With the ever-increasing popularity of pursuing MBA after graduation, have B-Schools become mere placement agencies or is there a real opportunity to learn relevant skills?
India is one of those countries where pursuing an MBA after graduation has become the norm- nay- status quo. If you have an MBA, then your status is automatically elevated. And if this MBA is from a premier b-school then even before the course commences, the student is already seeing the jobs and CTCs.
While there is no denying that an MBA does hold value, however I would like to add a word of caution before blindly believing the tall advertisement claims being made by many B-schools to simply fill their seats.
Just look around and you will get several real-life examples where a student or working professional decided to pursue an MBA not because he or she wanted to learn something but simply because the placement opportunities and the subsequent salary packages were supposedly lucrative. The most common advertisements for B-schools we see include promises like 100% placements, inflated salary figures, tie-up with top recruiters, impressive sectoral and functional placement data, and highlights of the most lucrative placements done for a particular year, etc.
Now, with these factors in mind, I am in no way saying that all B-schools lie or that aspirants should not go for top ranked schools – as the official rankings are dependent on various relevant parameters – but I am pointing to the fact that candidates who wish to pursue an MBA should try and understand if working in a business scenario their whole life will make them happy and satisfied. It is extremely important to support oneself and their family but the happy coincidence today is that there are many avenues for earning and making a good living.
I would urge you to join a course because you will learn an essential life skill which will give you gainful employment and enjoyment. B-schools are not supposed to be the recruitment centre of the corporate world for white collar jobs; but a place where students go to update their skills or learn something valuable that meaningfully enhances their employability and strengthens their career.
It is imperative for the collective B-school management to re-shift the focus on highlighting the subject matter, learning opportunities, up-skilling opportunities, and industry know-how to show their prospective students how an MBA can improve their employability. But unfortunately, we are caught up in the vicious rat race to survive or perish.
It is imperative for the collective B-school management to re-shift the focus on highlighting the subject matter, learning opportunities, up-skilling opportunities, and industry know-how
The management of B-schools must see that the MBA programs encourage understudies to ceaselessly learn and apply the knowledge to drive positive change in their company, industry, society, and global issues altogether. To accomplish this, B-schools must zero in on providing information that inspires innovation and abilities that can assist them in taking the pioneering route.
Live projects, seminars on strategic and critical thinking, sustainability and sensibility should be an essential part of the curriculum. This will not only help shape students’ mind-set from merely seeking good placement opportunities to seeking growth opportunities and following an entrepreneurial path, which is good for both the students’ careers as well as the economy. There is a need to create job creators and not merely job seekers.
B-schools have a responsibility to help make the aspirants business ready, not job ready. And, the same should reflect in how they promote their courses. B-schools need to focus on helping the aspirants realize that an MBA is designed to help them learn leadership skills, business management skills, marketing skills, problem solving and critical thinking skills, ability to sensitively deal with people and the environment, and most importantly enjoy the work that they do. Career choices tend to be life altering and if one is finding the going tough and also not enriching or satisfying then such individuals cannot sustainably contribute to the growth of any organisation.
Furthermore, B-schools need to help the students realize that once they focus on the right things, not only getting their dream job is certain but the chances of them becoming job creators, thereby achieving their life goals will be higher.