What is MBA and what to expect from MBA?

What is MBA?

MBA or M.B.A. (short for Master of Business Administration) is the post graduate program that aims to equip the students with finer details of business and management. The study prepares students for solving real life business problems. The degree opens the door of opportunities for the students and gets them an entry into the most sought after class of experts.

MBAThere are different factors that make the MBA degree valuable:

  • You learn to work under pressures and deadlines
  • You get to know and network with people from diverse fields who are going to be the future leaders
  • You get to work on real life business problems
  • The education that is provided in MBA is diverse and is relevant to all industries and sectors.

One can specialize in his chosen field of interest like Banking, Human Resources, Information Services, Marketing, Operations Management etc.

Many people have misconception that all people that they see wearing suits and always on-call is the job that they will have to do after MBA. Becoming Consultant is just one of the options available after completing MBA. People move to diverse fields after MBA - some become entrepreneurs, marketing managers, senior managers, sales manager, operations manager, product managers, human resource managers, program managers, business analysts etc.

Why MBA?

The reasons for getting an MBA degree can vary and the most common ones are:

  1. You want to advance in your career – You are stuck in your current role or it will take a long time to get promoted and the future opportunities in your line of work are limited. MBA provides fast growth in career
  2. You want to assume leadership roles – The leadership roles (decision making roles) are often limited and MBA graduates are often favoured for Executive positions, Senior Management and Entrepreneurship
  3. You want to earn more – The Executives and Senior management are paid more when compared to the other employees and often get higher salary hikes
  4. You want to change career – MBA provides an option to switch career as you can specialize in different domains like Finance, Marketing, HR, Consulting with no or little experience
  5. You want to get higher degree – You are interested to become a specialist in business and want to earn a post graduate degree 

What is the MBA Admission Process?

For gaining admissions to the MBA programmes in B-schools, you have to qualify the preliminary test and clear the interview process.
Major difference between MBA from India and abroad is the experience that people have before they apply for a B-school. In top Indian Institutes like IIMs, XLRI etc. the proportion of students with no or less than 2 years of experience is high. While proportion of people with four or more years of experience is high in B-Schools abroad.

What is the duration of MBA programs?

There are different MBA programs offered by B-schools:
  • Two Year Programs: These programs take 2 years to complete and are spread over 4 semesters. Almost all programs in India are spread over 2 years
  • One Year Program: Spread over 1 year, the program is fast paced, has strict requirements for work experience. It is best fit for students who wish to pursue specialized study and advance in their current career or field.
  • Executive MBA (EMBA) program: The candidates who apply to this program have at least five years of work experience, are already experts in their domain, but want to sharpen their skills
  • Part Time programs: These programs are taken by working professionals who have their day jobs and want to study in the evening. The program generally spreads over 2 or 3 years
  • Distance learning and Online MBA: Several B-schools offer Distance MBA courses either through correspondence or Online (Internet)

Which are some of good B-schools?

The quality of education provided by a B-school is judged on the basis of:

  1. Faculty and the papers published by the faculty
  2. Diversity of experience and interests of students
  3. Strong Alumni Network with several alumni as leaders in top companies
  4. Consultation projects undertaken by college and industry tie-ups

  • Top B-Schools in India: IIMs, XLRI, ISB Hyderabad, SP Jain etc.
  • Top B-Schools Abroad: Harvard, Stanford, London Business School, Wharton, Columbia, Insead, Iese, MIT Sloan

Some Questions that are not clear to many:

Q. What is difference between MBA, PGDM, PGPM, PGDBM provided by different colleges in India?
A: Simply said - PGPM (Post Graduate Programme in Management), PGPM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management), PGDBM (Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management) are diploma programs while MBA is a degree. In India, unless the college is registered under a University - it cannot award MBA degrees. But that's where the difference ends. The structure and time required for the courses is same and even the IIMs also provide diploma and not degrees. If it's a diploma the colleges have more control over the syllabus and they can keep on updating it according to the needs of the industry.

Q. Should I do MBA just after college or should I get some work experience before doing MBA?
A: If you are planning for MBA from India:
  1. With less than 2 years of experience: it's better if you join as immediately as possible. With some experience but lesser than 2 years, you haven't learnt much on the job and lose on the Return on Investment (RoI) as you could have earned more in the same time span after MBA. Although 2 is not a magic number but we feel if you have worked for that period, you can appreciate the business concepts more
  2. With more than 2 years of experience: You should think about the future path you can take in you career and focus on that. Every day without MBA after 3-4 years only reduces the quality of work and the money that you could have gained after MBA. You can also think about getting in good schools either in India or abroad.
It easier to get educational loans nowadays and the installments start only after you graduate and start working. The cost of education might be high from good colleges but that's an investment that you must do on yourself.

* It's our perspective. If you have a different point of view or have more questions, you can leave us a comment :)