Our country is very different from most developed countries. Here, as soon as students step out of graduation, they leap into an MBA (or some other post graduation course, but we are not talking about those here). Their counterparts from western nations follow a different course – after they graduate, they work for a while at internships, followed by a full-time job, and then, after some years of experience – like 7 years or so, they go for an MBA.
Why are Indian students in such a hurry? The over-hyped and grossly over-quoted salaries obtained by MBA graduates are the prime motivators. People think, “Why should I work for just 2-3 lakhs per annum, when after just 2 years and a degree, I can earn 20-25 lakhs, or much more, if I get placed abroad”. Also, they are fuelled by other reasons and myths – like “It’s difficult to get back into studies one you join work, so better finish everything now itself”, or “These days there is no use of going to the US, as there are hardly any jobs. The best thing to do would be an MBA degree here, as one can hope for an international placement through an exchange program”.
All these are myths. An MBA is not like regular “studies” – it is much more professional, and has more focus on presentations and projects, rather than written exams. So there is no question of being bogged down by the weight of “studies”, even if you are a few years older than an average college going student. Getting an MBA from India does not guarantee a placement abroad – it really depends on which college you are in, and the market conditions at the time of placement. And not everybody gets an international placement anyway. Very few colleges have exchange programs with the really good colleges abroad, which could add some value to your career. Exchange programs offered by most colleges are very expensive, hardly for a semester, and they don’t let you sit for the placements of the college abroad (if they have any). And most importantly – Just because you have an MBA degree doesn’t mean you can expect a salary in astronomical figures. It really depends on a combination of your college brand, your work experience, and your performance at the interviews. Getting admission into a good college is first of all difficult, with all the reservations in the IIMs, and their short-listing methods, which again depends on your score in the entrance test, your overall percentages throughout your career, the stream of your graduation, your work experience and your performance at the 2nd level processes like group discussions and interviews.
Most importantly, one must not ignore – what companies expect from MBA graduates. Most of them don’t prefer hiring freshers as they find them very unprofessional and inexperienced. It really is unfair too, to the other employees, who may be having a lot of experience, and may not be too happy about reporting to a fresher just because he has a degree. Also, people who dream of setting up their own businesses someday must realise, that there is very little an MBA degree can teach them. What would really help, is gathering all the resources you need – people, finances and information, and then making a start. An MBA degree is only to enhance the capabilities of a person who has gained sufficient experience in an industry, and help him/her understand managerial roles, so that when they move up the corporate ladder into more responsible roles, they will be able to understand what is expected of them, and how they can help the company manage its various businesses better. It is not a mere shortcut to a higher pay package.