MBA has always been associated with a flourishing career, high salary, global exposure, and managerial expertise. With the boom in the private sector in the early 90's the demand for skilled management and business professionals grew exponentially. This led to the birth of thousands of business schools across the country, promising high-quality management education. MBA became the new norm and was an obvious choice for many, be it professional degree holders or simple graduates.
The fruits of an MBA degree are significantly dependent on the 'employment' of its graduates. However, according to a study conducted by ASSOCHAM, only 7 percent of the MBA graduates were employable in 2016. And this number has been dipping every year. So, are today's MBA graduates employable? It is time to address the elephant in the room.
Reasons for Unemployability
- Excess Supply of MBA Graduates
There are more than 4000 b-schools in India. Every year more than 3.5 lakh students graduate with an MBA degree. In comparison, there is hardly a requirement of 40000 managerial candidates. There is a massive gap between the demand for MBA graduates and its supply.
- Poor Economic Growth
The Indian economy is witnessing a slowdown. The GDP has fallen to 4.5%, and there aren't as many job opportunities.
- Outdated Curriculum
There is a visible gap between what industry wants and what the management education institutes have to offer. Barring the top 100, curriculum for many colleges is not reviewed and updated as per the changing industry requirements. Also, there is very little focus on the enhancement of soft skills such as communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
- Mediocre Quality Faculty
With thousands of b-schools mushrooming in India, there has been a shortage of qualified and experienced faculty members. Many join as temporary staff straight after completing their post-graduation. There is a grim focus on research-based activities and upgradation of the skills of faculty members.
- Lack of Practical Understanding and Industry Exposure
Most b-schools fail to help students get good internships and placement opportunities. Moreover, there is hardly any industry collaboration giving exposure to them about various corporate business activities. This is causing a wide gap between industry demands and the existing knowledge and skills of MBA graduates.
- Compromise in Selection Process
B-schools are often seen comprising their selection criteria and relaxing their admission process to fill in the seats. This affects the quality of incoming students, which impacts the quality of outgoing MBA graduates.
- Poor Infrastructure Facilities
Many three and four-tier b-schools lack the necessary infrastructure facilities. They provide sub-standard classrooms, poor quality labs, and under-equipped libraries, to name a few. In the absence of proper facilities and exposure, the overall quality of graduates lowers and impacts the employability of pass outs.
- Lack of Innovative Thinking
Today's VUCA world requires the b-schools to adapt to the changes quickly. Innovative approach and risk-taking abilities are the keys to survive and deal with complex situations. The existing pedagogy and curriculum delivery lack the 'out of the box' approach, thus making the students unfit for the industry.
- Less Emphasis on Local, Rural and Social Aspect
There is a tremendous hype around b-schools offering global exposure to its students. However, they are missing the Indian ethos. The b-schools are not preparing their students to understand the needs of local businesses, the rural sector, and the social sector.
- Lack of Entrepreneurial Thinking
There is an immense focus on making managers who are mostly job seekers. The b-schools lack nurturing job creators i.e., entrepreneurs.
In nutshell, it is the collective responsibility of management schools, regulatory bodies, and students to improve the existing situation and work towards making employable graduates –
- B-schools must not compromise with the quality of education they promise to offer the students. They should strive to produce industry-ready graduates.
- The regulatory bodies should be stricter while implementing standards.
- The students must be true to themselves while pursuing the degree and endeavour to be employable from day one.
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