The past few years have seen a shadow of doubt creeping into the minds of students looking to further their careers by pursuing an MBA degree. While at one time MBA used be a magnetic proposition, rather a requirement, opted for by students from all fields of education (be it commerce, engineering or even the arts), there seems to be a lull around it nowadays, making those interested to think twice and proceed with great caution.
The fact remains that even after the beating it has received, MBA is a glamorous tag that holds extreme value in the big world of multinationals and conglomerates. Recent trends have shown that hiring by companies, after a decade-long slump, is on a steady rise and this holds more valid for those with an MBA. The Year-End Employer Poll conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council found that in comparison to 69% in 2017, 72% of the responding companies have reported that they will hire MBA graduates in 2018.
An article in The Economist late last year tackles this very question and goes on to state that "Reports of the MBAs demise are exaggerated." It mainly talks about how smaller schools in the US might have faced the rough edge of the decline, but across the world MBA programmes have only seen an increase.
However, things get really interesting once we start talking about the money aspect of the degree. Sceptics say that an MBA is a significant investment for any individual with returns that are not always favourable. In contrast, statistics show that there has been a growth in overall salaries after an MBA. According to the Financial Times, salaries were at an average of $142000, up 12%, in 2017 as compared to 2014.
Another noteworthy development that has emerged in the last year is that smaller companies are now aiming to hire individuals with greater knowledge and private education. In the volatile start-up market where initially, money-saving was the primary goal, companies have finally realised that experience and the right kind of focused training can make a considerable difference. According to the Corporate Recruiters Survey Report 2017, there is a projected jump of almost 20% when it comes to hiring MBAs by start-ups and companies with less than 100 employees.
Statistics and figures present a somewhat calculated side of how MBA is perceived at present. For more accurate analysis, personal testimonials provide a better viewpoint on the usefulness of the program. Take Samir Abid whose interview in The Guardian highlights the fact that was it not for his MBA he would not have had the confidence to start a successful business of his own.
These personal reflections about MBA give a good indication of its essential nature and an insight into how much of a difference the degree makes. In her article about the worth of an MBA, Aubrey Chapnik concludes by saying that "While my MBA experience was by no means perfect, it provided me with a lot of great knowledge, experiences and close, new friends." This underlines the fact that the benefits of an MBA program are a lot more holistic and compliment various characteristics of the individual.
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