On the academic floor, the MBA programme was once supreme. Arrogantly and unambiguously , it became the definitive must-have, attracting not only those interested in business but also those who wanted to master the tools of management. The last few years, though, have proved to be rough for the B-school grad.
Data from across the count ry shows that the payoff of this course has not been promising.Almost one of two MBA graduates is not placed and unemployment is rising. Picture this: The class of 2016 saw 75,658 students get jobs on campus. There is no clarity on what happened to the equally large number of those who signed up for the course in 3,080 colleges spread across India (see box).
“You see some students who do not get placed take up small jobs; some others get placed in some company one or two years after graduating. Now, with mandatory internships, we feel the situation will improve as students will get some kind of training while studying,“ said chairman of the All India Council of Technical Education Anil Sahasrabudhe.
While the IIMs see 100% placement, graduates from Tier B schools don't quite make the mark, say recruiters. To make matters worse, many of those who don't get into the top schools don't settle for a second-rung college either. The fallout of the drop in admissions has seen the closure of 233 B-schools which no longer saw business sense in offering an MBA course.
Last year, an ASSOCHAM study concluded that only 7% of MBA graduates from Indian business schools, excluding those from the top 20 colleges, get a job straight after completing their course.
“Lack of quality control and infrastructure, low-paying jobs through campus placement and poor faculty are the major reasons for India's unfolding B-school disaster. The need to update and re-train faculty in emerging global business perspectives is practically absent in many B-schools, often making the course content redundant,“ the study noted.
Little wonder then that the AICTE has recommended that curricula be revised every year, three internships be made mandatory , students be put through courses in technical and soft skills, start-ups be encouraged, exam systems be reformed and teachers be trained regularly .
Former IIM Lucknow director Devi Singh blamed the situation on “reckless expansion“. Now the vice-chancellor of Flame University , Singh said they had analysed this problem at their campus and felt that the number of graduates thrown into the market without the requisite skills was a big problem. “So many companies are preferring to hire undergraduates and putting them through training, reflecting the loss of trust in training at colleges,“ he pointed out.