So, b.com is over and you are neither happy nor sad because the next question arises. Should I do MBA After b.com? So, in this article, I will take you through in detail, whether MBA makes sense or not for you.
MBA After B.com
Now, that’s usually the question, which also come up in your personal interview, for the selection process in an MBA college. At least, in the top MBA colleges, this question is pretty common and rightly so.
So, let me ask you. Are you planning for MBA, because that’s the most common qualification that people add, when they can’t find anything else to pursue?
Or have you really thought about, a career for which you want an MBA?
So, let me give you a couple of pointers, for which not to pursue MBA after b.com.
Reasons not to pursue MBA after B.COM
- Firstly, don’t pursue MBA after b.com for higher salaries.
- Secondly, don’t pursue MBA after b.com, if you are not clear on which field you want to get into.
- Thirdly, don’t pursue MBA if you want to be a technical person only.
- Fourthly, don’t pursue MBA if you don’t intend to get into the top 15 colleges in any country you reside.
- Finally, don’t pursue MBA, if you think adding a masters degree will help you in building your resume
So, I am sure many of you might have thought about MBA, in the above ways. Also, no need to feel weird or bad even if you have thought about MBA degree in the above ways.
What is MBA good for?
Now, the obvious question that should pop up is, then what is MBA? Well, MBA believe it or not, is a qualification that is absolutely not technical and quite the generalist qualification.
So, let me illustrate typical business problems that an MBA might help in solving.
- So, let’s say we had ten products that we are selling to customers in the southern part of India, however out of ten products, five have been introduced in the last couple of years.
Here, the MBA guy is expected to break down this problem in different angles of marketing, revenue, and product to give us a suggestion.
For eg; I should drop the five products and focus on the other five. Or maybe introduce the new five products in some other region. Also, it’s possible that the five products need better marketing. Moreover, it is also possible that the five products have technical issues.
Hence, hopefully, you can make out the word for an MBA guy, “ Jack of all trades, master of none”. So, he is the guy who should be able to understand anything and everything, just enough so that he can take a business decision.
Who is MBA after b.com?
Now, naturally, you might get excited and think that the generalist is the hero. Also, because he can do a lot of things at the same time, and its an adventurous career. Yay! Lets do MBA!
Stop! Just like many other things in life, the romance will quickly vanish sooner than you expect.
When I was a product manager, which is also one of the roles you get after an MBA, I was excited too. However, six years in the making, and I had no clue, sometimes what exactly I was doing.
Sometimes, I was building relationships with other companies, other times, or most of the time I was in firefighting mode. Also, a lot of time I wanted to really focus on one thing, but the job had a perpetual deadline for everything. So, the designation itself didn’t allow me to spend three days on one problem
This is how my typical day looked like
- Get to the office and plan the day for the technical product managers for the day and week. That took almost one hour of my prime time.
- As soon, as I was planning to change gears and focus on my own project, I get a call from the CEO. Now, you are basically the ideas dump for your CEO. Also, the CEOs get a lot of ideas every day, and you need to be the filter for either accepting it or rejecting
- CEO’s call over, next just as I am about to type the research keyword on a google search engine, I get a call from the MD. Now, this time its about some virtual seminar, and he needs some help in understanding my products.
- Once, I am done with the calls, I get calls from a branch or regional managers or product issues. Next thing, I find myself finding my technical guy, in fixing the issue.
- So, its already 2 pm by now. The personal project is of course on the wait list for now. Because I also need to present the product plan for the year.
- Once, I am in the product plan I am next, stuck with the details of the product, and I need to find the technical team on the technicalities that I don’t understand.
- By 5 Pm, I get calls from the accounting team asking me questions on tax-related queries on the product.
- By 7 pm, I finally start getting some time to work on my own project and I continue that till 8:30 or 9 pm. The office is empty by now, and I am the last one to leave but always the first one to come. But, not because I want to but because I have to, to get focussed time for the project.
Generalist is Not For Everyone
Generalist roles, over time, can make you feel out of place and will also sometimes make you feel aimless. So tread with caution. I hung my boots for the generalist role for the company, because I felt, If I have to really do that kind of work, might as well do it for myself and for my own start-up.
