MBA Career Change: What you need to be aware of

Kabhi khushi kabhi gham! That might be the best way to describe the roller-coaster ride you can expect if you are hoping to use your MBA to change careers. In the area of MBA jobs, before the euphoria comes a lot of pain. Here are a few basic principles to keep in mind to make the entire process a little less frustrating. 

A career change could come in various shapes and forms. It could be an industry change: from IT to Strategy Consulting, from retail to investment banking, from manufacturing  to real estate. Or it could be a role change: technical to functional transition. Or it could be a complete transition of industry AND role. In typical MBA style let’s lay out a 3 X 3 career transition model (we are tired of 2 X 2 matrices). So 3 questions to ask in 3 phases.

Choose the right post-MBA career

– What is it about the new field that excites you?

– What skills and capabilities do you consider as your strengths?

– How much do you know about the new role/industry and how can you fit in?

Choose the right MBA program

– What are the gaps that you are hoping to fill during your MBA program?

– Are there specific opportunities, courses or contacts that you can build or develop during your course?

– Have other alumni already done what you are trying to do or are you the lone ranger who’s all set to make history?

Choose the right tools and techniques to facilitate the transition

– What can you do before your MBA program starts to lay down the foundation?

– What can you do while the MBA course is still on?

– What can you do after the MBA course is over when you can focus completely on the job search?

Of course, a one-size-fits-all approach would never work here. So each of these questions is just the starting point. You can use these questions drill down further in each area and come up with a framework that fits your profile in the best possible manner. Both MG and I have managed a complete post-MBA career transition. So as always, if you get stuck along the way, give us a holler and we’d be glad to put you back on track.

Here’s a list of career options.

Also, read this related post: Fear and shame of career change.


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Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat

Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here’s more about me. Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin

7 Comments

  1. Sherry says:

    Hello Sameer,

    Was surfing and came across you’re blog. Need some serious help regarding my career as I’m finding myself seriously stuck in mid-life career crisis.

    After doing B.Tech in Computer Science, I joined TCIL as a Network Engineer which I did for 1 year. Soon I got a chance to work with TechMahindra as a Senior Network Analyst for AT&T Network. The package i got in TechM was quite less. I worked in TecM for 2years after which I joined Radio Design Pvt Ltd as a Asst.Manager-Technology Sales.

    Now the issue is I’m having approx package of 4lakh/annum after working for 4 years which is quite less. I’m thinking of doing mba by giving CAT and other exams but I’m not financially sound. I feel like after taking a loan from bank I’ll be under much much pressure,as it’ll lead to nightmares of getting a good placement else i’ll be nowhere. Also, I see distance mba as an option as I’ve 4 yrs experience and can land up to a better job than my current one.

    Please suggest what should be my course of action as it’s draining my brain and capability of thinking.

    Regards

    • Sameer Kamat says:

      Sherry, it’s not very clear why you want an MBA. If it’s only for a pay hike (as opposed to a career change) then I’m not sure if you’ll get the RoI you expect.

      After 4 years work experience, CAT MBA options aren’t very good. you’ll be back in the classroom with freshers and struggling for junior positions.

      Maybe it’s just a matter of finding a better employer and a better role to grow. Do re-think your MBA plans.

  2. Aditi says:

    Hi Sameer ,

    I completed my B.Com in 2012 and after that I started working for an audit firm . Now I am having 2 yrs 10 months experience in the area of Auditing . I want a career change . So I am looking for a career change to the field of Administration. Keeping my experience in mind some of the people have advised me to do an Executive PGDM. But I am still confused. Will the Executive PGDM help me in the long run.Please advise is it worth doing an Executive PGDM If i need a career change .

  3. Sameer Kamat says:

    Aditi, an Executive MBA won’t help as much as a full-time MBA. Read this post:

    Why regular full-time MBA and not Executive MBA

  4. Sahibha says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am 28 years old and I am teaching in primary classes in school. I am deeply interested in painting, and want to make a career in it but i don’t have a degree. I plan to do 4 year BFA now but confused whether i should leave present job and after completing BFA i will be 32 and what will be the job possibilities for me at that time.please suggest what to do.

    Thanks
    Regards
    Sahibha

  5. Amit says:

    HI Sameer
    I am 27 year old . I have graduated from NIT HAMIRPUR and from last 5 year i have been working in NHPC Ltd( A hydro power public ltd.).
    My current package is approx. 11lakh/annum. I want to switch career to banking/finance. my gmat score is 710 . I can not go abroad for some personal reasons. As there is a complete career change, my conundrum is that if one year MBA from ABC will be good enough to assist my desire to switch career or should i go to conventional two year MBA or should i try for RBI grade B and after getting some experience go for one year MBA.

  6. NN says:

    Hi Sameer,
    I’m in the Defence with 21 yrs service (Infantry), age 43 yrs, education qualifications BA from JNU and MSc in Defence and Strategic Studies from Chennai University. Served in all four corners of the country including with the UN in Africa. I am planning to do MBA and am preparing for GMAT. I want to find out what all options (apart from HR) do I have after doing MBA. Thanks.

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