What do students & alumni think about management education

Updated: Aug 6 2012, 09:02am hrs
Lawrence M Rudner

According to recent surveys conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, Indian respondents say they would recommend a graduate degree in management to their friends. About 92% of Indians rated the value of their management education as outstanding, excellent or good, and 58% of those who were searching had job offers well before they graduated. There are few differences between Indian men and women (who are under-represented in terms of satisfaction with their education, job offers and starting salaries). Indian alumni almost universally found their degree to be professionally, personally and financially rewarding.

People seek a management degree for different reasons. About 43% of Indian citizens tell us they seek a degree to enhance their current careers, and another 46% hope to use a new degree to help them switch careers.

Indian students also tell us that the most important skills they acquired are: knowledge of general business functions, managing strategy and innovation, interpersonal skills, decision-making processes, and strategic and systems skills. In other words, they learned to think and talk like a business person. It is not surprising that a growing proportion of B-school graduates are become entrepreneurs.

There is huge variation in pre-to-post salaries for B-school graduates. Ignoring pre- and post-geographic locations, the average salary boost is 286% for Indian men and 559% for Indian women. This disparity is largely because the average pre-enrolment salary of women is much lower than that of men; the post-degree salaries are about the same. Men and women staying or returning to India both average about a 130% salary boost.

Management education offers you career flexibility. It helps you advance an existing career, change your career path or become an entrepreneur. Even if you are mostly interested in being a technical expert, a management degree can help you become a manager in that field. In the process, you will learn to speak and think like a business person. Is it an option for Indian women Absolutely. Indian women are on equal footing with Indian men in terms of being recruited and in terms of what they do upon graduation.

The author is vice-president of research and development, and chief psychometrician of the Graduate Management Admission Council