What is a MBA (Master of Business Administration)?
Higher education – the area a young individual decides to graduate/post-graduate in – is perhaps one of the most important choices a person makes during his/her lifetime. A choice at this juncture determines the course of one of the largest investments in terms of time, money and commitment a person could make. Such an important decision needs considerable thinking on the part of the individual. ‘Why do I want to do this educational programme?’ is a question that needs to be answered. At a later point in life, some individuals may feel repentance on his/her wrong choice of higher education at the degree/P.G. level. The ‘too-late’ realization with a feeling of disillusionment is a direct outcome of unconsidered early-life decisions relating to higher education and subsequent career/profession. When faced with the question of what to do in life, the result usually may fall into two categories: He/she may do what others want him/her to do or do what everybody around him/her seems to be doing. The compulsion to get into one field of study or another field of study usually comes from the individual’s parents or / and people around him/her. This may happen especially in the case of professional courses.
The Master of Business Administration (MBA or M.B.A.) is a master’s degree in business administration (management). The MBA degree originated in the United States in the early 20th century when the country industrialized and companies sought scientific approaches to management. The core courses in an MBA program cover various areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, operations, and statistics, in a manner most relevant to management analysis and strategy. Most programs also include elective courses. MBA programs typically require completing nearly twice the amount of credits typically required for degrees that cover some of the same material such as the Master of Economics, Master of Finance, Master of Accountancy, Master of Science in Marketing and Master of Science in Management.
If we ask any MBA aspirant why he/she wants to do MBA, the answers may follow predictable lines. Usually, everyone wants to work in a multinational/national company and earn a fat salary, or is preparing for it since friends are into it. A few may actually know what to expect from the profession. Almost everybody talks of a cousin or friend who has made it big in some company or the other. It may be noted that the average student and even people in other professions and jobs have caught the MBA bug. When earning money has become the central objective of life, people may not stick in a career of their own interest and aptitude.
Some people do engineering because their parents wanted them to, but later they find that higher positions in management are grabbed by MBAs. An additional MBA degree may give them the qualification to work at higher levels in multinational/national companies and live a decent life. In other words, an MBA degree in addition to engineering or other degree is a detour in career advancement. Thousands of students, including engineers from the premier institutes like the IITs, want to get into management for this reason. One often wonders why some of the brightest people in the country are opting for marketing profession, sacrificing their talent and years of hard work and education in a different profession.
Career growth, managerial skills and increased earnings are perhaps the most common reasons given for pursuing an MBA. An MBA degree may help to achieve a major break through in one’s career path accompanied with a jump in income. Many MBAs with engineering background may start with that ambition. A management qualification requires a enormous investment of effort and money. To maximize the return on that, one should think carefully about hislher own objective in seeking an MBA and the type of course that is most likely to enable one to meet those objectives.
Increasing business activity and the predominant shortage of well-trained managers for industry make the MBA tag a prestigious and a well-paying one. Advancement automatically comes with efficiency and a hard-working attitude. The reputation of a good management school can get him/her a challenging job in a good organisation; but to stay there and to move on requires a combination of professional and personal skills along with a need to develop emotional quotient (EQ).
But an MBA by itself may not guarantee high career advancement in the profession unless he/she has certain skills, attitudes, and ambitions and goal orientation to move up. An MBA without these qualities may get stuck in the onward journey and his/her contributions to the job may sadly be mediocre.
The MBA, however, may build up expectations and everybody thinks he/she is fit to work in a higher profession preferably in a multinational company. Not everyone may find such a job, and this may leave a trail of frustration behind. Ironically, it seems that 2 there is huge unemployment III the country and still it IS difficult to find a good manager/executive.
Multinationals, or for that matter any employer, require people who can ‘add value’. A diploma or a degree by itself does not add value. It is added by an understanding of the situation and taking intelligent decisions. Highly paid jobs require this more than anything else. A person who does not have talent for this is bound to be left behind.
Choosing and managing a career requires more serious thinking than many of us are willing to admit. First is the question of aptitude. It is necessary not to be overwhelmed by stories of high salaries that others are getting, since each profession offers the possibility to earn more than others. The most highly paid professionals in the country, for instance, may not be MBAs. A good doctor or a fashion designer or a cine actor would be able to earn more money. Some famous designers and cardiologists may earn more than most MBAs.
MBA graduates are a significant part of the talent pool for corporate leadership. Major corporations and firms compete to fill entry-level management positions with graduates of top-tier business schools. Campus recruitment programmes are characterized by student selectivity, reputation for quality among business school, programme directors, and placement strategies adopted by B-schools. Thus, the popularity of the MBA programme is not only based on the quality of education, but also other factors as mentioned above.