MBA can be hard, but choosing the right place to do your MBA is even harder. In the previous post, I talked about finding the right B-School for your MBA. When I looked up on google, I realised that everybody is talking about the Best B-Schools and Best Courses, but nobody has talked about the worst.
'He has an MBA from Wharton.'
‘He has an MBA from Wharton.’
Sounds very brutal, right?
But someone has to talk about it. So, this time, I will talk about the 5 Worst Places to do MBA.
Looking for the Best B-School for MBA? Check Out 10 things you should know about B-Schools
According to a recent report in The Hindu- Private B-Schools in Tamil Nadu failed to fulfil even 50% intake of MBA students in the year 2013-14.
“The number of applicants this year in every college was dismally low. Many students chose the courses during counselling but did not join,”
-S. Aramugham, principal of a private college
Do you know why most of the students turned away from these B-Schools? It is not because they lost interest in the subject, but because they found a lot of alternatives for their MBA course.
Alternatives? What do you mean by that?
Yes, you heard it right- Alternatives. Nowadays students who want to pursue an MBA have multiple options to choose from. They do not have to rely on the highly ranked State-run Management programmes anymore. These alternatives are as follows:
There are of course good alternatives like a Top Private B-School or a foreign B-School like Harvard or Duke’s but I am not going to talk about them. I will be talking about the WORST Alternatives! The ones that will eat away your money, waste your time and mess up your career!
What Worst B-School Alternatives can do:
The first online MBA programme was started in 1987 by Aspen University. The popularity of this medium grew in the 2000s as internet and Personal Computers became household entities. Today over 60% of the MBA courses are offered online and more than 80% of these unaccredited to any of the major three accreditation agencies.
Online MBA Facts:
There are Online MBA courses offered by the top B-Schools and it seems very attractive because candidates can get the qualification from the comfort of their homes or office. But studying online requires lot of self-imposed discipline and time management. Even if you are doing an online MBA from a top B-School then also it will lack the calibre of a campus-based MBA programme as you will miss out on the group discussions, classroom participation and the personal touch of a mentor.
Despite of this, many young MBA aspirants end up with online MBA courses because it seems easy and comfortable. What makes it worse is the fact that a number of online B-Schools have mushroomed as a result, taking advantage of the fact that an Online B-School does not massive infrastructure and easy availability of online platforms.
“If you have a computer, internet, a web domain and host- then you can start your own MBA program. It is as simple as that!”
– Courtney Wahlberg, MBA Guru
Many young entrepreneurs have found an easy way to make money after their graduation- they simply start their own B-Schools with the help of insignificantly low funding and influence-based online marketing. Poor students fall prey to such traps and end up wasting their money and time. Students need to be careful when they are thinking online MBAs even if it is being offered by a reputed University like Harvard or Oxford. You must understand that an online programme lacks a personal touch and those students who are used to a teacher-pupil classroom environment will find it extremely difficult to cope up with an online programme.
All of you must have heard of Distance Learning. It is not a new term. Distance learning or learning by correspondence has been a popular medium of higher studies for ages. However, Distance Learning is not a preferred medium of education for Technical and Business courses, where a more practical approach is needed over a mere theoretical mode of learning.
The basic difference between an Online MBA programme and a distance MBA is that the latter demands the candidate to attend a minimum number of classes in an academic period. Most of the time they are provided with intense study materials, reference books, recorded videos and teleconferencing. Nowadays, distance learning is blending into online learning and soon both of them will be merged into one broad category, and we will have one less type of BAD alternative.
Colleges offer many kinds of seemingly attractive features like Fast-track Modes, 100% Results, Flexible payment modes, 1 Yr MBA etc, but keep in mind that if a 2-year course is taking only 1 year or 6 months, then there is definitely something wrong with the programme!
A decent Distance MBA programme should be accredited and have a minimum completion time of 2 years, which is the standard for all MBA programmes. If you see anything besides this, then simply skip that option… because it is a BAD alternative.
Higher Education in India has changed dramatically in the past decade. In the late 90s, only a handful of Universities offered World-Class MBA programmes to a selected Cream of Indian students. Therefore, many students preferred to study abroad, in countries like USA & UK. Few Indian universities started collaborating with International Universities. However, the cost of acquiring these degrees was huge.
An MBA program in the USA can cost anywhere between Rs 30-80 lakh, and add living and food expenses for the two-year period that will be spent there and students end up spending a fortune there, and it takes them a long time to make up for the investment even if they end up getting placed in the USA. Few students end up in depression because of an over-burdening education loan and peer pressure.
