Is An MBA Really Worth It – 4 Important Factors To Help You Decide
While MBA continues to be one of the most popular and sought after degrees in India, it’s high time we take a moment to analyze the worthiness of the degree.
Firstly, a look at the MBA trends in India:
- The number of B-schools increased from 3000 in 2009-10 to 4500 in 2012-13.
- Tier 3 and Tier 4 B-schools contribute to 84% of the total intake capacity of B-schools in India.
- In 2013-14, close to 1.3 lakh MBA seats remained vacant.
- 176 B-Schools shut down in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
- The average salary offered during placements in 40% of B-schools is less than Rs 3 lakh per annum.
- Only 1% of the total B-schools assure the graduates of making money
- The total number of CAT takers has been steadily declining year-on-year from 2.76 lakhs in 2008 to 1.96 lakhs in 2014.
There are many critical aspects that aspirants need to consider before they decide to enroll for an MBA:
1. The ROI Matters:
With the cost of higher education mounting year-on-year, the tuition, boarding, and lodging costs demand huge investment.
One important cost to consider is the opportunity cost of staying away from work for MBA. This would mean losing out on salary and possible promotions, career growth, and learning.
The best way to judge the RoI of an MBA is to take into account the increase in annual salary after MBA and the number of years it will take to recover the fees paid.
2. Successful people are not necessarily MBAs
While we all know some of the biggest entrepreneurs running the world today are college dropouts, none of the professions requires an MBA, most of the times its an optional degree.
A Harvard Business Review report found that only 29% of the world’s top 100 best CEO’s had an MBA. And nearly 80% of the top CEOs in Asia did not have an MBA degree.It’s the sheer skills and experience that matters the most.
3. Nothing Exceptionally Useful About It
The key values delivered by a B-school are broadly divided into two aspects – educational content and network. Content can be easily accessed by cheaper means such as textbooks, free online tutorials, etc.
It is important to create an army of people who know you for your skills. Invest time and money in networking with them and knowing how they got to their jobs and the resources they followed, what books to read or skills to acquire to fit in a particular role.
4. Lack of Exposure to Real Business Scenarios
There’s too much focus on tools and techniques in B-schools with lesser emphasis on their application in real world business scenarios. None of them is a replacement for sound business judgment.
In fact, these tools are easily available online for free. Once learned, it makes more sense to learn their application in your current job to get a stronger grasp.
To conclude, it would be exceptionally helpful to do a sound research to find out the answers to the following questions before enrolling yourself for an MBA degree:
- Does the MBA program provide practical training and exposure to live projects?
- What’s the reputation of the B-school I am considering?
- What value addition am I seeking to my current skills and knowledge?
- What is the quality and profile of the students admitted to the particular B-school in the past?
- How strong and active is the alumni network and what is their reputation and position in the market?
“I met wonderful people. I met brilliant professors. I learned some interesting business concepts that gave me a global vision about business. It just wasn’t worth the cost in time and money. MBAs get high salaries, but the degree has nothing to do with it. I was hired because of my previous work experience at Shell.”- Mariana Zanetti, author of The MBA Bubble, on her experience in a top European B-school.
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