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Speculations have been made regarding the value and worth of an MBA degree in the recent past. If one is aspiring to enter the competitive business world, an MBA seems like a necessity. Unemployability is a great crisis in the present times, which forces us to question the value and worth of an MBA degree. The average age of the population in India is just 27! in a developing country like India, the majority of our population is young. These youngsters want stable and secure jobs and the right skills to sustain that job. One solution that seems to be staring these students in the face is doing an MBA. In the last couple of decades, the clear winner of the most sought after the degree has been the MBA. This has resulted in the rise in the number of B schools across the country.
In the past few years, there has been a decline in the worth of an MBA degree due to the wide gap between what is being taught in the B schools and what the industry demands from its future employees. The lack of quality control and infrastructure, low-paying jobs through campus placements and hiring of faculty that lack real-life industry experience are the major reasons for India’s unravelling B school disaster. So this leaves the students, looking forward to a successful and stable career with the question of “why to do an MBA”? Read further to bust the myth of an MBA degree's falling worth.
Is the Value of an MBA Declining?
We all have seen the effects of demonetisation, global economic slowdown on an economy. Direct consequence of this is seen in the hiring of young graduates. Recent reports have shown a decline in the employability of fresh graduates. But has this affected the number of applications in an MBA degree? Not really. The falling worth of an MBA degree is a myth. MBA graduates still hold a top position on a companies recruiters' list. Let us delve deeper into the worth of an MBA degree in today’s time.
The factors resulting in the falling value of an MBA degree
An MBA degree needs to be made more practice-based, with real-life examples and case studies studied and analyzed by the students rather than mugging up the management theories. The factors that have contributed to the decline in an MBA degree in the recent past are many and elaborated below.
The factors that have contributed to the decline in the value of an MBA degree are:
- The rise in the number of B schools around the country - the increasing number of applicants in higher management education each year has resulted in a rise in the number of business schools around the country.
- Role of technology is to make an MBA degree easily available - the fact that the MBA degree is one with easy access, where students can obtain their MBA degree online, has changed how the employers perceive the MBA.
- Present demands of the recruiters - the management education needs a radical change in how the curriculum is taught to the graduates. For the big names in the corporate sector, and who have been in the field recruiting MBAs, If an MBA is not from a top B school, the recruit isn’t useful.
- Dynamic needs and nature of the industry - the corporate industry is ever-changing and so are its demands. To keep up with these needs is the present responsibility of the B schools and management education.
- Outdated management curriculum being taught in B schools - the outdated and fossilized curriculum taught in most B schools is the main factor in increasing the unemployability of these MBA graduates. The curriculum has not kept pace with the fast-changing industry needs.
Also read: Do business school rankings really matter?
Top reasons to pursue an MBA degree
If we talk about the previous couple of years, even though some slowdown was expected in the placement season, it did not seem to affect the overall value and need for an MBA graduate. Some reasons for one to pursue an MBA are:
- Developing lifelong management skills: An MBA trains a person to know everything that makes a company or product tick.
- One gets a lifetime access to large business networks: an MBA student has a lot of advantages in terms of building a strong network of professionals, comprising of fellow students, professors and alumni.
- An MBA salary is a high salary: the main attraction for MBA aspirants is the comfort of a cushiony timely cheque, for which an MBA degree is the direct route there.
- Starting your own company from scratch: If you dream about having your own business venture, an MBA is a box you have to tick on that checklist.
- Opens the door for thriving career opportunities: it is no secret that an MBA degree holder has a greater chance of landing a managerial position. It also enhances personal growth.
- An MBA degree helps you learn about other functional areas and industries: An MBA student will be recognised as having the knowledge of the whole process of managing a company, even if their speciality lies in one particular field.
- A worldwide recognition of your credentials: An MBA is globally recognised, wherever you have your degree from, if it is supported by good work experience, it is the same irrespective of where you join. The MBA degree can also help a person to move to a new place.
Why so many doubts?
With so many positives, why is the MBA then falling in value as a degree? The reality is that even after doing an MBA, the graduates lack the skills and practicality that is necessary for one to be successful in the corporate world. In the last couple of decades, the clear winner of the most sought after the degree has been the MBA. This has resulted in the rise in the number of B schools across the country. As per today, there are a whopping 5,500 B schools around India, with at least 40,000 seats for the MBA aspirants. This would give anyone the impression of the MBA being a fairly easy field to enter, but we all know, that is far from the truth. Even after churning so many MBA graduates every year, only 8 per cent of these graduates are employable. After having so many B schools in the education space, why are so many MBA graduates still unemployable?
All is not doom & gloom in the MBA world
Many efforts have been made to raise the value of an MBA, as it is clear it is something businesses need and cannot do without. The MBA graduates are groomed in such a way by industry experts who have years of corporate experience and by the industry integrated curriculum. This ensures that the demands of the industry are met by an MBA graduate. A technology-led pedagogy guarantees the ease of the students to work with technology and in a technology-driven environment.
This familiarises them with technology and helps them to have a more organized approach towards their work. With the rise of start-ups and new entrepreneurial projects, a rise in the hiring of non-MBA’s has been seen, which presses on the fact that management skills are needed, which a person without an MBA can also have.
So there is no denying that the world still needs individuals with managerial and leadership skills to ensure the smooth sailing of a business. The value of an MBA degree is not falling and is still one of the most sought after degrees in the country. In the end, Choosing the right B school, teaching the right skills with an industry integrated curriculum is what matters, and the battle is not over by just getting into a top B school.