This article only means to put across the viewpoint of the writer. No harm is intended to any person, institution or community
And with this established, I can safely move on to my article.
“Kya aap MBA karenge?” is increasingly turning into the one crore worth question of Kaun Banega Crore Pati. Three options for this question are ‘yes, yes and yes’, and the fourth one with less than one-percent votes in audience poll rating is ‘no’. Every day thousands of students answer yes to this question, in the hope of being a crorepati but how many of them actually back this “yes”, is, in reality the answer which has the potential to change one’s life.
We are going back to the times where career choices were made based on fear of security and a desire for a stable life instead of the field of interest. Children are pushed into cliche sectors of engineering, medicine or law, where they learn to push themselves into MBA. Masters of Business Administration focuses on imparting knowledge for management of all aspects of business and give rise to an entrepreneurial drive. However, all it manages to give rise to is a herd of mechanical robots working the Finance, HR or Marketing department. This leaves us with an even bigger social menace- ‘educated unemployment’. Which means an individual gives up his interest, liking, dreams to lay hands on that highly-paid mundane job at an MNC but is forced to settle for much less. Is this the way you had hoped answering yes to MBA would have changed your life? (I hope not!)
Most of the times, it is not us posing this question, but others who derive their happiness from meddling into lives of naive students around them.
“Beta what are you planning to do after B.com? – “Uncle, MBA!”
“So you are in final year of engineering, MBA will be your next course of action?” – “Yes uncle, I have started coaching also.”
In India, uncles and aunties like these are rising not by the hour but by the second, along with the infamous ‘Sharma Ji ka Beta’ and his sky rocketing percentile. Graduation in medicine, engineering, B.com, BMS or any other XYZ degree has become immaterial in today’s time. All anyone seems to worry about is how to get admission into a reputed MBA college. From pressure of succumbing to the herd to the aim of gaining a good nine-to-five job in a multinational corporation, the reasons people choose to do MBA vary, but none aspire to acquire the skills that the course actually means to impart. It’s time to diagnose the problem.
Lets dive a little further in the psyche of these aspirants, after all they deliberate for months before deciding to purse MBA (or do they really? Let’s find out!)
Aspirant Type 1: ENGINEERS
We have all heard of the IIT-IIM combination haven’t we? These students are like the rulers of the corporate playground. The supposed ‘geniuses’. They might indeed be, but I beg to differ. I would like to quote here the famous Aamir Khan, “Chaar saal engineering karke, MBA karke phir bank mein naukri karega”. A dialogue couldn’t have been more true.
How many of our engineers today actually go for M.Tech? a minimal percentage because their minds are pre-occupied with the idea of money-minting. Their natural talent for quantitative ability (which too is courtesy their engineering background) remains limited only towards clearing entrance exams. Adding to that, they are the foremost authority on how to go on rambling for pages and pages about ‘Why MBA?’ in their interviews for esteemed colleges. The answer to this question is given according to ‘Standard Operating Guidelines’ issued by MBA coaching institutes and online portals, rendering all answers on the same lines. What adds to the disappointment is that only the one’s following these guidelines to the T, are the ones who convert into the nation’s most top-rated institutions.
In a country which needs innovators, we just manage to create the manpower to work under them!
Aspirant Type 2: COMMERCE GRADUATES
Commerce graduates take pride in claiming that MBA is their natural choice of career, as if the fruit of MBA is their legal inheritance.
Commerce student Checklist
• Don’t want to do M.com and become a lecturer
• Don’t want to do CA (phew it’s too time consuming)
• No valid reason not to an MBA. So MBA it is!
But what about a valid justification behind pursuing MBA : MIND BLANK = HERD MENTALITY
Then there are so-called ‘mini-MBA graduates’. The creed of aspirants holding a posh BMS degree.
Their justification : “We have already studied all the subjects once before, how hard could it be the second time”. Alas, if all decisions could be made like this!
Aspirant Type 3: ARTS GRADUATES
They start with being determined and focused towards the toughest nut to crack- UPSC. Somewhere along the way, with the burden of multiple failed attempts, they get focused again, this time towards MBA. After all, kuch to karna hai na life mein!
• Kudos and a standing ovation to these aspirants. A well deliberated decision indeed.
Aspirant Type 4: PEOPLE WITH WORK-EX
They are every other aspirants NIGHTMARE! After slogging for 2-5-8 years, they fathom that their growth has become stagnant. And then one day, like Einstein, they shout out “EUREKA-EUREKA”. My career will get the needed nudge if I pursue an MBA now.
Conclusion: they join the rat-race towards gaining an even higher pay package.
There can be many such categories of aspirants, but what is common to them all, is that they all aspire to become money-minting presses. MBA is treated as an agency which supplies manpower to MNC’s. Students get trapped in the rat-trap with money hanging as bait. The more esteemed the ‘agency’, the higher the bait.
Now that we fathom the problem, our minds are questioning whom should we blame this irony on? The country’s education system, the institutions or the students?
None of them really. It’s a mindset which has been nurtured over the years, and is now mocking us like a huge tree in our face. Or maybe it would be more appropriate to call it a WEED.
P.S. This article does not aim to dissuade anyone wanting to pursue MBA but to give every student a checklist which can help him/her in choosing the right career path that will change his/her life.
Point 1: Can you justify your choice of career to your own self?
That’s the only point I could think of putting on the checklist. No number of people ratifying your choices would matter if what you do is not where your passion lies. All standard operating guidelines will dissolve, if one can validate what one stands to gain out of one’s career choice.