious period of the recession is over, the threats of sudden layoffs, pay cuts and hiring freezes are fading. The market is recovering its vibrancy with businesses small and large, breathing a little easier now that money is coming back into the market. Having culled employees in large numbers, companies are once again on the lookout for skilled employees with the knowledge to think and act decisively.

However, the competition for jobs has only intensified and aspirants are looking for something that will give them an edge over their peer. Of all the career enhancing options available, an MBA has become the most sought after weapon qualification. For working professionals the only way to earn an MBA without leaving the job has been to take up a part time course or a distance learning program.

Part time MBA programs have been around for generations, and have proven very popular amongst working executives. Many B schools in Mumbai offer part time programs. These are usually of three years duration, with a schedule that sees students attending classes on weekday evenings after their work hours.

Many working executives have realized they are often stuck at work, fighting traffic or just too exhausted to attend part time MBA classes every evening. What’s more, given the speed at which the job market moves, three years is too long a time to invest for a part time MBA.

Distance programs are gaining in popularity amongst working executives with the convenience of self paced study and no classes to attend. Still, distance programs are not valued on par with full time or even part time programs when it comes to getting a job. With so many eligible job seekers armed with MBAs from reputed institutions a distance MBA just doesn’t match up.

Realizing that working professionals needed a faster, but more enriching Executive masters program ITM Executive education Center started offering students the choice of a week end class schedule for Executive masters programs. Students could choose to attend classes on Saturdays and Sundays, rather than during the week. This format proved so popular, that within a year all new batches were following the weekend format.

Today ITM Executive Education Center is considered the Institution of choice for part time executive education in Mumbai. The numbers speak for themselves with over 2,000 students currently enrolled in Executive masters programs at its 11 locations spread across Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

Their focus is very clear and simple and they want to give working professionals a competitive advantage over their peers who do not have a Masters qualification and want to do it the fastest, most convenient and academically enriching way possible.

The center has focused all its effort in offering Executive Masters programs that are designed for working professionals. Everything from specially developed curricula and industry experienced faculties to conveniently located centers and a variety of amenities for students has been created with the needs of its students in mind.

Earlier they had just one campus in Mumbai and students would have to travel for hours to reach them. But they realized that it would better to come closer to students’ offices or homes. So they started looking at center locations that would be convenient to students. ITM executive Education Center now has centers in Sion, Matunga, Dadar, Churchgate, Marine Lines, Malad, Vile Parle, Dombivali., Chembur, Vashi, Nerul and Kharghar. They are still expanding. ITM has upcoming centers in Oshiwara, Kandivali and Thane among others.

But it’s not just convenience if timing and location that makes ITM Executive Center so popular amongst working professionals. The center offers two programs – a 24 month Masters program in Business Administration which is for young professionals and a 16 month program, which is for experienced executives. This distinction allows the faculty to design and deliver the right level of learning to their students. Young executives who have less than three years of work experience need a good grounding in business fundamentals and concepts. Older executives bring a wealth of experience into the class room and require more advanced, exploratory learning. Their faculties are also able to adapt course content and subject coverage based on the age and experience of the batch.

Technology is major component of studies at ITM Executive Education Center. Students get state of the art laptops and a customized book kit as a part of the program. What’s more all classrooms are fitted with LCD projectors and A/V equipment. Faculties are able to deliver lectures enhanced with multimedia and receive student assignments via email. All this technology really comes to the fore when students have to work on group assignments and projects. With a busy work week ahead of them, most students meet virtually over chat rooms and email to work on their group projects.

Career progression is their main objective but students experience many more benefits. The professional and social networking possibility is a big bonus. Many students find their next jobs, business deals, and even start new ventures while enrolled with them. The big benefit is getting promotions and new jobs. Most of the students are able to move up a year after completing the program.

Weekends have become the most productive days of the week for so many working professionals who realize that they need to get qualified get an edge and get hired.