Every year 150,000 plus students in India attempt the various MBA entrance examinations. The more popular ones are CAT, GMAT, MAT and XAT. There is an entire industry that has sprung up to help these students attempt these examinations
But my fundamental question is do you need an MBA?
Before we try to answer those questions, let me tell you candidly that I have an MBA. And I entered an MBA institute with 5 years of work experience in the healthcare services industry. This means I was more or less aware of my strengths and weak nesses, and came with a clear mandate on which areas I wanted to focus on.
90 % of our MBA aspirants in the country come with no or less than 1 year of experience. For most it is an extension of their graduation, where they waltz through the 2 years and focus on the placements and the rupee figures at the end of the term.
Little importance is given to core areas like Industry networking, Industry short term projects and even the academic projects are looked upon as chore rather that something to learn from.
As most Indian B schools promise a summer internship and final placement, students don’t even bother leaving the campus to build their own bridges in the Industry.
In my opinion, most Indian graduates need to put in a few years in the industry before opting for an MBA. This will help them make wise decisions, rather than going through the process and landing up in jobs that they are not passionate about.
The other challenge is the fundamental nature of the B school curriculum in India. Every year the students learn close to 21 subjects and I am not sure if the human brain is built to retain such vast quantities of diverse curriculum in equal proportions.
This brings to my second point, knowing what and where to concentrate is a good thing to have in a B school, but until and unless you have worked and identified your strength in the battle field, it will be difficult to pick and choose your battles.
In conclusion, do you need an MBA?
I don’t think so, unless and until you are sure of what you want to concentrate on, I think, it is more of a social exercise without any industrial value in it. Like others it is just a tick in the box and more a requirement for our marriage market.
But I would like to hear your views. Do you think an MBA without experience has helped you? If yes then how? If not then why not? Do let me know what you think.