Conundrums Of Indian IT Male MBA Applicants

In today’s scenario, the term “Indian IT Male” has turned out to be a category in itself. The Indian IT sector is a leader when it comes to technology and business services and is also the biggest employer for Indian technology professionals. Indian IT professionals work with the world’s leading organizations not only to support their business and technology processes but also help them in fulfiling their business goals.

Yet, the Indian IT Male finds himself at an inherent disadvantage in the MBA admission process. The principal reason for this is the vast pool of Indian IT Male applicants which leads to the over-representation of the male IT applicants in MBA applications to top programs around the world. What does this imply? Does it imply that each application from Indian IT Males is consigned without thought to the admissions dustbin? Far from it! Each application at each school is reviewed thoughtfully without any prejudice to the applicant’s gender, nationality, or field. What is essential for an Indian IT Male, though, is to differentiate his application strongly from those of others and to strategize rightly while selecting and applying to top b-schools without giving up on their dreams.

So now it has established that the road to an MBA for an Indian IT Male is not blocked but coming back to fundamentals. Why would IT professionals need an MBA? How can it help them? The answers to these questions are more important than that to get admission in a top-ranked MBA program. Being an Indian IT Male myself, I think these are some of the main motives why one might want to enrol in an MBA program:

Switching Industries: While most of the IT professionals choose the sector because of their interest, still many opt for an IT job just for the sake of employment despite not having an interest in the work involved. That is one of the major reason which drives them to change the industry and go for an MBA program.

Career Progress: Most Indian IT Male professionals have a strong desire to climb the corporate ladder and want a role which is further up in the value chain within the IT industry only. For example, a software developer might want to be a Project Manager but not want to wait for around 5-7 years. Having an MBA degree can hasten up the process of climbing the corporate ladder. An MBA not only facilitates the ladder climbing but also helps those IT professionals who want to switch their functional area within the IT industry, such as say Business Development or Sales instead of being part of the delivery.

Realizing Entrepreneurial Ambitions: IT professionals who have some work experience and holding a management position at the mid of the corporate ladder often wish to pursue this route. An MBA is one step forward in this direction as it helps them not only in understanding both business and entrepreneurship better but also provides a platform to build a strong network of peers which can come in handy at some later point of time.

Moving from IT Services to IT Products: Many a time, IT professionals who are in service management may wish to cross over to the product management side of things. The two domains are reasonably different and an MBA not only can help in facilitating the transition smoothly but also help in choosing a more product-centric firm in future.

Advancing towards Advisory Role: An MBA opens the doors of consulting for those IT professionals who want to apply their technical skills to an advisory rather than an application context. At present, this is a lucrative option as many top firms are practising tech-based consulting.

After all the nuts and bolts, the main question arises that of school selection. Many applicants tend to feel that selection of a school is best done on the basis of two major factors: average salary and chances of getting admission. While these are important, but some factors are of particular importance concerning an IT professional:

  • Assuming that the applicant wants to continue working in the same sector after MBA, what are the major IT focus courses offered by the school?
  • What is the nature of the firms that hire from the school? Are there some known names from the IT sector?
  • What is the level of commitment of faculty and students in activities related to the area of interest, i.e. IT? Does it have a research centre or a club that organize events on topics related to the area?

All in all, I want to state that an Indian IT Male applicant should keep the factors as mentioned above in mind while choosing a b-school, but that doesn’t mean a school offering an IT major in its MBA program is an automatic choice for him. Similarly, a large pool of applicants and average scores put across by schools may not indicate certain acceptance/denial. So it’s time to strategize to make your profile worthy enough, so that chances of acceptance outnumber the chances of rejection.

All the best!

Jeetesh Varshney

Jeetesh Varshney is currently a student of the PGP 2018-20 batch of IIM Udaipur and a member of the InsideIIM Student Team and representative of Placement Preparation Committee of IIMU. He has previously completed his Computer Engineering from Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur and has work experience in software development. He is an avid reader and his favourite authors include JK Rowling, Christopher C Doyle, Amish. He loves travelling and exploring new places and cultures, and nothing makes him happier than good food and chocolates. He is someone who learned a lot from InsideIIM while preparing for his management entrance exams and now writing stories on InsideIIM to share his experiences for the benefit of the future aspirants.

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