Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The Foreign Choice

For years the Masters in Business Administration is the most commonly recognised degree in India today. An MBA is a generalised degree and the main reason for the abundance of takers is because it can be ‘paired’ with a Bachelors degree from any stream. Another reason could be the abundance of specializations offered viz. finance, HR, marketing, operations, relations, logistics, SCM etc.

A foreign MBA is still seen by most as an exotic offering. In the olden times, ‘expensive’, ‘unnecessary’ and ‘apne yaha bhi toh hai’ were the common phrases associated with any mention of a foreign MBA in an Indian youth’s family. Ever since, there has been a paradigm shift in outlook towards an international MBA degree and many more takers can be seen for this.

An international degree, as the name suggests, spans multiple areas of dominance, especially in terms of curriculum and validity. More so for MBA, which is a generalised degree on it's own, containing a bit of every process that takes place in your average organisation.

Tabulated below are some features between an Indian and a foreign MBA:-

Indian MBA
Foreign MBA
Degree from the perspective of Indian markets, people and businesses.
Broad based perspective.
Enabler in case of settlement in India.
Preferred for placement in foreign companies.
Expensive, but well worth the returns in the long term.
Campus placements.
No campus placements but higher industry interface.

As opposed to an Indian MBA, an international degree offers many more advantages.

  • Firstly, the terms of exposure are good; a multicultural faculty and student body always have a chance of offering a different perspective for the studies and their application as it stands in different countries.
  • Industry interface is on a scale larger than those offered by Indian degrees as there are MNCs functioning with a far broader scope of work and operational pedagogy. Moreover the internship procedures/research papers during the degree speak ‘worldwide recognition’.
  • Degree functionality and validity is more than that of an Indian degree. A company based out of India will show more of a chance to pick you up if you have an international degree than if you have an Indian degree as they would prefer someone who has already had exposure to the foreign work processes.
  • More of a personal touch, studying in a foreign university will offer more of a chance of the student opening up as a person and broadening his horizons than say, admission to a cross state-MBA college in India. It is a different country, not accessible merely by ways of a flight or train ride.

As opposed to the advantages, a foreign MBA has its own share of disadvantages too:-
  • Cost is one of the main factors that deters students from going for foreign studies. An MBA in a good foreign school (for the purpose of equality in terms of degree preference) will set a student back by about 60 lakh to over 2 crore rupees. The RoI graph for these degrees takes a long time to even turn grey, leave alone green.
  • The competition for admission to universities abroad is harder than that for premier institutes in India. The student pool is larger, the screening process is longer for overseas candidates (e.g. an extra exam like TOEFL or IELTS for most post graduate courses), and there is always the ‘disadvantage’ people associate with an Indian candidates.
  • The unavailability of campus placements means the only way students can get a placement is through internships or networking with professors and alumni. Most students work a part time job and aim to convert it into a full time payroll application.
  • Statistics speak volumes. To end all debates about standalone consummate academic excellence, one needs only know that the top B-schools in India are quite a ways behind their international competitors, though that gap is lessening by the day.

The important question here is not about the quality of degree, but as always, the interest of an individual. Notwithstanding how the person plans his future, if we only compare them side by side, we come to know that they have subtle differences. Mostly similar in their study offerings, foreign degrees only differ from Indian ones in terms of scope.

-Aditya Bhargava
Musician, writer and otaku with a professional interest in gaming.

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