Somebody asked my uncle “hey buddy, now your son is graduated with flying colors. So, what’s next in his basket? Why don’t you tell him to go for an MBA from an Elite-B school? its very trending and will shower money like anything”.
These questions forced me to put on my thinking cap again if doing a Full-time MBA is fruitful, or it’s fading day by day?
The registration for various prestigious B-schools normally open worldwide once a year, and candidates start the rat race once again to secure the coveted seat. But a question? Do Do you think this costly degree is well enough to survive in the fast pace scenario?
Looking for a competitive superiority is an obsession for those beholding to do the MBA; several students burn their midnight oil to push their applications to the top of the pile.
Let’s first understand the different types of MBA programs we can get these days. Yes, different kinds of MBAs all thanks to the resources and the marketing done by the B-schools.
Full-time MBA or Regular MBA: Full-time MBAs include a full course load, similar to undergraduate degrees. Part-time MBA: Part-time MBAs typically evening classes so students can maintain a consistent day job. Online MBA: An online MBA allows students to make their own schedule while studying from home. Executive MBA (EMBA): It is a good fit for experienced professionals who want to earn a credential reflecting their business credibility and advance their career. Distance learning: You will get the study material from the colleges.
More than a decade of experience in this domain would like to share my thoughts. There are so many reasons which I have listed below which prove the death bells for the Full-time MBA Program may be coming closer:
CoVID changed the thinking process
COVID changed the perspective of the entire education industry in the world. Educationists have started thinking out of boxes to survive in the challenging market. E-Learning is one of these, and schools, colleges, universities are wholeheartedly embracing it. As many offices are closed, and people are mostly working from home, people are utilizing this time to enhance their skills and opting for various management courses to get a better place in the corporate world. With the USA shedding thousands of jobs in early March and unemployment spiraling, the economic outlook looks dismal. However, the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, and the full extent of the economic damage is still unknown, making decisions to choose a Full-time program difficult for prospective students.
Online MBAs are gaining popularity, along with the part-time courses that help those who would not devote time to a full-time program due to family commitments, monetary issues, or work pressure. There is a rise in online course applications, as more and more companies are opting for the model of work from home. Students feel more confident in studying virtually. It also provides the same momentum of networking stature without enrolling in a Full-Time MBA program for two years. (Thanks to various Social Networking Sites)
Where is the ROI?
An MBA from an Elite B- school can cost approx. 35 – 45 Lakhs (Including the whooping bills of their so-called foreign educational tours and miscellaneous) – a significant expense for recent graduates and considerable time out of the workforce for early-career professionals. And the question arises- earning an MBA is worth it? It all depends. These days parents and students are less willing to take loans for graduate degrees; a few are still paying for their undergraduate courses. Doing an MBA is only prolific when the graduate plans to work in the same business-related field, as a manager, Executive, or as a company founder.
For those who are not working in any managerial position, an MBA may not be much useful. “Attending an MBA program at a top-tier school can cost upwards of $100,000, and a shifting job market doesn’t guarantee the same stability it once did.” — Seattle Times Recruiters can’t afford to hire the students with higher salary demands, resulting in a company—looking for other management education solutions. Similarly, students understand the ROI might not be there unless they are from a top-tier B-School.
Alternatives to FULL-TIME MBA
Those who think that Full-time MBA is not a career specifically for them; various alternatives can help career growth in multiple streams. Suppose if you want to go ahead in Finance, you can opt for the Master’s degree in Finance-specific course takes nearly 1 year and make the graduates ready for a career in Investments, M&A, asset management, etc. Likewise, various other Master’s degrees in related fields are also good options for those looking to focus on Business Analytics, Accounting, economics, statistics, applied mathematics. CA, CFA, or FRM programs are also great options to reach high in the Finance division. Various MSc programs are present for Marketing, HR, and Economics by various renowned universities and colleges.
Job or studies?
A full-time program will be challenging for a student who wants to earn due to professional commitments. But they know that receiving an MBA degree/ diploma can help working professionals to boost their career opportunities, reimbursements, and promotions. Many employers are looking for a specialized MBA for certain managerial or leadership positions. However, not all MBA degrees are created equal.
Unless a student receives a degree from a well thought of the program, it might not be as appreciated as expected, while going to a top-tier B- school will significantly increase the value of the degree. Companies are not likely to hire an MBA from an unknown or online-only B- School to hold the same amount as those from a top- B school. Applications for Full-time MBA programs may be less, but the demand for elite schools is very high. It will create a massive disturbance when the volume is imbibed out of a market into a new one.
Will MBA make you a great leader?
Moreover, having an MBA won’t make a candidate stand out if they’re already flawed in other ways, like working attitude, being thick-headed, stubborn, or bossy. If you do not work on your personal development, whatever you will study in the world will not help you to be a leader. The CEOs and the HODs cannot be produced in the colleges, but only with real-life experiences and the passion which holds more value than an MBA degree. A survey conducted by Mint in 2016 reviewed the top 500 companies on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and came to know that only 144 CEOs of 466 companies had an MBA. A 2017 survey showed that only 28 % of India’s CEOs have a master’s degree in business. The ‘Forbes Billionaires List’ of 2020 found that among the top 100, only 11 hold a Full-time MBA degree (Shocking but true).
Recruiters know that having a tag MBA in an applicant’s profile does not automatically make them a perfect hire. We have seen the people who have achieved leadership positions with the degree would have done so without it. Unfortunately, your Full-Time MBA won’t guarantee you better opportunities. It is all about your experiences and your approach towards your job. Sadly, higher education’s anticipations equal ‘automatic advancement’ is becoming more common in the workplace. In the era of start-ups, entrepreneurs already hold MBAs; companies do not always look to hire other MBA holders (Well, maybe learned from their own experiences 😊). Instead, they often employ out-of-the-box thinkers who can revolutionize, Innovate, or introduce all together with a different perspective.
There are many IIT – IIM graduates leaving their high paying jobs to find happiness in their passion if we look around. And they are getting success as well. They want to follow their heart, something they love, and live life on their terms.
A full-time MBA has its charm and benefits and enhances people’s various career options if done in the right domain. A right attitude will always help a person to take him to the top no matter what degree or diploma he/she is carrying. Despite the cost-benefit analysis, many business school alumni give positive feedback for the Full-time courses. Choose your battle wisely, try to do the analysis, and choose what will be beneficial for you. Time is changing, and so is the mode of teaching at various B- Schools, which is quite natural to gain momentum and survive in the market. No matter if the Full-time MBA will exist in the future or not, the Allure of MBA will never lose its shine.