The two-year MBA programme is likely to get phased out in a decade as students and working professionals in a fast-changing world will find continuing education and executive MBA programmes more useful to stay updated rather than spending two years learning management in an educational institute, according to premier B-School Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) Director Errol D’Souza.
“We think going ahead, the two-year programme will slowly phase out. India is a young population. So, the two-year programme is still going to be there, but advanced markets have moved more towards the one-year programme. We think the same thing is going to happen here maybe ten years down the line. There's still time, but it will,” D’Souza told Business Today.
His observations come even as questions are growing louder about the relevance of a two-year management programme in a rapidly changing and digitising world where what was taught in a two-year programme may not be practically applicable by the time the student graduates. In 2022, applications to premier US institutes, Harvard Business School and The Wharton School declined by 15.4 per cent and 13.9 per cent, respectively.
Agreeing, D'Souza says the two-year programme will diminish in importance over the next decade. “Given the rapid pace of change, spending two years in an educational institute learning management seems like a little waste of time.” He elaborated that corporations are also looking for people with prior work experience. “So, you want people who have worked for 3-4 years, have an understanding of organisations, and then come in maybe for a one-year programme and then do continuing education through executive education, which is another thing we focus on a lot. Then, you are constantly upgrading yourself as the world is changing,” he said.
At IIMA, the batch that graduated in 2022 saw 190 firms visiting the campus for recruitment. For students with prior work experience, there were 36 firms from diverse sectors such as technology, banking, consulting, and analytics, who hired students through the lateral process. Overall, BCG made the maximum 47 offers, followed by Accenture at 32. Among investment banks, Goldman Sachs led the pack with six offers, followed by Bank of America at four. Speaking of consumer goods and general management, the highest number of offers were made by Tata Administrative Services (TAS) at six, with HUL, Mondelēz, and Emaar at three each. IT consulting was prominently led by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) with four offers.
In India, an estimated 3,000-plus B-schools produce more than 300,000 management graduates every year. But not more than 10-20 per cent are employable, according to some estimates. BT-MDRA’s own ranking of the best B-schools in the country in 2022 had 281 institutes participating. But even within them, the differential in the overall scores of the top-most and bottom-most schools is a wide 622.9 points. IIMA bagged the second spot with an overall score of 900.2 out of 1000 points.
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