In a country wherein, headways in business and technology happen just about every single day it becomes a pre-requisite to keep oneself abreast with contemporary advancements in management domains. Amidst such immense activity world over, it’s of utmost significance that an aspiring professional is adept with the management roles and decision-making abilities. An MBA thus becomes the most sought-after recourse for leaders wishing to cause ripples in the status quo and scaling their professional careers to new heights.

This curriculum precisely caters to bridging the gap between the theoretical and the practical aspects of classroom teachings and takes the learning on field to face the real-world scenarios. The kernel of the programme lies in the pedagogy which is dynamic, innovative and adds substantial value at each stage. It acquaints the student with the understanding and skills of various dimensions of a business like marketing, economics, finance, operations, human resource and others. Inculcating case methodology/ discussions, group exercises, interactive class participation, frequent guest lectures by industry stalwarts, live projects and internships in the MBA programme imbibes the student with ample skill sets while giving them opportunities to build industry networks.

The teachings extend the classrooms and help shape an individual’s personality, makes one a productive team member, improves communication skills assists in honing one’s leadership qualities, makes one a problem-solver and fine tunes the analytical thought process.

The programmes are designed to prepare students for careers in industry, across functional areas. This equips them with strong conceptual skills to manage businesses in an integrated manner. These activities act as a strong foundation and help the student build an excellent career on these grounds. The emphasis is on developing a holistic manager with a vision to take on the challenges of the future in a socially sensitive manner.

Largely, an MBA aims towards shaping individuals who are well versed technically and know how to manage and lead teams which produce unparalleled results. The understanding of various business processes, strategy building, operations and other technicalities of a business are imparted to the student in an exhaustive manner at an early stage of the career. Students pursuing MBA thus, have an advantage of becoming shrewd decision makers, efficient problem solvers and leaders who envision upcoming changes and also lead them because of the comprehensive structure of the programme.

Though considered as one of the most reputed courses across academics, there have been doubts and questions by critiques about the relevance of an MBA program in today’s business environment. These reservations are majorly because of the kind of investments people make to pursue in such course. It is a well-known fact that MBA graduates enjoy a certain privilege when it comes to job hiring due to their professional approach towards studies and the amount of exposure they receive in their twoyear programme.

Over the years it has evolved itself according to the changing market requirements and needs. This has become more dynamic and practical in terms of industry oriented course modules and the kind of activities that take place on the campuses across universities. The contemporary MBA courses have intelligently structured to cater to the on-going needs of the industry — be it corporate, business specific or even start-up specific. This is one of the fundamental reasons that give immense credibility.

Today, MBA is not what it used to be few years ago, modern MBA has remodelled itself entirely on grounds of the business activities occurring throughout world economies. Considering the case of our country, Common Admission Test is the entry ticket to getting into a premier B-school. Recent years have shown that MBA holds enough relevance in the industry and amongst students as well.

The number of students who wrote CAT in 2015 was 2,18,664 and this number increased to a seven year high in 2016 with total number of registrations at 2,32,434. This is one indicator of the increasing need of industry specific knowledge that MBA provides. Even experts have shown interest in the structuring of the CAT examination to suit the modern industry requirements, which again translates the need of the programme. Trends have also shown that the dominance of engineers in writing CAT does not prevail anymore.

The kind of diversity the industry demands is one factor which has led to this change. The gender diversity has also improved significantly over the years. These trends highlight the requirement of the course and the interest it has garnered amongst students because of the opportunities it provides. The industry clearly shows how candidates with an MBA accelerate their chances of securing high paying jobs with responsible job titles.

Even across companies the emphasis is laid on hiring MBA graduates over other fields. According to TNN, more than 90 per cent employers expressed that they believe recent MBAs create and add immense value for their companies. Almost 70 per cent agreed to hiring an MBA is their priority for recruitments. These figures further strengthen the case for the demand by corporates and the value addition it can bring to a person’s profile.

Apart from the academics and the campus activities, the opportunities it provides in terms of networking in various domains give the student a deep understanding of the overall business environment.

(The writer is professor- marketing, International Management Institute IMI Delhi)