Which, I did. So, on the bright side, if I think about it, that experience made my setup business a breeze. Of course, a lot has to be attributed also to the culture of the organization and not all generalist roles, have to be chaos.
Career Options after MBA
So, now that I have made it very clear to you the typical industry need of traits of the person. You should be able to understand the career options too.
So, let me break down the roles after MBA, according to the fields of business.
- Human Resource
So, these are the parts of the business, and an MBA graduate at least from a good college are expected to solve problems in each of these departments.
Now, marketing itself is such a small word but if you think about it. My god, my head starts spinning on the kind of problems and work roles that exists.
So, I’ll rather make it simpler by focussing on the stages of the life cycle of a product or service for a company.
- Product Manager: Yes, the same role I got into. You are the guy in the company that has to do everything but never gets credit for anything. So product ideation, product plan, marketing channels, and distribution channels. Most of the time you would be either firefighting or making presentations. And a lot of them.
- Brand Manager: That’s a product manager itself, but brand managers are hired for large FMCG type of products, where the major work is in managing distribution channels and general marketing. So, evaluation of the efficacy of your marketing strategies, creating discount policies, etc.
So, finance again can be seen in two parts, one is corporate finance roles & the other is investment finance roles.
In corporate finance, the major roles that a person can get into are
- Financial planning
- Strategy or Treasury
Mostly, these roles are technical but a lot of candidates also tend to get into the business side of finance. For e.g.; handing Bond sales for a bank like Citi bank. In which you are assigned a region and are expected to ensure higher sales, customer satisfaction, etc.
On, the other hand an MBA finance guy can also plan his career in roles like equity research, investment banking, investment banking operations, etc. Where the role can be either technical or managerial.
Again, mostly you might think that you would be working as a recruiter but that’s not the case. Since, there are a lot of functions in human resource, which are bigger than recruitment.
The roles, which might be preferred for an MBA with HR are;
So, if you notice I haven’t added the typical functions of talent acquisition because that is more repetitive in nature, whereas the above roles requires the “Jack of all trades” skills.
So, the operation is the next big place, with chaos about to burst out of control. So, basically, the ops guy, is there to ensure that the organs of the main business, keep functioning without hiccups.
Now, I’ll list the typical roles after MBA operations;
- Operations Manager
- Production analyst
- Purchase manager
- Distribution manager
- Quality analyst
- Plant manager
MBA After experience or MBA After B.com fresher?
My straight answer to this is the former, MBA after the experience. The reason is not just because experience, adds any value in getting a good MBA college. Nope, that’s not true and the effect is very minor. However, the real reason why I recommend to get some experience, is so that you at least understand;
- Basic corporate life
- Business functions like sales, marketing
- You learn how to talk to people
- Understand how a business works at the ground level
- Get to learn, that life outside college demands progress and reporting.
So, treat this as an apprenticeship or internship rather than experience. How can a general of the army lead his men to war, unless he himself has fought wars before?
Also, the same reason why Elon Musk, has his de taste of MBA graduates. Because, MBA freshers expect to get a take a parachute and arrive on the top of the hill.
Colleges to Target For MBA after B.COM
Now, let’s foray into the means to get an MBA. Also, let me make it very clear that my list is not sponsored and I really don’t give a *** about the rankings published by any source. This list is based on my experience, with working graduates of these colleges and the type of faculties that they have.
Also, a big “ NO”, for MBAs abroad after b.com, unless its Harvard, INSEAD etc which are the top colleges for business worldwide.
- IIM A,B,C( Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata)
- XLRI Jamshedpur
- FMS Delhi
- SIBM( Symbiosis Institute of Business Management)
- SP Jain Mumbai
- NMIMS Mumbai
- IMT Ghaziabad
- NITIE Mumbai
- IIM Lucknow
- MICA Ahmedabad
That’s it! So, do not at any cost do an MBA after b.com from any college apart the list I just mentioned. Either, you get into these colleges and do an MBA or you don’t do an MBA at all. Also, the reason why I am so stringent with the list is that any names beyond these is just a compromise.
