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    MBA or MS after Engineering? Ending Your Confusion

    by BML Munjal University January 6, 2020

    A lot of students in the past couple of years are seen to be heading towards foreign countries, especially to the US, UK and Australia to pursue higher studies like MBA or MS in Engineering.

    This has resulted in an increasing number of Indian students to take up the GRE examination each year to apply for the numerous postgraduate courses in the US. GRE scores are accepted worldwide, but are more common in the US B-schools offering MBA degrees and MS programs.


    Choosing a course for graduation is difficult enough and the choice post completion of graduation is even more difficult. A lot of factors play a big role here such as – the background, the cost factor, the career options post completion of course, placement opportunities etc.

    However, for a student who completes their engineering, the career options have narrowed down to certain streams.

    Some of the options that a student post completing engineering may have are – joining an organization (most engineering colleges have placement options), pursuing higher studies. The latter is a choice which many students are opting for knowing full well that working immediately after graduation may not be a good idea when it comes to the roles offered.

    When it comes to higher studies, a strikingly high percentage of engineering students prefer to do either an MBA or MS/M.Tech/M.E in engineering. Of these students, again, more and more students are expressing a desire to pursue an MBA or MS programs in the US or Europe and not in India.

    This is happening even though the cost of education is way higher in those countries as compared to the same course in India. Also, the quality of education is by far of the same standard as in these other countries.

    One of the main reasons why this is happening is because the parents of the current generation of students have a wider amount of disposable income which they have been saving for higher education for their children.

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    More and more parents account for a significant portion of their savings to send their children abroad for their higher education. Hence, students often seem to be making this choice of pursuing these courses outside the country. Also, choices made by peers and batchmates play a role in decision making. Frequently, major factors that are required to be weighed in choosing a course or college are overlooked for these prejudices and facts take a backseat.

    Objectively studying some of these factors could prove to be helpful.

    Who chooses MBA over a Masters degree in Engineering?

    A lot of students choose to do engineering in their graduation because –

    1. a) Peer pressure
    2. b) Not able to decide from other options available
    3. c) Parental pressure
    4. d) Family expectation

    Engineering is the most commonly chosen courses for students with PCM in higher secondary education.

    In fact, all students who clear their 10+2 with physics, chemistry and mathematics sit for the common entrance tests for engineering. Given a large number of engineering colleges in India, students take admission based on their ranks.

    In India, the commonly held notion is that “engineering” is the one-stop solution for all students with whatsoever aptitude and interests. However, reality strikes once the course starts. Some students realize that Engineering is not their area of interest at all. And the lack of interest reflects in their grades.

    While some other students realize that the college of their choice will not be able to provide them with a decent placement option. In this situation, these students feel the definite need to pursue an additional course or change the stream to correct their course of action.

    There is a third category of students who chose to work after their engineering course. Some of them do not want to continue working in the technical field and want to change to the managerial side. Also, they want a fast track movement to the higher rungs of the career.

    In that case, an MBA after engineering becomes an obvious choice. Many of them feel that they could do well in marketing or finance as a career option. Sometimes, even international business or Entrepreneurship is what students want to delve into after getting a BE/B.Tech degree. Hence their obvious choice is MBA.

    Who chooses M.Tech/M.S/M.E over MBA?

    Some students of engineering genuinely like what they study during the course. These are those students who like to get into a purely technical based education and career.

    They value the depth of knowledge more than a variety of horizontal reach. Such students are better suited to work as Subject Matter experts in different industries.

    They are valued for their in-depth understanding and expertise. Hence mostly students who are purely interested in the core subject opt for M.Tech/ME/MS degree in Engineering.

    MBA or MS outside India

    Most MBA colleges outside India require thorough and relevant work experience in the requisite field before joining the course. For some colleges, five years is the minimum requirement, while some require at least ten years of experience before MBA.

    That rules out the option of pursuing an MBA from these reputed colleges for fresh engineering graduates.

    The course fee in the US, UK or Europe for MBA is at least double what the course fees are on average for the colleges in India. In such a situation, students need to resort to educational loans from banks.

    Banks while offering educational loans for students pursuing International studies, do offer a higher amount of loans as compared to courses in India, but they also do a certain amount of check on the standard of the college. This is to ascertain the payback capacity of the student post completion of course.

    In the case of MS, most colleges either require or they follow a thoroughly research-based course pattern. Also, for many countries such as in the US, M.S in engineering is the terminal course for that line of studies.

    The MS follows different courses across geographies. The course fee is much higher than it is in India.

    The job situation post both these courses is another ballgame altogether. There is a dependency on the job market, current political situation and also visa condition. Given then, many students who pursue these courses abroad come back to India and settle for a lower salary job.

    MBA in India as compared to ME/MTech

    Considering the number of students who opt for MTech or ME is far lesser than MBA students, it is safe to say that an MBA is a much more popular choice for many BE/B.Tech grads. Not knowing what to do next also lead many to pursue this course.

    However, the good thing is that a decent MBA college in India has very lucrative placement opportunities as compared to many Engineering colleges. And the pay package is higher.

    On deep delving, the mass recruiters hire B.Tech/B.E grads in bulk because they can be trained. However, M.Tech/ME students are never hired in large numbers by most companies as roles commensurate with the study level are few. Hence placement options are more with B.E / B.Tech as compared to M.E/M. Tech degree, if not better.

    Given this, students prefer to invest in an MBA, if at all, they want to pursue higher studies. The salary is higher in case of MBA and roles are more. However, choosing an MBA over ME/MTech or MS shouldn’t only be based on jobs and salary. The essence of choosing any career stream should also be dependent on the inherent traits, qualities, and interests of the individual.

    MBA at BMU

    Some very good institutions in India offer the course of Masters in Business Administration or MBA. The reason for choosing a college abroad, in spite of higher course fees and more risks, is that students prefer an international environment where they can get exposed to global culture.

    However, we at BMU offer our students an exchange program that provides the opportunity for them to study the Leadership Module at Imperial College London. The exchange program is for 2-3 weeks and is based on practical learning.

    The Imperial College London not only has a tie-up with BMU for a student exchange program, but it also provides mentorship to students and faculty.

    It includes, but not limited to, course design of the curricula, content development, research activities. This ensures that the college meets the global benchmark and our students get a competitive international edge.

    At BMU, 45% of the course is based on experiential learning. In the BMU’s MBA program, the focus is on the overall “competency” development of a student and it emphasizes internships, student clubs, student exchange programs, seminars and as well as convocations rather than focusing on textbook theories alone.

    There are numerous workshops and seminars held on real-world business problems, which help students, develop life skills of solving any sort of problems in the professional life, any kind of conflict resolution, all the professional dealings with ambiguity, often out of the box thinking and also groupthink.

    BMU, like International B-schools, also has mandatory industry visits to ensure that a student has industry exposure, even before joining an organization and is ready in every way for a smooth transition to professional life.

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