What is an MBA?
By definition, an MBA (here’s the full form of MBA) is an internationally accepted masters (post-graduate) level degree that
- imparts a strong theoretical foundation in business concepts
- provides practical opportunities (via internships, group assignments and individual projects) to test what students learn in the class
- builds hard-skills in the areas of management and leadership
- polishes a range of soft-skills like communication, motivation and negotiation
- opens up global opportunities for career growth
- allows MBA students to start an independent business after graduating
Whether you are looking at MBA courses in India or abroad, the choices can make the process overwhelming. Starting from the type of the program to shortlisting the best MBA courses, it takes lot of effort.
However, if you can structure your process and knock out the options that don’t fit your needs, life can become a little easy.
Types of MBA courses
MBA courses can come in a wider variety of formats. The most common types of MBA courses are as follows: Full-time MBA, Executive MBA, Part time MBA, Correspondence Course, Distance MBA Courses, Online MBA courses…Phew! Quite a mind-boggling choice.
Each one has its pros and cons. Though there is no single best format, the full-time MBA format can get you the biggest bang for your buck.
The average duration of full-time MBA programs can range between 1 to 2 years. You’ll find programs like INSEAD that are shorter than 1 year. The duration of part-time programs can extend up to 3 years, since students are working and studying at the same time.
Read this post to understand the different types of MBA courses.
There are no clear answers to which one would be best for everyone. Here’s a candidate who explains how he tackled the online eMBA course vs full-time MBA dilemma.
MBA course fees
While the MBA fees of many low ranking programs (that often struggle to get students enrolled) might be very low, the fees can really shoot up for the elite management programs.
And it’s not just the course fees that you need to consider. There are other costs too like the visa fees, books, laptop, flight costs, study trip expenses and the biggest (hidden) one that most MBA students overlook – the opportunity cost.
Read this article to get an idea of the MBA Cost in India, USA and across the world.
Not sure whether you should go for a traditional MBA (e.g. PGP from IIM) in India or a foreign MBA? Read the views of an Indian student who attended the best MBA courses in India and abroad: IIM MBA in India vs MBA abroad: Which is better?
Our view is that it doesn’t make much practical sense to go for a business degree when you haven’t spent enough time in a real job understanding how the corporate world works.
Since good MBA courses are expensive, many students fund their MBA courses using education loans. However, a few smart students who manage the application strategy well get a significant amount of financial aid. Read how these students got partial and full MBA scholarships from really good MBA universities.
MBA course details
In the initial period, the course syllabus covers the following core subjects:
Accounting, Economics, Corporate finance, Strategy/Frameworks, Human Resource Management, Organisational Behaviour, Leadership, Marketing, Information Technology
Once the basic foundation has been laid, you’ll have the option of specialising in any area that you want. This can be done by choosing several electives.
Get up to speed by learning some important concepts covered in the MBA program. Read this article on MBA syllabus. It has a wealth of knowledge and free lessons covering the most basic and common subjects taught in the top MBA schools in USA, UK, Canada. You’ll also get an idea of whether you really enjoy this field or it’s only the glamour of money that’s attracting you to an MBA.
Here’s a list of MBA Specializations you can select from.
Teaching techniques and methodology for MBA students
Apart from the regular lecture based teaching that most students are already familiar with, MBA pedagogies also employ new methodologies to ensure that the learning is maximised. Two popular techniques are the Case study method and Group assignments.
Case study method
For learning business and becoming a successful manager, theory itself is not sufficient. Different business situations need to be simulated and presented to the students so that they workaround and find the best possible practical solution for a given set of circumstances.
The case studies may contain useful data as well as data which may not be of much use. So the students learn to collect all the relevant information, organise it, analyse it from the perspective of the person in the case study and then arrive at a decision.
Here it is not just the final answer which is important but also the thinking, deriving and learning process which is emphasised upon so that the students get trained to deal with various real-life corporate-situations.
Here’s an article that explains how the MBA case study method works.
Group work is another way in which students can enrich their learning experience. Groups should preferably be formed among students with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. Each group would ideally comprise of 4-5 students.
The interaction among the group members gives them a chance to understand other’s point of view and way of thinking. Each member should make it a point to actively be involved in the discussions and while presenting the final outcome.
The success of the group work depends on the full-fledged co-operation and participation of each team member. The essence of teamwork is thus stressed upon through this exercise.
Best MBA courses list
There are several MBA rankings that you can refer to in order to decide which MBA course works best for you. Some prominent ones are Financial Times, Businessweek and US News. Each publication has its own way to filter and rank the top MBA colleges abroad. You’ll find the details here: Best MBA rankings
We’ve created our own full-time MBA course list based on online popularity. Check it out here – business school rankings
Once you’ve decided on the type / duration / location of the MBA course, you’ll have to prepare a strategy to tackle the MBA application.
Here’s a quick primer explaining how to get into the best MBA courses abroad.