MBA : Swadeshi Or Videshi? That Is The Question!

The typical Indian student, no matter which discipline he/she belongs to, faces the following crossroad sooner or later in the career:

Now that you have chosen your spot in the career junction, we take you through a very pertinent question on everyone’s mind: how exactly is the same business degree different if you do it from India, or from an institution abroad.

Where exactly do the two differ?

  • The difference starts right at the eligibility stage. An MBA from abroad inevitably requires you to have substantial work experience, unlike Indian institutes, which admit freshers as well. Yes, Indian MBA entrance exams do offer some advantage to those with work on their resumes, but they are not averse to those fresh out of college either. In fact, there are companies recruiting from Indian b-schools which exclusively look for freshers. This is not the case with b-schools abroad though. With a minimum work experience criterion on almost every admission form, an MBA degree from ‘foren’ is thus different.
  • Building on the minimum work ex criteria, a b-school abroad seeks include professionals from varied fields. A classroom in an institute abroad is not just about theorizing; it is a lot about sharing experiences, learning, and adding to your already existing knowledge base. The university looks to gain from you, as much as you seek to gain from it. They want someone with technical know-how, as well as brief ideas about the managerial aspects of businesses. A degree from abroad is more useful for someone who has some experience in an organisation, and can relate and apply the knowledge gained at business school.
  • Consequently, the pay-check is higher for those graduating out of a business school abroad. It is assumed that the candidate had already been in a working position in another organisation. So, he/she is offered a mid/ high-level managerial position right after graduating.
  • Pedagogy in universities abroad is more practical-oriented, which means there is less of theory and more of application. The case methodology of teaching followed in most Indian b-schools today, is a concept borrowed from abroad.
  • It goes without saying that you would get to develop a professional network on a global scale if you choose to go abroad. The current batch, the professors, and the alumni base- would all be a part of your connection.
  • An MBA classroom is a lot about teamwork, group projects, sharing insights, role-playing, discussions, peer-to-peer learning, etc. Through this, you would get international exposure in a diverse class. Your peer group would come from across continents, with a plethora of academic and professional experiences.
  • The opportunity to work and settle abroad opens up more easily. Besides, one might also need to work outside for some time to be able to pay off the loans taken to fund a foreign MBA.
  • But there come the intangibles. The comfort factor of an Indian school, amidst familiar people, languages, ambitions and culture, is something which cannot be measured.
  • It costs way less to pursue an MBA from an Indian university. Besides the cost of the course, one must factor in the living and travelling expenses. All of it adds up to a substantial amount, which makes it imperative to look for schools with scholarships on offer. An MBA from a good school in India would cost you 22-25 lacs, while the same abroad would set you back by anywhere between 30-80 lacs, depending upon the university’s brand name and the cost of living in a country.
  • It is actually more difficult to get into a top-tier b-school in India. With over 2 lac candidates appearing for exams like CAT/XAT/NMAT, etc every year, the competition is really intense for the 5000-odd seats. Instead of settling for an ordinary college in India, it makes more sense to go abroad. Many not-so-acclaimed universities are known to follow the outdated syllabus, with barely any industry interaction.
  • The most important reason why one usually does a course in business management, is to affect a career change. This is where the Indian and the global b-schools differ on a major parameter. Business colleges abroad do not offer campus placements. You are supposed to go out and get a job for yourself. Some universities conduct career fairs, but a placement is not guaranteed to you and no other support is provided for the same. On the other hand, business schools here in India have full-fledged placement cells, with a predefined schedule in the calendar for recruitment. All kind of support is given to you in-house, and you usually walk out with a job offer best suited to you.

These were some practical aspects you could consider when it comes to choosing between doing an MBA from India to one abroad.

Aastha Sneha Pathak

Aastha Sneha Pathak is an alumnus of IIM Lucknow, Batch of 2017. While living the hel(L)ish life, she was a part of the Literary and Debating Society, and the committee of Placement Mentors. She is in the Indian Railway Service currently, and pursues her live for writing and sharing knowledge in her free time.