It is often said and rightly so that education is an investment that is expected to pay throughout one’s life time. While market uncertainties and changing business landscape may require regular additional investments in retraining, careful thought in choosing a proper course with excellent career prospects is critical. The internet era and generation-Z which lives in e-space have rendered traditional thinking of choosing those programs of study with several decades long steady career path, redundant. For example once-hot careers such as computer hardware engineering and BPOs are today riddled with lower prospects or benched employees. It is time, therefore, for students (and parents) to rethink career options, keeping present and future realities in mind.

 Know your management program

While applying for a management program- be it at under-graduate or post-graduate level, one should opt for domain specific programs that are strongly linked to industry requirements. The education institute you are choosing should be driven by academic and non-academic activities as students can’t be holistically groomed in just classroom environment. At UPES, there is focus not only on knowledge, but equal emphasis is given on developing overall personality and soft skills without compromising on industry interface. That is the reason placements of our management students is over 90% in companies of repute.

Eligibility for Management Programs

Usually for BBA programs any student who is a 10+2 is eligible to apply. There are some BBA programs like Auto Marketing or Financial Analysis & Services where a student with science background or commerce background can do much better. Similarly, graduates with engineering background find it comfortable when they pursue our specialized MBAs like MBA in Power Management, Urban Infrastructure or Energy Trading. However, a particular education stream is not an eligibility criteria. In fact, we have seen exceptions as well in terms of students with non-related education stream doing well in their chosen specializations. For MBA most universities take admission through entrance exam route. A student’s numerical ability, written communication skills, comprehension and command over English language, reasoning and aptitude is tested. Numerical ability means how well a student can read data and graphic representations to derive insights. It is extremely important because as managers they have to go through a lot of reports, understand data, derive insights and take high-stake decisions.  A student’s verbal communication skills and other soft skills are tested during group discussion and personal interviews. We assess MBA aspirants on their confidence and commitment level also as MBA programs are diversified and students have to go through 30 to 40 different subjects in 2 years. Management skills and how well a student works in a team while respecting team ethos are also important. In case of UPES, once a student joins our program we further hone these skills besides providing them sector specific knowledge.

Any student who is aspiring to pursue an MBA, work experience can add tremendous value but it is not a pre-requisite. We have seen that some corporate experience brings relevant perspective and they try to make the most of their curriculum, faculty, academic and non-academic activities. Fresh graduates take some time to settle down and work harder. However, it completely depends on an individual as there are always exceptions and that’s why prior work experience is not an eligibility criteria to apply for an MBA at UPES.

Demand for BBA and MBA programmes

Application trend for BBA and MBA programs has been positive especially for specialized programs as both students and recruiters see a lot of value in these programs. Overall, these are professional courses and hence are related to the health of the economy and job market. In future, as primary sector gets more organized there will be increased demand for professional management graduates. Job structures and profiles may be changing with automation, better machines etc. but nothing can replace a professionally qualified, well-skilled human resource.

Domain specific MBAs are doing well that includes Aviation Management, Energy Trading, Business Analytics, Infrastructure Management, International Business Management, Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Oil & Gas Management, Port & Shipping Management and Power Management.

If an education institution is providing good academic infrastructure and grooming different aspects of an individual, then finding a right job will not be a problem. Organizations need employees who are good in hard skills (domain knowledge, technical knowledge) and soft skills (communication, team building, leadership etc.)

Industry integration

School of Business at UPES already has a robust industry integration program under which we have many MoUs and agreements with leading organizations and industry bodies like CIMA and ACCEA. Our flagship program MBA (International Business) is affiliated with NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) through its Sector Skill Council, AMHSSC. The department shall train and develop the skills of the selected students to be “Certified Export Manager” by the Government of India. This will be an added certification for the MBA IB students once they qualify the assessment examination to be conducted by NSDC. It will help the students get premium jobs in the exports/imports sector not only within the country but also globally as this certification is acceptable world over.

Last but not the least, it is extremely significant for any student to pursue his/her management education from a reputed B-school to ensure great learning, future progression and better career prospects. A non-reputed B-school may compromise on all this, causing more harm to a student then doing any good.

Dr. Deependra Kumar Jha

Vice Chancellor of UPES

Doctorate in Engineering in Artificial Complex System Engineering from Hiroshima University, Japan

Masters of Science in Power System Engineering and Bachelors of Science, Electrical Engineering from Tribhuvan University, Nepal