Career Possibilities for MBA Graduates in India: An Extensive Guide For 2024
Many MBA graduates look for career opportunities after completing their masters, here’s an important guide for them. Are you an MBA aspirant having eyes set on top B-schools?? Or are you an MBA student who has been burning the candles at both ends to get hired at placements for that dream job? Or are you…. Forget it; this could go on and on. Just go ahead and read a full-blown guide on Career possibilities for MBA graduates in India- A comprehensive guide.
Here are the topics to take you through the in and out details that will help you decode MBA- one of the most sought after careers among Indians.
- Why MBA?
- Some misunderstandings about MBA
- Career possibilities for MBA graduates
- Small business ideas for MBA graduates
- Top 5 Government jobs after MBA
- Public sector job vs Private sector job
- The decline in the employability of MBA graduates
- Summing up
MBA or Master of business administration has become one of the most in-demand career options in India in the last couple of decades- all thanks to the widening global markets and new start-ups emerging by leaps and bounds.
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The reasons to pursue career possibilities for MBA graduates in India fall roughly into two categories-
One – The ones which arise by peer pressure and herd mentality.
It means that people typically take a perfect, high-achieving MBA graduate from their network as their reference point (who is BTW also earning a six-figure salary in an MNC), and then this drives all their career decisions. No offence to talented MBAs- they must have worked very hard to get there, kudos to them.
But the most surprising thing about such practice is that an individual’s skills, passion, aptitude, and choices are often overlooked thinking that only earning a degree from a top B-school will solve all their problems and they are settled for life just like how it worked for their “perfect” reference point. Because hey, from childhood we are taught that a few colleges/ universities can decide our future.
Now, what happens if you make career choices with such a mindset?
Well, either these students realize halfway that the course is not suitable for them or even if they somehow complete the course, they do not get enough ROI for their hard work.
In reverse, the second set of reasons is driven by passion rather than the examples present in society.
Here, an individual’s interests and dreams decide their career path even if it means taking the path less travelled. For them, one thing is certain that getting a degree from an IIT or IIM is not the only way to realize their dream of becoming an effective business administrator. What matters for them is to take full mileage out of the MBA curriculum to come up with their best possible version ready to face career challenges head-on.
In a nutshell, your reason to pursue an MBA could be getting a fat-paying corporate job or becoming a leader or bringing about a major change, or even all of that. But do make sure that it is ultimately an underlying passion for MBA that keeps you inspired throughout this not-so-easy pursuit.
At times, students decide to take up MBA under the influence of some commonly prevailing misconceptions about the course. It’s time to bust these myths.
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Some misunderstandings about MBA
Myth # 1 The course is effortless.
MBA is no cakewalk. Ouch… did it hurt ya!!!
But every MBA aspirant must be fully aware of cold hard facts about MBA so that they know what they are getting into is not a cosy bed of roses.
But why would anybody think of an MBA as a child’s play?
It is simply because students are preparing for the entrance exam to MBA so fanatically that only making it to the B-school gets them all Sans Souci about the upcoming rough ride.
So here is the spoiler alert: MBA is a highly demanding course- mentally, physically, and emotionally. So, don’t mess around.
Myth # 2 MBA degree will get me a key role in the corporate world
Sure MBA as a curriculum is designed to impart some essential skills to climb up the corporate ladder. However, doing that needs a substantial amount of hard work and time.
This means whereas the degree is a gateway to the management segment of the corporate, it does not guarantee that you will get “important” positions.
To sum up, your degree offers you the platform to rise in an enterprise. But by no means it is a sure shot solution.
Myth # 3 MBA will get me hired at campus placements with an insane package
Most of the B schools advertise their student’s placement achievements along with distorted figures of packages.
These statistics are only for a small percentage of students being offered jobs paying fat paychecks. So what about the others from the batch?
Well, they do get offered decent packages but not as claimed by institutes in their marketing advertisements. Of course, later progress relies on candidates’ smart career moves by capitalizing on opportunities that make a major career change.
Secondly, a thing that needs to be highlighted here is that candidates in the quest to maximize ROI sometimes fail to choose a career that offers them a long –term job satisfaction. On the flip side, some candidates are too rigid in terms of the area they want to work in. In any which ways, their job options shrink.
This can be overcome if candidates approach their job search in such a way that utilizes their passion for a particular field along with some flexibility and a backup plan.
Myth # 4 I don’t have to engage in networking; I will be hired at the campus
Like I said before, although recruitment is happening at the campus, there is no guarantee that you are in. Those who understand this fact well start taking efforts in networking right from the beginning of the MBA.
Keeping in touch with college alumni or striking a conversation with different firm representatives helps establish connections that they can fall back upon while hunting for a job.
Career possibilities for MBA graduates
One of the reasons for the heightened popularity of MBA is its multifaceted and flexible curriculum.
Because there are distinct specialization options available, candidates having an aptitude for business administration but with a slightly different knack and expertise can just find the course of their choice and specialize in that.
So one thing to always remember is that getting an MBA degree is nice but to shake things up you must be able to identify the correct option that resonates with your personality.
And this is how you will have something to ignite your deep-seated power and bring out the best in you.
So let’s dig more into job options available for MBA graduates.
