–By Dr Monica Chaudhary
India is the world’s youngest country; with an average age of 29 years. With almost sixty-four per cent of the country’s population in the working age, India’s human resource has the potential to be world class. Despite this India has only 2% of the skilled workforce. According to a report, there are almost 2 million graduates; however, half a million postgraduates are unemployed in India. around 47% graduates in India are not suitable for any kind of industrial role. London School of Economics in their research found three major reasons for such a high rate of unemployment in the country; the first reason is the fact that there are not enough good jobs being created for the fresh graduates, second reason is students face many constraints for their education and third is the challenging transition from education to work force and there is no support for them. Also, with Covid pandemic, the global recession took a toll on every country’s employment situation. In India, with longer nationwide lockdown and recent increase in the coronavirus cases, the impact has been prolonged.
As per a primary study research exploring what are the major skills that any employer is looking for in a fresh graduate. Surprisingly, the top skill that any employer needs is not the technical skill or any specialised skill, instead the employers are looking for graduates who have the ability to learn quickly. Most of the organisations have their unique working processes and they want a smart graduate who can quickly grasp how the work is done; this will reduce the induction and training time and can quickly be on boarded. This was an interesting find, as this skill is not being taught in any of the MBA colleges. How can you instil the ability to learn quickly; this is a very subjective and evolutionary process. This needs an environment of providing stimuli; stimulating students’ young minds, providing them lots of exposure and opportunities to understand and learn different skills.
Another important gap found between the industry and a fresh MBA graduate is the difference between academic curriculum and the ever-changing industry requirements. The traditional age-old concepts and business models may not work in the current global scenario; there is a need to look at the business problems from a different angle. Gone are the days where internet and data availability was an issue, in today’s time data is easily available, and in fact the data is being curated every second. Business education needs to add technology as a major element on their academic curriculum. Young MBA aspirants must feel comfortable with technology even when they’re not coming from a technical background, they should be able to handle and process data well.
MBA aspirants must also realize the importance of a global MBA programme. The business leaders of the future require the ability at a local, national and international level to see the ‘big picture’. Now employers are seeking graduates who have the ability to work with international teams in a hybrid working environment and can deliver successful international strategies. A global MBA program can prepare one for an international business career as you are exposed to different languages, cultures, and ethnicities, making you a more empathetic and sensitive person. You can also develop cultural sensitivity and get an insight into different perspectives.
The last point would be to realize the imperative role of alumni network of a good Business School. This must be a substantial decision making point to choose the MBA program and the business school. Alumni are not just a powerful strength in building a business school’s brand; they are also the top resource for business school recruitment. A good business school’s alumni would recommend their graduate business programme to others and mentor prospective or current MBA students.
Every economic recession is followed by a boom wherein existing companies scale up while new companies are formed to meet rising consumer demand. Post covid MBA program would most likely mean that one will be graduating into a very healthy economy and a strong job market. Be smart and choose the right business school to pursue your career.
The author is associate professor, marketing and acting head, PG programs at SP Jain School of Global Management.