Engineering or MS or MBA post under graduation dilemma for Indian students

MS or MBA or Job – The great dilemma for Undergraduate Students

One of the most demanded features on Facebook Page, Twitter Page and Mailing list is to throw some light about the biggest dilemma for Under Graduate students in the country – How to choose between taking up a job or going abroad for MS / taking up MTech in India or preparing for MBA  . (Note- We have looked at MBA in India in this context) Clearly, this isn’t a simple choice, since it has a significant impact on your career progression. Whether you are a current student or an ex-student, please fill this survey form up, and we shall collate these findings and publish them as an article on going ahead.


We had conducted a similar survey in 2010 and 2011. For the benefit of Strat-ers, we are publishing the collated findings of the 2010 survey herewith. We have designed an infographic which takes a snapshot of the past decisions made by students – have a look

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Business, IIM, Public Issues

Let us kick the MBA (when they are down)

A recent article at BusinessWeek talks about the blame being attributed to MBAs for the crisis. Atleast BusinessWeek strives for neutrality in its tone, this article at Bloomberg is a straight out rant against the MBA degree. The person holding the MBA degree is an easy target in the current world. The erstwhile “masters of the universe” are the ones being blamed for the failure of respectable institutions like General Motors irrespective of how wobbly they were to start with. The fact that almost all the heads of the failed banks were B-school alumni gave journalists easy fodder for their stories. Of course, this is just selective vision from the journalists cherry-picking examples to suit their world view.

The business media is notorious for its short term memory, changing tunes according to public mood (this is essential to sell their product). But the sort of vitriol directed at MBAs is still unwarranted. One of the most shrill accusations is  of a lack of ethics at the top of organizations. One observation that the journos forget is that the MBAs are drawn from the general population on the impression that they are smarter, more ambitious and more aggressive than the normal. Their ethical orientation and level of greed are more or less the same as the general population’s. The presence of courses on ethics in the B-school does little to alter the person’s upbringing and consequently his worldview which to me is influential in orienting a person’s moral compass.

Another criticism is that a B-school education is no guarantee on the ability to manage unlike say a medical degree which is a fair indication of ability to treat ailments. This criticism is valid if business schools promise companies near certain success on hiring their graduates. As far as I understand business schools just promise better equipped graduates capable of dealing with business challenges better. Probability of success and failure also depends a lot on the type of experience gained by the person post b-school which is beyond the school’s control.

There are two criticisms which I think are valid. The first criticism is that b-schools go overboard in promoting principles of scientific management without adequate attention to the inherent randomness in the business world. This can only be rectified if there is an acknowledgment that there are no textbook solutions to business problem and a gradual change in pedagogy. The second is the sense of hubris which pervades through the top b-schools in the world. This requires a change in the culture which a b-school passes on unfailingly from senior batch to junior batch year on year and this recession provides a great opportunity to do the same.

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