Career Guidance

MBA options

I have been working in a bank for more than two years now. I am considering going abroad for an MBA degree. US Bschool programmes are of two years’ duration, while many of those offered in Europe are one-year courses. Are both options similar? How should I choose? Please guide me.

Saksham Chugh

An MBA from a good foreign B-school will undoubtedly provide you unparalleled exposure, networking opportunities with an international student body and an excellent springboard from which to launch your career. Choosing between a one-year and two-year programme will depend on several factors.

Regardless of which degree you opt for, the admission procedures, eligibility requirements as well as placements are similar. Institutions offering these programmes will base their admission decision on a combination of your application package (essays, statement of purpose, career objectives and recommendations), GMAT scores, academic merit, and work experience.

Both programmes will essentially cover similar topics in the classroom, and placements, so, too, are the costs.

So, how does one decide? The choice between the two formats will depend on the profile of the individual applying. A one year MBA is better suited for mid-career professionals, preferably with five or more years of experience. Also, the shorter duration means less time away from your job, and thus, a lower cost, an important consideration for 28-30-year-old mid-career professionals. A one-year programme is aimed at making you a better `general’ manager rather than greatly enhancing your skills in a specific area. A one-year MBA course is designed keeping in mind the assumption that someone who has worked for more than five years already has sufficient experience and has chosen their area of specialisation. The one-year MBA, therefore, is to fine-tune their managerial skills so as to brighten their career prospects in the same industry andor specialisation. A two-year programme is more suitable for those with less than four years’ work experience. The structure of the two-year programme provides a better grounding in the fundamentals of management, and then depending on your personal interests, you will choose a specialisation in the second year. Most two-year courses also include a training, so choose wisely.

After BCom

I am pursuing my BCom (Hons) from the University of Delhi. What courses could I pursue after graduation? What are the options for going abroad?

Avnish Khatri

Start by thinking about the field or career you wish to pursue, then analyse your strengths, personality and academic abilities to see where a good fit emerges.

BCom graduates are trained for a whole gamut of finance and commerce options -right from chartered accountancy, company secretaryship, and cost accounting, to careers in banking and finance, insurance, etc. Courses that you can consider after graduation are MCom, Master’s in business economics, Master’s in finance and control (MBA finance), and Master’s in international business, in addition to the ever-popular MBA. In addition, international professional certifications, such as the chartered financial analyst (CFA), CIMA and certified financial planner (CFP) programmes, are highly regarded by Indian and international employers. Non-finance options include marketing, human resources, retail, marketing communications, advertising, etc. Careers in government services, the media, law and teaching, too, are open to you.

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