Should MBA students stop looking for jobs and join the gig economy?

With the world waking up to the numerous advancement making consumers’ life easy, the gig economy has flourished steadily providing employment to the masses thus offering flexibility.

Should MBA students stop looking for jobs and join the gig economy?
A master's degree in business administration (MBA) will improve your professional marketability and open up more and better career prospects for you. (Pexels)

By Mayank Kumar

MBA surely seems to be an ideal choice for learners and working professionals who wish to climb the top ladder.  Even if you work in a completely unrelated field, an MBA can help you achieve your career goals. Given the time and money it entails, it’s understandable for some people to question whether pursuing an MBA is worth it or not but truth to be told, MBA opens up greater avenues for learners who want to work in management, finance, or as an entrepreneur develop the leadership qualities necessary to excel in these fields.

A master’s degree in business administration (MBA) will improve your professional marketability and open up more and better career prospects for you. Additionally, an MBA assists in developing leadership and interpersonal skills at work.

With the world waking up to the numerous advancement making consumers’ life easy, the gig economy has flourished steadily providing employment to the masses thus offering flexibility. But there will always be a steep comparison between a job after an MBA and taking gigs looking at the number of drawbacks it has making the gig work more challenging.

Freelancers may not have the same level of loyalty to their company as those who are employed permanently. As a result, gig economy businesses aren’t recognized for rewarding their workers. Such an arrangement can lead to a lack of loyalty, a drop in productivity, and a decrease in general motivation to work.

On top of all of this, companies in the gig economy don’t offer benefits to their employees. Also, independent contractors do not qualify as employees.

Lucrative pay cheques post-MBA courses

An MBA provides you with core management knowledge. As a result, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of business, including marketing, finance, and accounting, while also gaining essential soft skills and leadership abilities, with such exhaustive preparation, hands-on training, and experience on live industry projects gives an edge to the learner providing average rise of 28% in the salary compared to any other degree holder. An MBA’s compensation is heavily influenced by his or her school’s reputation. An MBA graduate can more than double their salary potential, bringing home well over twice the amount of the average starting salary for college graduates. Honestly, this does not even include the huge bonuses that many top Business school graduates rake in. 

In an environment of intense competition, your pay will increase in proportion to how well-regarded your university MBA School is and how well have you adapted the transferrable skills and capabilities to maintain your currency.

Also read: Gig workforce to grow threefold to 23.5 million by FY30

Key motivating drivers for pursuing an MBA

The industry has grown so fast that today we require skillsets that perhaps never existed 5 years back. Thanks to the technological boom which has brought significant shifts across sectors and geographies, pushing literally everyone to work on their existing professional competencies. However, I would still go ahead and classify learners who seek an MBA degree: For some, it’s largely about advancing and accelerating their careers—or deepening their skill set, whether that’s in the soft side of things like leadership and building teams, or on the harder side and some deeper technical and more functional skill sets. Next would ideally for learners who look at pivoting in their careers, as the unprecedented pandemic has brought a sense of skill redundancy to many, and has contributed to the Great Resignation movement. Therefore, a systematic learning structure that allows professionals to attain knowledge and work on their hands-on skills is quite critical, as it helps them chart out a career path for themselves. 

Strong business school recruitments in 2022

Some of India’s best Business schools have achieved high placement rates of 5 to 30 percent in the year 2022 as compared to last year’s placement scenario, which saw an average wage increase of between 3% and 5%. In 2022, most MBAs will be employed by consulting, technology, and financial services organisations. The consulting, finance, analytics, general management, and product management fields are among the most sought-job roles post MBAs.

Honing industrial and personal skills

The benefits of completing a technical business degree like an MBA can sometimes extend beyond your career ambitions into your personal life, both expected and unexpected. Graduates with an MBA degree have greater employment opportunities and earn more money than those without one. Managerial positions generally pay well, and this is the most sought-after qualification.

Those who complete an MBA degree are more likely to have access to a broader choice of career options. Only a few of the many specialised areas studied by an MBA degree include human resource management (HRM), statistics, IT and information systems (IS), and finance.

Entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly common among MBA graduates, giving rise to many new-age startups catering to a wide variety of services and solutions An MBA degree is essential for those who want to develop and run their own enterprises. How to create a market or operate and build a robust financial system to run a business are among the topics covered in this course. An entrepreneur who sets out on his or her own requires these qualities.

Today’s diversity of job roles in MBA

In times when freshers and seasoned working professionals are required to stay skilled and future-ready, online MBA programs with top Indian and Global B-schools are great career accelerators. It allows them to earn without having to suffer the opportunity cost, which indeed makes online learning a cost-efficient learning model. The other value adds also includes specializations for enabling them to tailor their degrees and gain the best of both worlds in terms of covering fundamentals and specialisations. For instance, it is possible to customize an MBA in Project Management to the specific needs of your sector of choice by learning business management and leadership skills. Several courses and abilities are critical to a successful firm, including leadership, communication, problem-solving, negotiation, and dispute resolution. 

The same can be said about an MBA in International Business, which prepares you for a job in global business. Specialities include training on global human resources, global strategy, and worldwide alliances in International Business.

To name a few, graduates of a marketing management MBA program can expect to work as marketing managers, brand managers, and market research analysts.

A rise in “MBA preferred” job listings

If you look at the job postings in recent times, you will find that a significant number of them have the term “MBA preferred” written next to them. Over the course of the past five years, this pattern has become increasingly prevalent. 

MBA graduates are more capable and skilled than those without an MBA when it comes to using reasoning skills in high-stress, critical situations and addressing challenging issues.

India to soon become a trillion-dollar digital economy 

By 2025-26, India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT estimates that the country would have a trillion-dollar digital economy and support 60 to 65 million jobs that are digitally enabled. 

NASSCOM also estimates that by 2026, India’s IT industry will need 95 million workers, of which 55 million will be digitally competent across major digital technologies like cloud computing, AI, big data analytics, and the IoTs.

Lastly, Indian MBA programs, both within premium B-schools and Global online MBAs are flourishing in particular because the country’s economy is shifting away from agriculture to technology, which is adding to the country’s GDP. In parallel, leading Edtech players in partnership with leading B-schools are propelling affordable and outcome-oriented learning for millions while also empowering them with globally-recognised degrees. So, this is the perfect time to pursue an online MBA program either with premium B-schools or with online contemporaries who are making quality Global MBA programs mainstream, that will empower you with the skills and self-assurance you need to embark on a rewarding professional career.

(The author is co-founder and MD, UpGrad. Views expressed are personal.)

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