Disclaimer: This article is not about MBA programs in India. Rather, this is about programs in Europe and in the US and ISB in India. These are programs that cater to individuals with a few years of work experience, unlike the typical Indian MBA programs (including those at IIMs), which cater to new graduates. As such, the design of these programs is entirely different.
MBA degrees – don’t just do it for a better pay:
Several people approach us for help with MBA applications each year. And several more write in with questions about MBA careers – and whether doing an MBA will help them advance their careers. We also find that several candidates don’t really know what advancing their careers means. People equate a “better job” to any outcome that produces an improvement in their financial situation – meaning – a job that pays more is a better job.
If you are happy being a techie, but unhappy with your pay – that will change:
If you are happy being a good engineer, doctor, or lawyer – then you shouldn’t be thinking about MBA career paths under the impression that this will offer you a better salary. The fact that you get the opportunity to do something you enjoy and are good at, will eventually lead to you becoming very proficient at what you do, which in turn will lead to better salaries as an outcome.
So who is an MBA for, then?
The answer to this questions depends on the individual. The assessment that you need to make is to think about whether you would consider yourself a technical person, or a business-minded/admin-oriented person. “Technical” does not necessarily mean technical in the science/engineering context. It could also mean work that involves the application of highly specialized knowledge and includes jobs in law, medicine, etc.
If you believe that you are a technical person, then you shouldn’t be considering an MBA (except under some circumstances – like starting your own company, for example).
Do you like business?
Consider an MBA only if you like business. Do you find yourself commenting often on the advantages of capitalism? Do you have opinions on the Fed’s monetary policy? What do you think about retaliation? What should Pepsi keep in mind as it prepares to enter a new market? What new product should Facebook/Google/Samsung/Apple introduce? How do you market to millenials? If any or all of these questions excite you, then business is your cup of tea. And an MBA makes a whole lot of sense.
Need more inspiration?
In the following video, a few ISB students talk about why they decided to pursue MBAs:
Read our other articles in this series to learn more about MBA outcomes.
- Why should you do an MBA?
- What are the most popular MBA career options?
- What do you learn in an MBA? What courses are taught in the MBA Core Curriculum?
- Do MBA degrees offer specializations?
- What are the major modes of instruction in a typical MBA program?
- What are other learning avenues/career development opportunities available in standard MBA programs?
- Take the GMAT. GMAT preparation usually takes 3 – 6 months. Most students we interact with take the GMAT at least 2 times, with about 2 months in between attempts.
- Think critically about the major milestones in your career so far. Make copious notes.
- Shortlist colleges that you would like to apply to.
- Each college application typically requires you to submit (in addition to your biodata), 2 – 4 essays, letters of recommendation from 2 professional references, and a professional resume.
- Prepare for MBA interviews.
Some students decide to enlist the help of MBA admissions consultants for help with steps 2 through 5 above. We will shortly add an article that discusses how you can identify good admissions consultants for you to work with.