How to Screen Management Institutes for the Best Fit to Career Goals

In the last few decades there has been a rush to acquire management education after completing a graduate program by candidates desiring to have an extra edge in the extremely competitive job market. The demand for quality management education has been further increased by stories of excellent campus placements in the top institutes along with stratospheric offers of pay packages that can be only a dream for those lesser qualified.


It has now become almost an established practice for good students to try and get admitted into a reputed management institute immediately after obtaining a graduate degree or spending a few years working and then entering B-school to lift their careers into a higher orbit. However, to successfully do that it is important to identify a management institute that possess all the desired attributes, otherwise it can be difficult to achieve your career goals.


To Get a Degree or a Diploma

There’s actually a very thin line of differentiation between a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGDM). While the course content is quite similar there are arguments that the MBA has more theoretical aspects built into it while PGDMs are typically more inclined towards the realities faced by organizations on the ground. In terms of technicalities, the MBA can be offered only by universities, while diplomas are awarded by institutes not affiliated to any university, though an AICTE approval is required. Typically both programs are for two years, although recently there are some institutes that are now offering expedited courses that last for only one year. Almost everyone agrees that unless you are enrolled into a top-flight management institute like the Indian Institutes of Management, XLRI, S P Jain Institute of Management & Research etc. it may make more sense to consider management schools that are affiliated to UGC-recognized universities, as the quality of faculty is likely to be superior. Visit MET’s guide on PGDM for a more detailed analysis on this aspect.

Residential Programs or Off-Campus?

Many B-schools with impressive legacies subscribe that the best education can be offered only through a residential program as it enables both the students and the faculty to devote more time to the learning process without having to tackle the problems of the daily commute and other off-campus distractions. However, in the modern context affording a large residential campus can be prohibitive in the metros and locating institutes in the smaller towns automatically limits the industry experience that is a vital input in the education process. Many institutes have attempted to resolve the problem by having an online communications network that is robust and accessible 24×7 so that students can always access their teachers as well as libraries and other online learning resources. With educational resources spread globally, there are many institutes that openly advocate a web based solution rather than stick to the confines of a physical campus.

Specialized or General Courses?

Whether to attend a management course that is general in its scope or one that focuses on a particular domain, there are no clear cut answers. If it is your desire to be familiar with the general principles of management so that you are ready to face the challenges of general management, then by all mean go ahead and select an appropriate course. However, if you have made up your mind that you want to specialize in a particular domain and want a management qualification to rapidly get top ranks, then choosing a domain-specific management course could be well worth the while. Today you can take you pick from a wide range of subjects ranging from retail to rural, petroleum or even forest to name a few. You can expect substantial amount of academic rigor in these specialized management courses since they are focused on only one aspect. Potential students need to analyze the pedigree and intent of the institute besides the long-term potential of the domain of specialization before taking the plunge.

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