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MBA : The Academic Value

This Saturday, on the Teacher’s day, let's discuss the academic part of the MBA degree.

MBA is known for all sorts of things – the brand value, the placements, the college life, the fests, diverse peers, etc. But in all that clamour and glamour, the talk of MBA institutes as the places of quality education somewhat gets diminished.

Whenever we talk about centres of excellence for quality education, the names of IITs, AIIMS, IISc, Central Universities like DU, BHU etc. find prominence in discussions and the media. But the unfortunate part of IIMs and other B schools is that the glitter of placements somewhat relatively diminishes the importance of other shining armour – the academic depth and rigour.

All the top B schools in the country take pride in their academic curriculum, the experience of the professors, and the research papers they publish. There is a huge misconception in the Hindi hinterland and especially among the PSU/Govt employees that “What is there to teach in an MBA?” But what people fail to recognise is that MBA education is a combination of various practical subjects to understand the external and internal environment in which a business runs and the methods to actually run a business. It encompasses subjects like statistics, data analytics, micro and macroeconomics, finance and accounting, Operations, organisational behaviour, corporate law, strategy, etc. And this is beyond the popular perception that the MBA is about marketing!!

And it's not the spread of subjects, but the depth of the syllabus is also stimulating. The govt/PSU people who have prepared for UPSC at some time of their life will be able to relate to this statement – ‘The economics classes are more academically engaging than all the Rao’s classes in Karol Bagh and Rajendra Nagar!’

The professors in MBA colleges are the best in class. Many professors are highly renowned academicians of their respective fields. They also form part of many prominent committees and boards of public and private companies. The research papers published in B schools and the quality of Ph.D. degrees granted are also world-class.

So, what does that mean to the incoming MBA aspirants? It means that you should be equally prepared for the academic load that you will be exposed to. You must be prepared to slog for the topics and subjects in the same way you did in your board exams or probably more! This also means that the concepts taught in the classroom are meant for a lifetime. Those concepts are applicable in practical business decisions.

It is not out of place to say that the brand value and the glamour quotient of the MBA degree may decrease with the years of experience but the academic input it provides remains there for the lifetime.

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