Two things to look for in choosing the best B-school

Published: 08 August, 2019 15:53 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Since it is the season where b-school admissions are in full swing here's what students and their families need to look for or ensure while making their choice of b-school whatever the specialisation be

The picture has been used for representational purposes
The picture has been used for representational purposes

The sheer range of career paths that open up for an MBA graduate continues to make it attractive and keep the demand for management courses high despite the hic-cups on the jobs front and questions over the job-readiness of those graduating. With over 3500 b-schools to choose from across India, the task of both prospective students and their families, in choosing the right one, is growing more complex than ever. With the mish-mash that numerous ranking studies throw up making it even harder. Since it is the season where b-school admissions are in full swing here's what students and their families need to look for or ensure while making their choice of b-school whatever the specialisation be.

The first would be to spend a lot of time in understanding the pedagogy adopted by the institute. While these days everyone proclaims it to be practical, in reality, it is not easy. Implementing a case-study based teaching approach requires high-quality faculty who are trained and can deliver it well in the classroom.

Dr. Sandeep Pachpande, Chairman, ASM Group says, "Speaking from my personal experience having gone through the case study based pedagogy at Harvard Business School can only say that we have a long way to go but it is highly important that we shift to it at the earliest as it makes learning more interactive and relevant for the students. While also addressing the industry readiness that the employers demand. One way to check this is also whether the institute offers a cohort of additional certification options preferably from globally renowned institutions. Am saying that more so because most of the global ones have been using case study based teaching pedagogy for a long time and thus have a wider/deeper repository besides the global exposure they provide."

Second would be to look for the level of industry integration. Again want to be doubly careful about using the word industry since it has been quite used out of context by many in the industry. It is not just about having 10-12 senior professionals taking lectures for the students once in a while. That is not industry integration nor does it help the student in any manner. For a student to gain any significant level of exposure or understanding one needs a tighter integration of industry in curriculum and much more than one-off lectures. What the students should look for and seek details is on whether the curriculum is designed by someone from the industry or a leading player in the industry. And if that company also provides joint certification for the same at the end of the course along with the university, the institute is affiliated with. Let me give a real example. If you are studying business analytics and the course itself is designed by someone like IBM and it also issues a certificate at the end of the course, it means immense value. Because the student is learning something that is industry designed, current and he also is assessed by someone in that industry and certified. Again this goes back to address the job readiness challenge that b-school graduates face increasingly these days.

"I agree with students and their families that employability and providing the foundation for sustainable and quality careers is something that b-schools must focus on and deliver. Not just degrees and theoretical learning which, one can easily get online these days without much effort," says Pachpande.

Of course, don't intend to offer these 2 as the criteria that guarantee a great career but believe will help the students and their parents make a better choice than the one they would have made otherwise.

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