MBA in India: What is Missing?

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If we talk about the present higher-education (post-graduation) model of the country, it is no secret that the entire system has in fact, come up the curve in the last 15 years or so. And that too, primarily because of the global demand of the industries who want to hire the multi-skilled generation Z who are ready to become the wolves of the corporate jungle the moment they pass out of the MBA Colleges. But the fact still remains that the format is still not good enough! We may have reached the eucalyptus aiming for the moon, but the target is still the moon. There is a huge gap between the kind of roles the students are aspiring to take after their MBA and the kind of skills that the companies are expecting these students to have, to fit the role aptly.

For generations, the focus has always been on securing 90% or above marks as the very definition of success is based on it. As a result, the concept of rote learning has permanently shackled countries like India to crack exams like CAT, CET, IIT, etc. Once the youngsters used to prepare en masse for civil services and bank officers exams, which has now become the preparation of MBA entrance. For every center of educational excellence, hundreds & thousands of candidates are lining up, many of whom are rejected for not meeting the minimum standards. Once rejected from there, the general psyche puts these students into further apathy and to some extent, lack of ambition as well.

Just by building more MBA schools or consenting hundreds of colleges & private universities to join hands is not going to address this dilemma. Being in a country where people are spending their parent’s life savings and borrowed money on education, not even acquiring the average knowledge to perform your task is a major setback. Struggling to find employment of their choice, millions of students are victims of an unrealistic, pointless and mindless rat race. The never-ending competition and rote learning is constantly suppressing the imagination of many students every year.

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IF WE ARE TO LOOK AT CERTAIN VIABLE SOLUTIONS TO ENSURE THAT THE EDUCATION MODEL IS MORE EFFECTIVE FOR THE CURRENT GENERATION & FUTURE, FOLLOWING WOULD BE SOME OF THE IDEAL FACTORS TO LOOK AT.

Relying on the generations old, tried and tested syllabus is not good enough as the 21st century industries are 100% more robust and expect the future employees to be well versed with the practical & up-to-date norms of the industry. This will only be possible if the education model is not just built around the industry but also is constantly updating themselves to match the pace. Interacting with the industries, understanding the different genres to cater to different industry will indeed prove more beneficial.

NOTE: The companies are spending a lot of time teaching new employees how their industry works and what their company is all about. Transferred the same knowledge during their learning years will be an added advantage for the companies.

With the current speed of technological growth, today’s most in-demand skills become obsolete & redundant tomorrow. Simply having the basic knowledge like fundamentals of computers isn’t good enough for companies to hire an MBA. Certification programs & advanced training have become mandatory in almost all the organisations across the globe. Be it an advanced training on Microsoft Office for basic operations works, Google AdWords training to understand digital marketing or CRISIL certification program for investment banking, every industry has hundreds of such programs. The education system should always take these programs into consideration ensuring the students being more capable to deliver the industry needs.

NOTE: The companies always look for candidates with multitasking abilities given a cost effective angle to it. What better way to showcase your multi-skilled abilities if not through various certification programs.

We need to break away from the myth that a linear education model fits all the students. Some learn faster, some are comparatively slow. Some people are visual learners, others are auditory learners and then there some who learn faster from experience. If a monolithic education system has to provide education to everyone, then there would be no option but to assume that one size fits all. However, if we can tailor the syllabus and allocate the amount of personal attention for every individual, we can introduce innovative courses geared towards serving various niches of learners.

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NOTE: Central regulation can kill choices and at times, stifles innovation too. As far as education is concerned, availability of choices, entrepreneurship, emergence of niche courses and growth are all inter-connected. The inclusion of the industrial needs in the MBA syllabus, based on the student’s interests will only wield better results.

Agreed that building the education model around the global industry needs would definitely boost the industrial growth in the country but, we still need to address the calling of original thinkers and innovators. In this era of startups, where every individual with an idea wants to start their own business, it is important that the education systems can support the students in honing these skills to do it right from scratch.

NOTE: We still live in a time where risk taking is mocked. If the model itself is built to recognize and develop problem solving, valuable original research and innovative thinking skills, the MBA student would aptly fit in any industry, be it a job or a business.

Just reading books and memorizing is no learning; the biggest drawback in the present model is perhaps that it incentivizes memorizing over understanding. The education model should have a method where the students can practically implement their theoretic learning and thus understand it through experience.

NOTE: This practice would bridge a very large gap created between the companies and the MBA students eliminating the zero-experience criteria.

It is very critical to understand the importance of embracing internet and technology to create the perfect education model. The more advanced the infrastructure, the easier it becomes to access knowledge. We must look forward to creating educational distribution mechanisms that can actually take the wealth of human knowledge to the masses. The simplest way to reach out would be basic smartphones, tablets and laptops with high speed internet connection.

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NOTE: As the world is advancing with technological growth, it is only fair that the future generation is learning within these growth channels. And the best possible way to deliver this is by building an infrastructure laced with technology to serve the best of education as the industry demands.

The time & technology affects the teaching patterns and tools to a large extent. Also, the knowledge of know-how tricks are a game changers. Given these scenarios, the ideal teachers should be the regular industry practitioners who are well versed with the changing standards of the industry. Business leaders & entrepreneurs make the best teachers as they generally lead large teams and focus on building trust within the business, the industry and the customers.

NOTE: Business Leaders teaching the MBA students always bear fruitful results as the leader molds them and puts forth the final product which the industry calls for.

And lastly…

Given the average strength of students in every class, it becomes challenging to focus on the development of each of them. The goal of the education system should be to create entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, scientists, thinkers and writers who can establish the foundation of a knowledge based economy. That would only be possible if the students are getting enough attention individually to develop their skills so that they can contribute to their fullest potential.

We cannot expect the change over-night but every small step in the right direction will certainly keep us getting a little closer towards our goal of building the ideal education model which our country needs.

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