MBA’s changing phase
From providing courses through MOOC platforms, innovative labs and start-ups for hands- on training, to specialised programmes for every single profession and new hiring perspectives, B-schools are on a positive path of change. SANGEETA YADAV speaks with experts to tell you why and how these changes will give the job seekers a better talent pool to hunt from
There was a time when a plenty of Masters and PG MBA institutes cropped up at every nook and corner of India. Each one of them claimed to be the best by providing quality education, international infrastructure and unique programmes. They showed the students a dream of getting 100 per cent job placement with a very good salary package but in return charging lakh of rupees from them, leading them to opt for study loans. But students’ aspirations and hard work went waste with the kind of jobs that was offered to them with very less package. Many are still unemployed and waiting for the right job in the market, whereas most of them have even left the management profession and opted for something else. According to the recent Aspiring Minds report, at least 47 per cent of graduates in India are not employable for any industry role.
Blame it on lack of generating skilled manpower in the market or recession time, the whole management industry has been affected in a very big way, leading to unending stories of disappointed students and parents.
“There are thousands of institutes which emerged in the last eight years. But now their credibility is coming into the limelight. Only 30 per cent of them are actually fulfilling their promises. Parents and students are more conscious about which MBA institute to choose. Popularity is not the only picking criteria here. People are consulting alumnus of the MBA institute to get their feedback and make a right decision,” professor Anand Narasimha, dean, Planning and Development, tells you.
Since a change for good has already begun in the B-Schools, the management gurus have listed five trends from the West that is picking up in India.
A lot of B-Schools are offering their courses through online MOOC platforms like EdX, Coursera, Udacity, etc. A few B-Schools aim to give a preview to the students before they actually take admission in their institute. Something similar is going to be launched soon in IFIM. “Online platforms are changing the perspective of the people. It’s a revolution in the field of education not just because it breaks the geographical and financial barriers, but also gives them an opportunity to experience something new. Many working people and housewives have enrolled for MOOCs in a large number. We are also planning to come up with our own online platform where we’ll be offering all our courses to the students. Also those who would like to take admission in the full time regular course, they can take a preview at the online platform,” Narasimha says.
Training Vs AcademicS
Where a lot of B-schools are setting up a practical training programme, experts opine that they are still on the phase where we give a lot of stress to academics. “We don’t have a proper module for practical training at the B-Schools. In the West, a group of 5 to 6 students were asked to define a product and sell it in the market. They have to go through the entire process. The B-Schools tie-up with various companies to set-up their training modules. Same goes for investment training. The students were given paper money worth $10,000 and were asked to invest in the banks and at stock market to see how well they can do it in class. It’s a real-like training where they were asked to keep a tab of Wall Street Journal, mutual funds etc,” Rajnish Virmani, management guru and author, tells you.
Not just the modules, B-Schools in India are also venturing with IT and finance companies to launch technical labs. IFIM has launched a finance lab in collaboration with Prabhudas Lilladher. It gives the feeling of stock market environment and how things work in the actual field. Other management institutes are also launching specialised training labs to give hands- on training.
“Learning through simulation or through practical work is best for students. Classroom knowledge is not enough. It’s crucial that hands on- learning is given to the students to make them more industry ready,” Dr S Baskaran, director IFIM says.
B-schools are also collaborating with NGOs. “Some students were asked to set-up a business venture and make profit out of it. And that profit goes to the NGO. The major focus is on teaching ethics, leadership and entrepreneurship. This is another trend which is now picking up in B-schools and has been a success so far,” Virmani tells you.
Hiring strategy: Overall personality test
“When a company comes for campus recruitment, they are not interested only in grades you have scored, they need an all rounder. Student’s overall personality plays a key role in the selection. You cannot have excellent academic records and not be able to communicate well. Personality Enhancement Program is a mandatory part of the PGDM course at IFIM. This course focuses on communication skills to etiquette to confidence building. It makes you a good presentable student at the end of your 2 years,” Dr Baskaran says.
Specialised courses & fellowship programmes
“B-schools have come up with specialised courses and executive programmes. The fellowship programmes is a growing trend. In the West, for every field, you’ll find specialised MBA courses. But here, it’s slowing picking up and has a lot of scope to progress,” Mansie Dewan, author of Destination MBA: Coaching you to get there, tells you.
According to Virmani, the idea behind the inverted pyramid needs to change. “The management inverted pyramid says that the CEO comes on the top and then the COO and so on. But to be a true leader, one should keep the customer on top of the pyramid, then the employees and then the managers, head of departments and at the last the CEO. By keeping your customer and employees at a higher level, companies will be able to set a good example of leaders,” Virmani concludes.
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