How to select a B-School.

MBA letters under a magnifying glass to illustrate masters of business administration degree at a college or university

You have quite decided that you are going to join a management school. You know that with a management degree under your belt, job opportunities will simply open up for you. Well, good for you that you have come to this major decision in your life.However, have you also decided which management institute that you want to join?

Yes, that is a bit of a problem isn’t it? There are so many institutes to choose from, all of them claiming to give you outstanding education and giving you the best entry to the corporate sector. They all look the same to you. Should you just blindly choose the more popular ones? Should you apply to the institute where your friends are joining?

Well, I think you need to be a bit more scientific in your approach to choosing the institute, and deciding which is the best for you. Here, we will give you some of the important parameters whereby you can arrive at the right decision. All the parameters that we have listed here are easily available on the Internet because there are business magazines that do annual surveys and conduct rankings of the top B-Schools in the country. Here goes:

The Faculty: This is of top priority. The quality of the faculty, the professors with whom you will be learning, is very important. Experienced, qualified faculty will give you not only domain expertise but they will also give you the right skills, which you will need in the corporate sector or anywhere in your job. Academic brilliance is fine, but a faculty with industry experience is invaluable as they will be able to relate what you are learning with the real world. Those from the industry will be able to give you relevant tips on how to deal with problems in the real world. A lot of information is available on the Internet. Go through the faculty list on the institute’s website and search around for information on them.

Placements: You are joining the institute in order to increase your job prospects, so placement record of the institute is very important. Look at the placement statistics for the institute. See their record for the past five years at least. Look at what kind of companies are making campus visits. You especially need to check if, for any reason, their recent placement record is not up to the mark.

The Curriculum: Often there are complaints from the industry that the curriculum in some schools do not reflect the current reality. They are still following a course set up two years ago. B-Schools have to make sure that their curriculum is constantly updated. Not only that, the curriculum should give you the opportunity to join any industry sector and assume any role. If the course curriculum is too specialised you may end up without a job if there is no demand for that particular stream. Some institutes have general management programs that equip you to tackle any kind of a job function.

Value Proposition: There is a tendency to run after brand names and the most high profile institutes. You have to look at what your needs are and whether you can get that from the institute. A low-profile, small institute with a highly skilled teaching staff ,excellent resources and corporate contacts may be better than a big, high-profile institute with an average teaching staff. You need to make a careful analysis of the value proposition.

Alumni Feedback: The alumni are the best ambassadors of an institute. They may be biased but you will get the inside knowledge about the institute, its strengths and weaknesses. You can gather first-hand information as to how the institute has shaped their career and goals. These days top management institutes have their own alumni forums, which can be accessed publicly. You can listen in on their chatter to find out what they have to say.

Your Budget : This is probably the most important criteria when choosing an institute but we have left it to the last because we think that if an institute scores on all other parameters and you are confident about your goals and abilities, you should not let a mere matter of money get in your way. Academic loans for professional studies are available and if your own finances are not enough, apply for a scholarship or a loan.

Resources for information on B-Schools: Business Today magazine does an annual survey of B-Schools. Click on this link for more information.

Contributed By : Disha Parekh Mohanty


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