Thinking about doing MBA after your under-graduation? There is a huge trend among students to go for an MBA course rather than do any other masters degree. MBA is becoming popular among students who are looking to enhance their career as well as among aspiring entrepreneurs. The new generation of aspirants just do not look for good opportunities in MNCs after graduation; they are also interested in starting their own business. According to a survey by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the non-profit organisation that conducts Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), both Indian males (92.4 %) and females (90.2 %) wish to take up MBA as their foremost choice as compared to other higher education degrees.
What is surprising is that even after India has a good number of renowned business schools like the India Institute of Management (IIMs), there is a huge diaspora of talent from the country. MBA aspirants prefer to apply to the colleges outside the country with a huge percentage of application going to the United States of America (USA). According to another survey by GMAC, it is being seen that around 53 percentages of Indians prefer USA as their study abroad destination.
What is the reason for this large interest among MBA aspirants to study abroad?
With high competition and preference to get an international exposure, a large number of MBA aspirants wish to study abroad. Though top-notch B-schools like IIMs and Faculty of Management Studies provide quality education and good placements, the competition is very high. It is very difficult to get the required score to get admitted. Apart from that, there are a number of other reasons expressed by prospective students that attract them to foreign universities. Some of these are to settle abroad, better opportunities in the study destination and language development.
There are usually two types of aspirants that prefer to study abroad. The first types are the talented students who want to excel in the field of a global community, while the second types are the ones who go for purely getting an international exposure and a foreign degree. The middle class of India is expanding and growing richer, which has made it possible for the aspirants to venture abroad in search of more education avenues.
The popular study abroad destinations have somewhat consistently remained the same with USA and UK holding the top two positions globally. A latest survey by GMAC showed that at least two-third of the prospective students, which is about 66%, still prefer the US followed by UK (around 6%). The survey was done for a one-year period from October 2013 to September 2014. Prospective student mentioned here can be divided into three different types: career enhancers (34% of survey respondents), career switchers (38%) and aspiring entrepreneurs (28%). The above trend shows a majority of the MBA aspirants globally are still attracted by the glamorous opportunities that USA and UK has to provide.
A shocking change in the recent study abroad trends!
According to the same survey by GMAC it is revealed that India’s popularity among the study abroad destinations is growing fast and it now stands among the top 5 destinations in the world. About 3 percentage of the survey respondents preferred Indian as their study destination. This is more than the number of aspirants preferring Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, Netherlands and Australia.
The majority of the respondents were from Africa (45%), Latin America (44%), and Central and South Asia, including India (43%). Also another eye-raising fact about the survey is that the top five preference criteria of a larger percentage of the prospective aspirants are not based upon the rankings of colleges. With a large number of b-schools accepting international students, there is a growing shift in the interest from the usual MBA hotspots. The other factors include quality education and English as a medium of teaching. Also, the acceptance of GMAT scores for admission is a huge factor for international students to apply in the Indian B-schools.
Most of the common MBA exams like CAT, XAT, SNAP, etc., which are required to be taken for admissions to two-year programmes in the Indian b-schools, happen once in a year. This is a disadvantage to many working professionals as it is difficult to prepare according to one’s own free time and also to match the work schedule with the exam schedule.
GMAT, on the other hand, can be taken any time of the year according to one’s convenience. It also allows the aspirant five attempts in a calendar year. Other advantages of GMAT are that the results of the test are valid for five years and it is an absolute performance examination unlike other tests which are comparative performance exams.
As a large number of Indian b-schools accept GMAT scores, it has become easier for international students to apply. This is one of the greatest factors for Indian becoming a preferred study abroad destination among MBA aspirants. There are other factors that affect the preference criteria like visa rules and friendly environment for students.
The b-schools are also coming up with new ideas to increase the admissions of international students as they believe that it will help in their global rankings. Last Year Indian School of Business (ISB) launched an app which gives an overall idea about the college and the experience of the alumni. They are now tracking the app downloads to measure the global interest. Apart from that IIM Lucknow is planning to open a branch abroad to attract international students and give it a global exposure.
From the current scenario of prospective students’ interest and Indian b-schools trying to attract international students, it can be rightly foretold that in the future Indian is going to be a popular destination among MBA aspirants globally.
Hasib is a foodie and an avid reader with the same voracious appetite. Passionate about writing, his articles are based upon current education scenario and guides students in their career decisions. An existentialist, he is still on the search for the real purpose of life. Reach him @ twitter, Google+, LinkedIn