If you have done your graduation, have or do not have a work experience of a few years and want to study further in order to enhance you short term and long term career prospects, you need to examine what are the available options and decide one that is most suitable for you. Few things which you must consider are as follows;
i) Employers generally require people who can produce desired results to develop and grow their businesses. People who rise to high positions in industry with good remuneration and perks are those who can own responsibility and deliver results as per expectation of employer.
ii) Rarely one gets employed in a job of high responsibility based only on the specialization degree and skills in a particular field.
iii) Toughest job in business is to own broader responsibility and achieve good results because it involves not only controlling your own work but also controlling the work of many other people and dealing with issues requiring inter-personal and inter-disciplinary aspects.
iv) Consider that you are head of a manufacturing plant and the engineering head proposes to replace an existing machine with a more advanced machine giving higher productivity. The finance head is not keen to invest large sum of money unless it becomes absolute necessity. To arrive at good decision the situation requires knowledge of inter-personal relationships i.e. human issues, financial planning and analysis, market conditions and marketing issues and of course insight into future technological and business trends. The skills and ability to deal with situations of this kind are developed only through an MBA program.
v) A specialized master’s degree in specific field or a certification in Finance or Diploma in banking or in any other domain improves only one dimension of a complex business scenario. It gives more advanced knowledge of the subject field which is good thing but it cannot substitute the integrated comprehensive skill set needed for managing a business.
vi) Most MBA programs require work experience of a few years for admitting a student. During the work experience the students would have encountered certain difficult situations and complex issues which they were unable to resolve satisfactorily. While studying for MBA the students can quickly relate the learning to the practical problems experienced in work life. In fact many practical problems brought by students are analysed and discussed for learning of the whole batch.
vii) An MBA program enables the students to learn from their peers as much as from teachers. So the interactive sessions become very meaningful resource for learning to solve real life problems.
viii) Next is the question of your temperament and aptitude. If you think you feel comfortable working only in the area of your specialization, you may do so but must understand that your opportunities in life for jobs of higher level will be limited. So the ease of remaining in the comfort zone of your own field of work can be counterproductive in the long run as it would block out major opportunities coming in your way.
ix) Better understanding of various business functions enables one to supervise and coordinate effectively the work of other people and other units.
- Suitable for different types of jobs: An MBA can easily fit into a wide variety of jobs due primarily to his exposure to a wide spectrum of skills and learning.
- Attitude built up: Most important for success in professional life is the right attitude which does not come easily. It requires conscious effort and systematic intervention to develop it. An MBA program recognizes the significance of attitude and uses various techniques built into the program like group tasks, role play etc.
- High networking: In today’s global business scenario opportunities don’t systematically appear on the pages of newspapers. These have to be located and grabbed by your own initiative. It is best done with a widespread network of professionals. An MBA course provides fertile ground for building an efficient network of your own.
- Better well-connected alumni group: Over a period of time most business school pass outs with MBA degree rise to high positions in wide spectrum of organizations. They all are alumni of the school and are in regular touch through formal and informal meetings. These alumni provide good direction and guidance to the MBA students about the way to go for building a great career for them.
- Better name recognition: Most MBA schools build great name and recognition for themselves based on the quality of education they provide and performance level achieved by its passing out students over the years. So, the name of the institution of your study itself guarantees a good job for you.
- Suitable for developing your own business: Those who want to develop their own business find the MBA degree extremely useful as the course provides insight into various facets of business rather than limiting to a specialized area of knowledge.
- Better mentorship: An MBA program includes various techniques which can be used for better performance in any field of business. One such technique is ‘Mentoring’. A mentor is a friend, philosopher and guide who enriches the mentee with his own long experience and guides him/her in the right direction at the right time.
- Make life more productive and joyful: It is said that best performance can be delivered by a person in a job when he actually enjoys doing the work. An MBA degree focuses on various personality traits and qualities to develop a balanced person who can deliver work of high quality and at the same time have more fun and enjoy the work and the relationships.
- Contemporary knowledge: Issues like emotional intelligence, thinking quotient, lean manufacturing, kaizen, total quality management, six sigma etc., get ingrained into the personality of every passing out student so that they become more relevant in the today’s business world.
- Work life balance: MBA education teaches one to be more effective rather than being workaholic. Techniques like time management, delegation, team building, motivation, morale, business communication etc., allow the pass outs to achieve more in less time, i.e., they work smart rather than work hard. This enables them to create proper balance between office life and personal life.
- Sky is the limit for MBA: For an MBA degree holder the opportunities of higher responsibility appear on the horizon all the time. During his study the student has ingrained in him the concept of lifelong learning and when effectively implemented it enables him to reach the stars. There is no dearth of highest level opportunities on lifelong basis which an MBA can aspire.
Contributed by Sumit Gulati (Batch 2007-2009,IBS HYDERABAD)