So as an alternative, students (often at the advice of counsellors) opt for admission in lower-rated B-Schools abroad. I call them B-Grade B-Schools. One pays lesser fees in B-Grade B-Schools and the expense comes down to around 8-15 lakh for a 2-year programme. However, what is the use of a cheap MBA programme when you can do a far better MBA programme in India itself at the same cost. The advantage of doing an MBA from a private college in India is that the Cost of Living will be at least 10 times lesser than USA or UK!
MBA, PhD ¬£100,000 student loan. Please Help.
So, you must be thinking about placements. If you studied abroad, you have a better chance of getting a job abroad.
Oh really? That is a naïve thought. If it is a B-Grade B-School, then it might not even have an accreditation, and recruiters in developed countries do not even consider unaccredited MBA degree holders for a front-office job.
“Doing a top MBA from a developing country like India, South Africa or Brazil is a much better option than an MBA from USA/UK”
– Vanaja Seetharaman, Recruiter
'I told you - they'll send me all these impressive looking diplomas when I pay off my student debt!'
While conducting a seminar in Pune, one of the MBA aspirants asked me a very cute question.
He asked, ‘I found a very cheap MBA programme costing Rs. 50000 from a new University based in Noida. The School is currently unaccredited but looks very promising and is licenced by some board of education. Is this a good program? Do employers give placement to students from unaccredited institutes?’.
Seriously, if you think an MBA worth 50 grand will land you in a Fortune 500, then make sure that the job profile will be that of a photocopy operator or an office boy. Do not go after cheap MBA programmes as they are nothing but a way of churning out money from desperate aspirants who could not get into the good ones just because:
They did not have enough money
They did not get a good CAT score
They failed in the Selection Round
They simply lack the attitude and aptitude of a Management student
Let me put it this way- Doing an MBA from an unaccredited university is equivalent to buying a Sedan with no engine. In fact, what they give you as a completion certificate is simply a piece of paper which has no value. In fact, in some countries, candidates who apply with such degrees are booked with cases of felony and fraud for producing fake certificates.
Yes, that’s right- FAKE! Beware of such fraudsters. Your money and your career are at stake. Do you really want to do that? In fact, even if the tuition fee is in lakhs, then also you must not go for an unaccredited B-school as its degree has no value whatsoever.
There are real B-Schools which provide affordable MBA programmes and are internationally accredited. Click here to check them out.
Franchise based B-Schools
If Unaccredited MBA programmes are like Sedans without an engine, then MBA degrees given by Franchise based B-Schools are BMWs made in China!
You know what I mean, right?
As everyone knows that India (mainly due to its soaring population of youngsters) is the most profitable destination for education, and that’s why everyone wants a piece of the pie. Many well-known foreign names in education are finding an easy way to get into the Indian market- By starting franchises.
According to smallbusiness.chron.com- An Franchise is an investment in which one pays another business for the right to use its brand name and products. When it comes to food outlets like McDonalds and KFC, you can be sure that the product that the franchisee is giving you good product or not instantly by tasting (or even smelling the BigMac). However, it is very difficult and almost impossible to confirm whether the degree and education given by a B-School Franchisee is authentic or not. Sometimes, the candidate realizes this at the time of placement when no reputed company arrives on campus or when he applies for off-campus placements.
A Franchise based B-School might or might not be Accredited. If it is unaccredited, then it will also fall in the previous category. If it is accredited, then it is possible that the Franchisor (i.e the original university/B-School) is accredited, but the Franchise is just using the accreditation of the Franchisor. So, basically they get away with the whole accreditation factor and run a sub-standard program under the guise of a reputed Big daddy’s brand name.
So, you might be studying in a B-School whose name might be that of a famous French Business School, but what you get might be just another B-Grade B-School education at an escalated cost. And after all that hard work and spending, your degree might not even be worth consideration of the recruiter. Do you want that for result?
The choice is yours!
Went back to get my MBA.
These days it is really hard to stand out from the ever-expanding sea of MBA graduates. However, skipping BAD Alternatives is the best way to avoid drowning in this sea.
An MBA from a reputed B-School that International Accreditation will make you Recruiter’s most preferred candidate. To know more about such B-Schools you can check out my previous post.
“You can either drown in the sea or be the recruiter’s favourite- The Choice is Yours!”