A recent survey by GMAC shows that MBA is the most sought after course by graduates in India and abroad. Prospective business school students remain primarily motivated to pursue a graduate management education to achieve three objectives. (1) Increased job opportunities, (2) develop business knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) and (3) increased salary potential.
Top 5 destinations that these students prefer for pursuing MBA (in rank order) are United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France and India.
But since the selection criterion, program offered and cost involved changes drastically in India and abroad, Indian aspirants are often left baffled when it comes to deciding whether to pursue MBA from India or from any foreign university.
In this article while discussing pros and cons of management programs in India and abroad we try to explicate this dilemma.
MBA Programs in India
The top Business schools in India are at par with the best in the world. The Indian Institutes of Management (and others like Indian School of Business) are ranked among the top B-schools in the world. These schools provide best courses, excellent faculty and research resources.
The tier 1 colleges (includes Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade etc) also offer good MBA programs with decent facilities. Tier 2 B-schools like ICFAI Business School, Nirma University rank average in terms of faculty, curriculum and placements records.
The other MBA programs in India do not make much difference to the resume as number of mediocre schools offering MBA degrees are quite high.
One key factor where Indian management programs lag behind their counterparts is class diversity. The reason being that Indian management classes have always been dominated by engineering graduates. For instance, the 2012 batch of IIM-Ahmedabad had 369 engineers out of 385 students.
B-schools in India are attempting to increase diversity on campus by recruiting students from varied academic streams and putting more emphasis on extra-curricular achievements of students.
MBA Programs Abroad
Students pursuing MBA from abroad have much wider range of top-tier colleges to choose from. Unlike Indian programs, many universities of US and UK feature in world’s best.
Many Indian aspirants move abroad for MBA driven by the impression that management degree from foreign university will fetch them good jobs.
But is it really bang for the buck? Let’s discuss.
One area where foreign MBA programs definitely outcast their Indian counterparts is the exposure a student gets during the course. The diverse environment that these institutes offer builds confidence and prepares students for any future challenges.
Every class contains students from diverse work background and nations. The exposure to different approaches and perspective greatly enhances both personal and professional attitude of the student.
It also expands your network and helps you in knowing the right people. Ultimately it will be this network of people which helps a budding business manager.
Comparing same tier colleges, a management degree from a foreign university earns more respect in comparison to its Indian counterparts. No matter whether you look for a job in business management, non-profit management or government, the degree earned is a recognized standard of achievement that can help you to find whatever job you are looking for.
Cost of Program
This is the bottom line of all. If you are doing MBA from a top university of US (like Harvard Business School, Wharton Business School), then you need to have at least INR 60-70 lakhs at disposal (assuming that you are not getting any scholarship, as getting aid for an MBA program is difficult).
Tier 2 B-schools (Boston University School of Management, University of Texas, University of Washington School of Business) cost around INR 50-55 lakhs.
Whereas top management programs in India cost about INR 13-15 lakhs.
These costs includes only tuition fee. Travel, room and board costs are add-on. Education loans are available but they come with string attached.
Cost factor plays an important role in the deciding the course of action. If you plan to settle abroad, it makes sense (It helps to jump-start a global career with easier possibilities of repayment of loan) to pursue MBA from foreign university else you should think twice before going, unless money is not an issue.
Job opportunities for an MBA student in India begin from the college campus. The training and placement cell in Indian B schools facilitate the placement process and provide support to students at every stage of process.
Career development cells in foreign B schools work to educate, connect and advise students about summer opportunities and provide a network of career communities to help students and alumni achieve job opportunities. But campus placements are much less and one has to work her/his own way to get a job.
Thus MBA programs in India provide a sense of job security to the students.
In a Nutshell
When comparing same tier management colleges, foreign B-schools have an edge over Indian B-schools. Thus, if money is not an issue, it makes sense to move abroad. The global institution would provide strong alumni network, diverse class and global brand recognition. Else top tier management programs in India are equally good and boast of 100% placements.
Finally, it is up to you to decide the best B-school for yourself. Do not select or discard a B-school purely on the basis of ranking and location. The question “Which is better B-school” now reduces to “Which is better from your perspective”.