Shortlisting an MBA or a Postgraduate program

Aspirants to MBA and other postgraduate courses face a tough decision-making process to shortlist schools for applications and choosing a program within those shortlisted schools for submitting applications. Making applications is not only a tedious process but it also costs money and saps out the energy out of you – especially your first application.  Given the uncertainty surrounding the selection process, it is of utmost importance to not put all your eggs into a single basket i.e. Have a choice of schools such that once you receive your admit you should be committed to going that extra mile to fulfill the admit and finish your MBA. Although when we advise students on shortlisting schools and programs, each selection is tailor-made to the goals of the student, there are certain aspects which are common for everyone.

The following factors should be considered not only for MBA but also for any postgraduate program in any country for any university.

Knowledge

Delivery of key learning concepts is the main toolkit for seeking an admission into a global school. Those faculty members who have had experience teaching a global cohort of students and running the course over many years command respect and learning under their shadow will give you an opportunity to shine. Whether you are coming from academia or coming as an experienced professional, learning from distinguished faculties will help you develop the right perspective and fresh outlook towards personal and professional life and set you up for success in the corporate world.

ROI

Cost of education is increasing on a yearly basis. E.g. cost of an Executive MBA in India from a reputed b-school increases by INR 2 lakh per annum. After all great institutions also need to retain their top faculty and provide the best in class infrastructure and facilities to their students and maintain quality as well. One should not be swayed by the high cost of an MBA or a postgraduate program and settle for cheaper options. The ROI from a postgraduate course should be looked at from a short term to long term horizon. Do not expect a 6 figure salary in the first year and exoect that you will cover the cost of your education. One should also look at the opportunity cost i.e. the income you had to forego while you were studying, tuition and sundry expenses. The ROI would also dictate whether you have to pursue a one year or a two year program.

Opportunities

Obviously a student pursuing a reputed postgraduate program would look at the knowledge gained and the ROI aspects, but at the end of the day if your alma mater does not provide you with the deserved opportunities, it will be disappointing. The chances of disappointment reduce when you choose a school and a program of high repute. Opportunities come directly in the form of placements. But there are other indirect opportunities as well – such as entrepreneurial opportunities, networking opportunities, exchange programs. One could argue here that cash is king, but I would say assets are important aspects as well.



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