2) Class of 2014 - 2nd year MBA students : Having spent more than a year in B school and having done a summer internship, they are likely to have a different perspective.
3) Post MBA industry professionals: The world completely changes once you begin to work after graduating from B school, and Post MBA industry professionals are likely to have a totally different perspective to the two earlier groups.
MBA – B school joining decision :
The importance of profiles offered
This question was posed only to MBA aspirants and first year students. When asked what the most important placement-related criterion while joining a B school was, an overwhelming 83% responded that it was the quality of the job profiles offered at the B school. In contrast, only 12% were concerned about having 100% placements by April. On our website, we have long argued that 100% placements is a pointless criterion to judge a B school. The B school is not obliged to provide a job to everyone, its primary task is to provide an education. It is therefore heartening to know that students have begun focusing on the profiles offered at B school, and are accepting the uncertainty that is implied in the absence of 100% placements.
Estimated Reasonable Cost of an MBA programme
MBA aspirants and first year students
When asked what was the estimated reasonable cost of an MBA program, the largest number of respondents (among aspirants and first year students) placed it in the Rs. 9-11 lakhs bucket. Around 23.8% of respondents attributed a value of Rs. 9-11 lakhs as the reasonable cost of an MBA program. This is decidedly lower than the response from last year’s survey wherein 29% of the respondents had placed the value of an MBA at Rs. 9-11 lakh.
Class of 2014
Again, the largest number of respondents (among class of 2014) placed the reasonable cost of an MBA it in the Rs. 9-11 lakhs bucket. The distribution of responses indicates that most students of the Class of 2014 will put the value of the MBA at around Rs. 9 lakh.
Post MBA industry professionals
Here, most of respondents have attributed the value of an MBA in the range of Rs. 7-9 lakhs, which is lower than the earlier two categories. This could either be because the post-MBA professionals graduated at a time of lower fees, or it could also be that these professionals are disillusioned with the MBA.
On the whole, we see the reasonable cost of an MBA program settling at a value of around Rs. 9-11 lakh. B schools seem to have taken cognizance of this – IIM Lucknow reduced its fees by 10% to Rs. 10.8 lakhs for the batch of 2015.
Does this mean bad news for B schools in the sense that the perceived value and therefore the demand for MBAs is going to come down? We believe that top B schools will always find demand for their courses, it is the lower rung B schools that will find the going difficult. However, we believe that even the top B schools will find it difficult to maintain the trend of continuous fee hikes.
(*Based on 2012 InsideIIM Recruitment Survey Results)
Over 70% of the class of 2014 had availed of student loans (as surveyed last year). The percentage of students availing of student loans has reduced to 65% this year. Among MBA aspirants, the percentage that expects to take a student loan is 73%. Student loans may dampen the sense of entrepreneurship.
Most Preferred Work Cities
Foreign locations have trumped Indian cities as preferred work locations, across the board, and also across all categories of respondents as you will see. New York and London top the list for MBA aspirants and first years, and Singapore is another foreign location that figures in the top five. The attractiveness of foreign locations has definitely increased in recent times due to the depreciation of the Indian Rupee. We believe this preference for foreign locations is aspirational, and these aspirations may be tempered by the realities of the job market. This year’s result is definitely at variance with last year’s results, wherein most MBA aspirants and first year students had rooted for Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, in that order, as their preferred location. This time, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi make third, fifth and sixth place on the top ten list for aspirants and first year students. According to us, it is the dollar-driven aspirations of people at play here.
The preferences are largely similar to that of MBA aspirants and first year students, with foreign locations winning out once again. New York and Singapore lead, and London at fourth place rounds out the three foreign locations in the top five. Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi find themselves in 3rd, 5th and 6th place in the pecking order. In comparison, last year’s respondents had rated Bangalore highest in the world, followed by Mumbai and Delhi. Delhi/NCR, which was always a close second to Mumbai or Bangalore, has distinctly fallen to third place among Indian locations. Is this because Delhi/NCR is not a specialized hub in any area, like Mumbai is a finance and commercial hub, and Bangalore is a technology hub? Or is it because of the worsening law and order situation?
The preference for foreign locations is even more apparent in this group, with New York, London and Singapore leading the list of global work locations. In case of post industry MBA professionals, we understand that many of them would have had the experience of working in different cities across the world. They would have now reached a position where they could exercise their options and earned the flexibility to work in a city of their choice. This list of preferences, is therefore indicative of the choice and not merely the dreams of post MBA industry professionals. Last year’s survey had seen a similar preference for foreign locations among post MBA industry professionals. Among Indian cities, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi round out the top three.
More such interesting slices of information will be revealed every day this week.
Read the results of the InsideIIM Recruitment 2012 Survey here