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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

MBA or not

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Not very often, but about once in a month I am asked questions concerning chances of admission to US universities, job opportunities, MBA requirement, and so on. One response I think was very comprehensive so I am putting here.

Question:
I am really perplexed about decision "Should I prepare for CAT or not", I mean I don't have enough fundaes about what MBA people do. So can you tell me what sort of mindset a person have to enjoy working in the sort of jobs which IIT-IIM people get. So can you help me decide what should I opt for.

Answer:
Your question is a perplexing one which can neither be easily answered nor it has any unique answer. I don't think MBA is an education any way comparable to engineering. It is too generalized to be any useful. If you combine this with the fact that many MBA students go for investment banking or consulting jobs then you will see that no knowledge of management education is required in any of these careers. Too put it bluntly, people do MBA just to make money, and companies hire MBA not because of education at MBA colleges but because of tough admission process in these colleges. Hence, what you do at, say, IIMA, is not important, what is important that you are at IIMA. If making money is lucrative option for you, combined with the fact that core engineering doesn't interest you very much, MBA is very much thing to do. Regarding mindset, what great managers do doesn't require MBA, but perhaps you will not even get a chance to show you mettle if you are not MBA. So degree has impression forming effect. That said, people do learn something in MBA. MBA graduates are generally considered very good at breaking problem into small parts and solving analytically, looking problem from overarching strategic angle, and speak high-funda sounding language.
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