More candidates opt for MBA tag for career switch

Deepa Nair Nivedita Ganguly Mumbai | Updated on August 04, 2013

In the 2013-15 batch, both IIM-Bangalore and MDI, Gurgaon have 81% students with work experience.

Saurabh Mishra quit his job after working for two years at a reputed IT firm to pursue an MBA course in finance. The 27-year-old’s dream was to get an IIM tag for a career switch to investment banking. Like Mishra, most MBA candidates are arriving at B-schools with an aim to make a career change.

“In the past, an MBA degree was seen as a shortcut for a career change. The recession of 2008-09 reversed this trend though, with incumbent employees wary of quiting their jobs,” said Sangeeta Bharadwaj, Chairperson Admissions, MDI Gurgaon, a business school.

However, as the market slowly recovers, B-schools are witnessing several MBA applicants keen on making a career change once again, she added.

In the 2013-15 batch of MDI Gurgaon, 81 per cent of students have prior work experience. The percentage of students with work experience has substantially increased in the institute from 66 per cent in the 2011-13 batch to 81 per cent in 2013-15 batch.

In the IIMs too, this trend is gaining prominence. For instance, IIM-Bangalore has 81 per cent candidates with work experience in the 2013-15 batch. More than one-fourth of these candidates have work experience between 25 and 36 months, which is considered to be an ideal profile for a career switch.

In IIM-Calcutta, too, the percentage of students with work experience is as high as 71.

Sapna Agrawal, Head, Career Development Services, IIM-Bangalore, said, “A number of our students tend to change their sector after their MBA. At the PGP (two-year MBA) level, many students move from engineering/IT domain into fields such as consulting, finance or marketing, which is a change to another sector altogether.”

Experts say that since the candidates have two to three years of experience, a career switch is relatively easier.

In the last couple of years, MDI Gurgaon has seen candidates with work experience in financial services major Goldman Sachs and Nomura, and from companies in the manufacturing sector such as L&T and Tata Motors and also from software companies like Microsoft.

In IIM-B, sectors such as consulting and finance are preferred by students. “One of the reasons could be the salaries. After an MBA, the options available to a candidate are many. Some of these options are more lucrative and also provide more chance to travel abroad. So students prefer these options,” IIM-Bangalore’s Agrawal said.

Interestingly, MBA institutes have seen many candidates with work experience in public sector companies enrolling for their MBA executive programmes this year, in order to switch to a private sector job. IIM-B has also seen a few PSU executives in the two-year programme (PGP).

“Sometimes they (candidates) want to improve their communication skills and/or leadership competencies. Often PSU executives reach a stage in their career when though they have plethora of opportunities in their present workflow, they cannot leverage them due to a skill-set mismatch,” said MDI Gurgaon’s Bharadwaj.



Published on August 04, 2013

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