India's economy is firing on all its cylinders again, and qualified hands are needed in the boiler room. Recruiters are back in droves on business school campuses to pick graduates by the hundreds, if not the thousands. Still, the mood is wary among students and mid-career managers weighing an executive diploma programme to boost their marketability.
There is good reason for the caution. Last year's graduating class across the country, except perhaps from the storied Indian Institutes of Management, was badly mauled in the job market. Most newly-minted managers had to settle for salary packages much worse than they had dreamed of.
The question uppermost in the minds of those aspiring to be part of India's MBA Class of 2013, in other words those taking the Common Aptitude Test or other entrance examinations to B-schools later this year, is whether an MBA is worth the few lakhs of rupees it costs and the two years it takes.
BIGGER SAMPLE SIZE: Polled 1,449 stakeholders. Last year, the survey had 596 respondents
WIDER FOOTPRINT: Added Chandigarh, taking the number of cities covered to 13. The dozen scoped last year were: New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, rest of the National Capital Region (Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad), Ahmedabad, Pune, Indore, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Coimbatore
NEW STAKEHOLDER CATEGORY: Included trainers from MBA coaching institutes - among the biggest influencers - for the first time
FIRST-TIME QUALITATIVE TAKE: Deployed a Nielsen online tool 'BuzzMetrics' to capture what MBA stakeholders are discussing online (See Business of Chatter). This does not influence the survey findings but does tell you which schools are in the buzz