1. What is the difference between MBA and PGDM degree?

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is a theory-based program that focuses on business and finance fundamentals. It is taught in universities and colleges that are University Grants Commission (UGC) affiliated. Courses are rigid and have common curriculum because universities are unified and affiliated to a common primary university. The fee structure is less expensive because of multiple university grants and scholarships. Focus is more on technical and analytical knowledge.

A Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) is a diploma or certification. It is an application-based program that focuses on real-world practical skills of management. It is taught in colleges that are recognized by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The course is flexible and involves case studies, on-site trainings, and simulations. The curriculum is not centralized and differs from individual colleges. The fee structure is more expensive than MBA since financial aid is not provided. Focus is more on soft skills, practical knowledge, and employability.

2. Can a student with science background without any exposure to Business and Finance pursue an MBA degree?

Yes, MBA programs are applicable to students from any educational background as long as they can acquire a minimum of 45 to 50% aggregate (or CGPA) from their undergraduate course. Starting trouble is unavoidable, but after understanding the basic concepts of mathematics, finances, economics, and marketing, the candidate is prepared to face real-world situations in the business sector. In addition, additional skills can be acquired practically on-the-job by accumulating experience.

3. Should only individuals interested in leadership roles take up an MBA course?

An MBA is a versatile degree which has diverse specializations and multiple applications in different professional domains. Candidates with a good educational background, excellent communication skills, and creativity can be transformed into valuable resources for different domains and sectors. People from different educational backgrounds can join an MBA program to specialize fields like Finance, Human Resources, Education, Fashion, Information Technology etc. in roles as Analysts, Strategists, Consultants, Developers, Advisors, Planners, and Managers.

4. Is prior work experience mandatory before applying for an MBA course?

No, prior work experience is not mandatory for applying to an MBA course; however, some degree of exposure to a work environment is beneficial. Insights from prior work experience will add practical exposure in real-world business situations. The course will carry more quality compared to quantity. Prior experience will also contribute to practical applications of theoretical knowledge in the class room course. In case a candidate does not have a strong academic background, work experience will prove that the candidate is capable of managing the complete course curriculum.

5. Are MBA courses only for entrepreneurs and people interested in beginning a startup?

No, MBA courses are for anyone interested in learning the core business framework and working of a company. If an individual is passionate about learning new things and finding solutions to business problems they can pursue an MBA. After completing the course, candidates can take up various roles based on specialization in order to learn and grow in the company hierarchy. Some candidates contribute to the back-end growth of business by pursuing a PhD in management and becoming a subject matter expert or Consultant.

6. What is the difference between MBA and EMBA degree?

An MBA degree is mostly pursued by fresh graduates or working professionals who wish to learn the theoretical aspects of business. It is usually a two-year self-funded (or with financial aid) course. Qualification of national, state, or institution-specific entrance exams is mandatory to pursue a regular MBA.

An Executive MBA (EMBA) is commonly pursued by working professionals who hold various leadership and management positions in the organization. The course is usually less than two years in duration and does not require scores of competitive examinations. It is usually funded by the employer of the company and mainly targets corporate executives and managers.

7. Which is better, a full-time or online MBA program?

A full-time MBA program is a classroom based degree program. Classes are conducted in colleges and institutes that are autonomous or affiliated to the main university. Curriculum is rigid and closely regulated to ensure scheduled completion of subjects. Candidate attendance is constantly monitored. Working simultaneously with learning is not encouraged to ensure complete concentration and discipline.

An online MBA program is a home-based degree program. Classes are conducted via online portals and solely rely on a stable and consistent internet connection. Institutes may not always be accredited or affiliated to reputed universities. Curriculum can be completed as per convenience which leads to the probability of delays. Candidates are free to work while earning; however, proper focus, discipline, and management is essential or candidates may incur losses due to irregularities.

8. How do I select the institution for my MBA program?

There are few key points to keep in mind before you select an institution to pursue an MBA program:
  • Reputation of the institution: this is the most important factor as students from an institution are judged based on the university they graduate from. The university should be accredited or recognized by a reputed universal body.
  • Ranking: the local, national, and global ranking of the institution should be checked prior to applying. A good ranking denotes how much better an institute is in comparison to competitors.
  • Location: this is also very important as the institution should be easily accessible for travel and to obtain basic supplies.
  • Curriculum: the availability of the subject of choice should be considered before finalizing an institution. The specialization and choice of electives should align with the overall goal of the program. In addition to theoretical knowledge, practical and analytical skills should also be encouraged.
  • Fee structure: the feasibility of a course varies for different individuals. A person’s budget and availability of financial aid should be considered before selecting an institution.
  • Scholarships: the availability of grants and scholarships should be considered before applying for an MBA course. Some courses may be expensive and scholarship availability makes obtaining the degree affordable. Some students choose to earn while learning in order to pay their education fees, but this leads to overworking and exhaustion. Hence, a scholarship is preferred to ensure an uninterrupted education.
  • Facilities: it is essential to check for on-campus facilities to ensure that candidates are comfortable and receive basic necessities. Resources like fully furnished laboratories, projectors, stationary outlets, hostels, and canteens should be checked for before applying to an institution.
  • Student and Faculty ratio: the ratio of students to faculty should be small to ensure that an individual receives as much attention to their academics as possible. The teachers have to be highly qualified with plenty of teaching experience. It is an important factor to determine the effectively of a course.
  • Extracurricular activities: it is ideal if an institution promotes both academic and extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities include sports, creativity, and talent centered activities that enhance the overall development of an individual.
  • Placements: it is important to check if an institution provides assistance in placement. One of the primary reasons for taking up an MBA course is career progress and growth; hence, it is essential to know if the institution has collaborations with reputed recruiting partners.

9. Are expensive MBA programs from prestigious institutions better than low-budget MBA courses?

No, the quality of the MBA program is not entirely dependent on the fee structure or the institution it is obtained from. The main consideration is what is understood and interpreted during the course and how it is applied to the business in future. Indeed, an MBA obtained from a reputed institution does hold a lot of value; however, smaller learning facilities are also known to be beneficial in providing good quality education.

10. Is a foreign MBA better than an MBA done in India?

Both foreign and Indian MBA degrees have almost the same commercial and professional value; however, certain factors determine which of the two is preferred for an individual.

A foreign MBA is preferred when an individual aspires to work abroad after course completion. If the candidate has the budget to afford a foreign MBA degree and can additionally organize and manage living expenses, they can pursue in a foreign country. A foreign degree provides additional benefits of exposure to diverse cultures which cannot be obtained in India.

If an individual aspires to work in India, an MBA can be pursued in India. Institutes like Indian Institute of Management (IIM) provide MBA courses of international quality so that the candidate can not only receive a reputed degree but also continue to work in India.

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