A Guide to Analyze and Compare B-Schools
As B-School results are round the corner, we envisioned to empower the aspirants with the knowledge to inspect and analyze their prospective options. For this purpose, the following article is aimed to exhibit elaborate pointers which are critical to evaluating & comparing various B schools. It also showcases the importance of each essential parameter and the way to look at it objectively so that the candidates are best placed to take a decision on their subsequent career path.
It is the generally observed that the older business schools in the country are better off in many aspects of their functioning as compared to their younger, newly established sibling institutes. This can be attributed to the fact that as the institute grows through the years, it refines and firmly establishes its systems & processes in place. Every young and growing institute has to go through this process of evolution where right from academics to infrastructure to placements, every system of the college goes under the hammer and has to stand the test of time to eventually come out as the best fit for that particular institute. Also, the older an institute is, the larger is its alumni base, the better are its relations with the corporate, and ultimately the people involved with the institute have to devote lesser time & effort towards establishing the norms & systems of the institute and hence can focus towards greater value creation.
- Batch Size:
The batch size of a college is a result of the critical balance which the institute has to maintain in order to create a diverse learning environment as well as impart the best quality education & deliver the optimum results simultaneously in the two year MBA programme. You may come across various institutes raising their intake by a certain number of seats buoyed by their successful tenure and their developing infrastructure. However, there is also the case of an institute reducing their batch size if they find it difficult to deliver the best results in any of the following fields of placements, providing a competitive environment, imparting quality education or providing other necessary facilities.
- Fee Structure:
Over the years, the fee structures of various MBA colleges have become an important pointer for comparison among similar B schools. The concept of ROI (Return on Investment) surfaces every now & then in aspirants’ discussions while selecting the best B school. Though it is advisable to not base your decisions on this one aspect alone but then it is not wrong for an ambitious aspirant to spare a thought about the investment of his limited financial resources. The aspects such as the Batch Size and the Fee Structure are purely strategic decisions of the college management and the institute reserves the right to effect any change on these matters.
- Permanent Faculty:
The number of permanent faculties on the institute roster is a key factor contributing towards the institute’s goal of imparting world class education. Presence of a large number of in-house permanent faculty means that the faculty is available for the students for the whole week, round the clock, to clarify their doubts and support them in their academic endeavours. On the contrary, if the institute does not have sufficient number of permanent faculty members, the student might have to deal with limited interaction and time constraints in the case of a guest faculty taking a course.
Good placement opportunities are one of the key reasons due to which an aspirant joins a business school. Therefore, the candidate must be aware of the factors on which the placements of different B schools can be evaluated. In this regard, some of the pointers to look out for while analyzing a placement report of an institute are as follows:
- Difference between the no. of eligible students and the no. of students placed: A gap between the two might hint that the institute has not placed the entire batch at the time of releasing the placement report. However, some students opting out of the placement process of the institute might be another reason that explains this gap.
- Number of companies visiting the campus: A large number under this criterion showcases the strength of the institute’s corporate relations and the ability to bring companies to campus for the placement season.
- Number of Lateral Offers: This is a big plus for the candidates joining with a considerable work experience in a B school. The lateral placement process usually takes place before the final placement process itself and serves as an advantageous opportunity for students with work ex to score over their peers with their choice of prominent recruiters.
- Number of PPO/PPI: This data refers to the number of candidates who have secured a job offer on account of their good performances during the internship after their first year of MBA itself. A larger number in this category reflects the capabilities & preparedness of the batch and also plays a part in the final placement season for the batch.
- No. of International Profiles: This is an added advantage if the students are able to get maximum opportunities to start their careers in the international arena.
- Pay Packages: For a holistic understanding, this factor can ideally be analysed in the placement report by looking at a combination of various data such as Average Package, Highest, Lowest Median (if provided) etc. Many aspirants commit the common mistake of viewing any one of these data in isolation which is not advisable as it might actually lead to a skewed perception.
- Major Companies: This section gives an understanding of the type of companies coming in to the campus for different domains of expertise. This section also gives an understanding of the regular and prominent recruiters from the institute over the past few years.
- Student Exchange:
A comprehensive student exchange programme is something to look out for in a B school if the candidate has aspirations to experience a trimester of management education in a B-school abroad. The number of partner universities gives you a picture of the available avenues of international exposure in your choicest countries whereas the number of students getting an opportunity to go abroad every year showcases the robustness and strength of the International Relations cell of a particular institute.
- International Accreditations:
International Accreditation is like a quality seal or label that differentiates the Institution from its peers at the national level. This leads to a widespread recognition and greater appreciation of the brand name of the institution and motivates the institution to strive for more. For the students, it serves as an assurance that they will receive highest quality of education and that the needs of the corporate world are well integrated into programmes, activities and processes of the institute.
A crucial factor of analysis is the infrastructure and the related facilities provided to the student. For the institutes of national repute, their infrastructure is a key element for building a competitive learning environment for the students. Especially in the case of the MBA programme being a fully residential course, the facilities of well-equipped classrooms, hostel, mess, sports & physical fitness become all the more important. Hence, it is imperative of all these institutes to make honest efforts towards providing their students with a comfortable and the best possible residential environment.
In an extension to this exercise we would like to present a fact sheet compiled by Pavan Singh to put all the New IIMs on a pedestal with respective details about key parameters as per the information available on their official websites, official FB groups and placement reports. We sincerely hope that this fact-based objective analysis will help the aspirants immensely to evaluate these rapidly growing institutes in a better manner.
The link to the compiled fact sheet for comparison of New IIMs: https://goo.gl/XATR6z
– Satvik Jani
The author is a student of Indian Institute Of Management Raipur (class of 2016). He is a passionate musician, an avid reader, and aspires to help solve real life problems of people around him by applying his skills in management for the greater good.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of any institute, organisation or any other entity.