So, if you notice I haven’t added names like IIM Ranchi because I think the quality is not as good as these names. Sooner or later when you will arrive in the corporate world, the location of IIMs will matter.
Pre- MBA Leg Work
Now, most often than not I understand that you may not get into the above-mentioned colleges in one go. Also, it doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you. In fact, the aptitude test conducted is by no means, the final indication of your intelligence.
Hence, you need to keep a budgeted time for re-attempts for the CAT exam, for planning MBA after b.com. So, my suggestion would be somewhere between two to three years. While these two to three years get spent, I am assuming that its non-negotiable that you are working parallelly and also building some skills around your areas of expertise.
Exploration- Stage 1- (One to two years)
Right after your graduation, you want to consider the first two years as exploration. So, exploration means trying things out without obsessing too much at the start itself on the final path to take.
This can be done in two ways
- Working with different functions( For eg work in sales, intern at a digital marketing firm)
- Short skill courses, without the obsession of collecting certifications.
Exploration Stage 2(3rd Year)
At this stage, you want to zero on the final area, albeit marketing, finance, Human resource or operations. While, if you have done the leg work then you should also be somewhat clear, on the function you want to work on in these fields as well.
Hence, making sure you do and make a plan not just for 1 year of MBA entrance after b.com. But rather giving yourself, 2-3 years of breathing time, will ensure that 40 years of your career is better and more focussed.
Parallel Skills Along with B.com for MBA
So if you want to explore finance, then you want to start with some hard skills like
If you begin your exploration for marketing then, you can explore
- Digital marketing
- SEO Marketing
- Social media marketing
- Marketing management courses
- Also, may be machine learning
The idea is to explore as much as possible at this stage, without worrying too much on what you are going to get. You never know, what you get unless you experience.
MBA Salary after B.com
Now, for this I ain’t going to use some third party sources, but I’ll rather use the IIM and another college final placement report. So, that you understand the earning potential, while also understanding the factors that decide it.
Salary Range for MBA After B.com
Below, I am tabulated the median salary of all the top 10 MBA colleges in India, and this is the precise reason why I was saying top 10. So, it doesn’t matter whether you land up in a SIBM or let’s say NITIE, but MBA after b.com hast to be done from these college only. Also, the difference between SIBM & NMIMS is miniscule. Where from XLRI to FMS, the median salary is constant.
Effect of Experience on Salary– MBA after b.com
If you look at the above data then clearly you can see that there are ample people in the fresh graduate, 1-2 years & three years and above experience category.
The above statistic is of the FMS Placement report, which shows that 2 to thee years of experience can have a major effect on higher salaries.
At the same time, if we bifurcate the total offers for placements, by salary and function then this is what is given.
Hence, we can clearly see that the majority of them take up the consulting tole in which the median salary is around 25 lacs. So, I am referring to median because averages will be biased towards the higher salary.
Major Roles after MBA
Now, let’s dive into the understanding of what roles, get these salaries and that would also help you in understand why I was saying exposure during the graduation days.
If we look at FMS, for example, the major offers are in consulting.
So, what I did is that I consolidated most of the top 10 college placements into functions and the result is presented here. As you can see, apart from IIM Lucknow and IMT Ghaziabad, the majority of placements happen in consulting.
Now, the reason for this trend is because consulting companies like McKinsey, Boston consulting group etc have many functions under which they offer services.
For eg; McKinney can do strategic consulting for marketing, manufacturing, Finance, and operations too. Also, this is where they also get a chance to use your previous education & work experience background for consulting.
Finally, that also enables colleges like IIM’s to get their high bucks, to make MBA a worthwhile endeavor.
So, that’s extensive coverage of MBA after b.com, hopefully, the information was useful. I wish you the best, for future success, but always bear in mind that take any education decisions based on such critical analysis.
Also remember, if you are not going to do an MBA from this perspective, then skip it instead. Trust me, you will save a ton, plus you will not be in a spiral fall of remorse later.