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An MBA is a golden ticket to a bright, successful career and amongst all higher education choices, it is on top of your list. But, as you search for that perfect MBA program by choosing a B-school, you’ll find yourself being hit with an overload of information. Leaving you questioning, "what are the factors you should be taking into consideration"? Should you be looking at the fee of the MBA program or the successful alumni they have produced? The MBA degree will either give you a chance to either enhance qualifications or make a career switch. Irrespective of your reason for pursuing an MBA, you should be aware of the factors playing a role in making the MBA a success.
5 Essential Things to Consider when Choosing a Business School
- Specialisations offered
- Prestige & brand recognition
- Fee and ROI
Know Your ROI on the MBA Program?
MBA is expensive in terms of money, time and effort! So, it is only natural to question the worth of any program and what a particular B school has to offer in terms of academic and professional assistance. All of this, in the end, affects the final decision of choosing the MBA program that best suits our interests. In such a situation, calculating the average Return On Investment(ROI) may help you create a clear picture of how soon you will be able to reap the rewards of your efforts. The fee charged by MBA programs may differ from B school to B school, but on average, an MBA aspirant pays Rs 12-20 lakhs *(In India) plus expenses.
With such a high amount at stake, there is all the more reason to have a clear idea of the return on our investments.
What we need to consider while calculating an average ROI for any program, are the points below
- The total tuition fee for the program plus all the other expenses including stay and learning materials like books etc.
- The duration of the program
- Average salary backed by the alumni of the B school
- An estimated number of the salary you think you will get (be specific to the industry).
- Calculate the number of years it will take to cover the expenditure made on the MBA.
- Compare it to the program fee charged and calculate how long will it take to pay back your MBA degree fee.
The general formula to calculate ROI = Net profit/Total investment * 100
There are other ways to calculate the ROI, average is just one way. The high salary packages that MBA graduates secure is also the reason for the high ROI of this degree. Colleges with a Pay after Placement fee structure (like Sunstone) have a very high ROI, where you pay it off in just 12 months.
Is The Campus Placements Data Offered Reliable?
The scope for growth that an MBA degree offers, both short term and long term career opportunities etc, are the main reasons why one opts for an MBA. However, many times gauging the success of the degree so far into the future becomes difficult. In such situations, placements and alumni salaries at the time of campus placements can be used as an indirect measure to evaluate the success of an MBA program.
While deciding the B school, it’s crucial to ensure the credibility of the placement data being offered. The dire need for setting official placement standards has been felt in the past and one such initiative was taken by IIM-A back in 2011, known as the Indian Placement Reporting Standards (IPRS). However, It was later found that the IPRS was guilty of misleading many MBA aspirants into believing false placement data.
One way to ensure authenticity is to make sure the MBA program you pursue is UGC & AICTE approved. This will make it simpler for you to cross-check the placement data offered by the college with that of the official data released by AICTE annually. Other things to be considered are industry-wise bifurcation of companies visiting campus, a number of students placed industry-wise, the highest-average-lowest package being offered.
Besides the salary, you should understand the placement process of a B school, like when does placement period start, are the placements student-led, is the B school just offering placement assistance or guaranteeing a placement etc.
Is The MBA Curriculum Updated As Per Industry Demands?
The understanding that traditional techniques like lecturing or reciting are inadequate in developing critical thinking resulted in change. This led many B schools to adopt experiential learning, along with, applied specialisations, electives and internships. Even though lectures are a great way to build a foundation, the MBA degree is more practical than thought to be and B schools are understanding the severe need to revisit and revamp the curriculum.
Also read: MBA curriculum 4.0 - Why students at B school need it?
If the MBA program is more classroom-oriented, it doesn’t provide you with a chance to apply your learning in the real world. The inculcation of innovation is vital for students to be able to experiment in a business setting. Some checkpoints could be evaluating the level of industry expert interactions, live and industry projects, sessions are taken by industry experts, faculty’s industry experience, student-faculty ratio and new electives introduced keeping the industry trends in consideration.
Teaching students the basics of digital literacy like Excel and PPt, understanding the application and usage of tools, software that companies are presently using.
A good management institute should impart in its students’ functional domain knowledge, cross-functional competence and all that the graduate can apply from day one on the job.
How is The B-school Leveraging Technology?
Having technology at our disposal is definitely a positive in the present times. In the education sector, technology has helped create lasting and fruitful learning experiences, that did not just depend on how powerful the course content was, but on how it was delivered. An MBA is a very hands-on degree, where the overall development of a student hugely depends on the infrastructure, industry exposure and multimedia aids provided.
Through technology, we are able to learn and access learning materials and resources anywhere, anytime and from anyone. The Learning Management System(LMS) is one way that some B schools have initiated to track the learning graph of a particular student. Through technology and digital resources, one can measure the growth in a particular concept and the overall learning path of the individual. Along with a cutting-edge LMS, one should also check whether the B school is offering any remedial measures to improve the areas and concepts where the student is lacking.
All of this and a lot more is possible through a Technology-driven learning experience. Make sure you get the opportunity to use technology by doing a good research on the MBA programs’ Curriculum and pedagogy.
Does The Program Align With Your Career Goals & Aspirations?
If you aspire to have a successful career in the business sector, two main things you need to consider are first, “what are you going to do for the next two years and if that’s an MBA? and second “what do you want to do after the two years and if an MBA will help you reach there?”. If the answers to these questions are clear and you are sure that an MBA degree is aligned with your career goals and aspirations, Go for it!. All MBA applicants have different career goals. It is important for us to define these goals, according to our background, interests and strengths.
Many MBA graduates choose a career path that they had not anticipated or chosen for themselves prior to the program. They were able to do so due to the exposure and varied learning opportunities provided to them. However, that doesn’t mean that you should not have a clear post-MBA career plan, what it does mean is that you need to be open to selecting and changing industries or job functions based on what you find interesting.
Not all MBA programs will be good at everything. For example, some colleges may provide the industry with exceptional marketing professionals and others with Human resource masters. So ensure that your dreams and aspirations are aligned to the path on which the MBA degree takes your career.
The steps you take to prepare yourself before the application process can set you up for success in the long-term. Thinking about these points will help you make sure you have a solid profile and application for the chosen B school and that an MBA is what will set you on the path of success.
All the best!
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