The world of business today is dynamic and challenging. Gone are the days when employees had singular responsibilities and hardly any performance appraisal. Employment, seemingly, is a corollary of education. And choosing career paths begins where education ends, and education never ends. And unless skills are continuously updated through education, retaining a given job itself will be difficult in the future. Such is the pace of the developing world, driven by market economy and profit motives.

Today, most organisations expect their employees to not just handle their assigned responsibilities but add value in many different ways. This requires them to have all round knowledge of the business environment and not just the area of expertise. Employees are also expected to be smart and presentable, not just mentally but physically. MBA courses by far are the only ones which enable individuals to develop the above required skills and competencies.

From a stage where management education was not previously given its due in terms of recognition or appreciation, today, the industry has acknowledged that it needs academia and the two are no longer exclusive. Management courses definitely give you a solid foundation for your career and a fulltime course always makes more sense compared to a part-time course, unless if one is already working and looking at a refresher to stay updated.

Management education has transformed considerably over the past decade and more so over the past few years after the global recession in 2008. These days, students have access to a lot of electives that never existed earlier, with niche specialisations. Now, independent institutes or autonomous courses have the flexibility to provide a syllabus that is in tune with what the corporates demand at any given stage.

This brings us to the key factor that prospective students have to consider before joining any B School specialisations. If an institution offers two to three electives as part of the syllabus, companies will definitely give it serious consideration from the recruitment point of view.

Corporates plan their recruitment after taking into account just who is coming to teach these specialised courses. Is it an inhouse faculty who has never worked in that particular field or is it a mix of in-house and visiting faculty who have industry experience? An institution that offers the right combination will be given greater consideration and preference in the recruitment process.

Indian B Schools are very pro-active in terms of guiding and counselling prospective. The question facing us today is whether the students who select courses are making an informed choice or doing so out of compulsion. Students need to be relatively clear on this aspect. For instance, previously many students wanted to join BPOs because they have heard about starting salaries of Rs 15,000 and above, but that was before they realised what the job specifically involves. Specialisation can be a bigger success in future, if the decision is taken after three to four years of work experience.

The writer is with eastern institute for integrated learning in management, Kolkata