MBA is a highly versatile degree offering a multitude of specializations and thus has the power to offer a variety of job profiles to candidates. Additionally, with a dynamic global market and startups popping up like mushrooms, new job titles are created and redefined now and then.
But remember that there is a possibility that very few of them resonate with individual skills and passion. So here is a well-researched list of specializations. Hope it helps you to choose a perfect fit.
Following are the most regular domains that MBA graduates have access to work in:
# 1 Career After MBA in India
MBA in Human Resource
MBA graduates with HR specialization need to act as a bridge between employee and employer. Plus, now a day, every company has a dedicated HR department so the opportunities are plenty.
Some of the commonly offered jobs in MBA in HR are listed below-
- HR manager– Talent acquisition
This post holder is in charge of the talent acquisition and hiring processes of the company.
- HR manager-Training
The HR manager is responsible for boosting the overall productivity of the organization by training the employees.
- HR manager-Compliance
In simple words, corporate compliance is an internal procedure to detect and prevent violation of rules which otherwise can cost the organization fines or lawsuits. And the compliance manager ensures that these legal standards are met by the company.
- HR professor
In contrast to the industry roles, this is an education-based post in institutions, colleges, and even universities for training management students.
The other lesser-known job profiles include the following:
- Human Resources Executive
- Training & Development Manager
- HR Entrepreneur
- Director of Staff
- Placement Manager
- Training and Relations Manager
- Organizational Consultant
- HR Analytics
# 2 Career After MBA in India
Now this domain is at its peak thanks to the booming marketing industry than ever.
These positions are majorly concerned with sales or business development, brand management, market research, etc. The company relies heavily on the marketing team to boost sales.
Here is the list of some widely popular roles for MBA graduates specializing in marketing.
- Sales/Business development
These MBAs have to perform tasks to acquire a large number of clients.
- Brand/Product management
The ultimate goal of a brand manager is to enhance the brand awareness of the company using excellent communication skills and creativity.
- Account management
Account managers with their exceptional communication skills nurture client relationships to retain clients’ business and also generate new business from the existing clients.
- Market research
A market researcher conducts a market survey with consumers before the launch of any product and compiles comprehensive data to understand consumers’ demands and expectations.
Some other high paying jobs under this discipline include:
- Research Analyst / Senior Analyst
- Sales Manager
- Business Development Manager
- Marketing Analytics
- Digital Marketing Manager
# 3 Career After MBA in India
MBA Finance :
Finance is the core of any industry. Hence, those with excellent accounting and financial data handling skills can do wonders to their career and get paid lucrative salaries too. Jobs concerned with Investment banking, venture capital, Market equity, etc.
There is a huge pool of job portfolios for MBA graduates who specialize in Finance.
- Operations manager
As the name suggests, an operation manager supervises if the operations department of the company is running smoothly or not.
- Relationship manager
These types of managers help improve the firm’s relationships with clients and business partners.
- Business analyst
They manage research and analysis to come up with data-driven recommendations to solve pertinent business problems.
- Accounting manager
An accounting manager heads the accounts dept of the firm and manages the smooth functioning of account and money matters of the company.
- Financial analyst
A financial analyst with his ability to determine the best use of resources to achieve the company’s financial objectives undertakes financial planning and makes profitable commercial decisions.
- Bank manager
Being a bank manager means coordinating and managing the operations of financial institutes like banks or credit societies. It involves front-office operations like team interactions, training sessions, and also direct communication with customers.
- Chief financial officer (CFO)
As important as it sounds, CFO has the prime responsibility of managing the company’s finances, planning, budgeting, and forecasting.
- Finance manager
A finance manager has to plan a budget, review financial reports, and give financial insights to the executive management team.
- Management consultant
The role of a management consultant is to guide in the process of managing business and growing it further.
- Corporate controller
A controller has to perform many tasks including preparing operation budgets, reviewing financial reports, and also the duties related to payroll.
MBAs with a degree in finance also has a scope to work in the following profiles:
- Accounting Professional
- Financial Analyst
- Treasury Manager, Investment and Banking Associate
- Financial Risk Manager
- Investment and Insurance Advisor
- Investment Banker
- Financial and Investment Consultant
# 4 Career After MBA in India
MBA Information Technology:
The proportion by which the IT sector is growing consistently is unmatchable.
IT sector, IT-enabled services, banking, pharmaceuticals, education, infrastructure, automobiles- the list of the industries managed with the help of IT expertise is endless. And so are the opportunities for MBA with IT specialization.
This degree demands students to have excellent managerial skills along with knowledge of cutting-edge technological trends.
Some examples of the kind of work these MBA graduates do are:
- Project management
A manager looking after a project is the key person to look after all the processes going on in that project.
- Network management
A network manager handles the entire computer infrastructure of the organization right from network security to software used.
Some other remunerative job profiles include:
- Business Development Manager/Executive
- Marketing Manager
- Corporate Strategy Manager
- Analytics Manager
- System Manager
- Data Processing Manager
# 4 Career After MBA in India
MBA in Business Analytics
Business Analytics is a process that utilizes skills, data, and statistical analysis to formulate actionable recommendations and strategies for businesses.
It is a domain that requires analytical, quantitative, managerial as well as communication skills.
As a business analyst, you may conduct market or customer analysis, evaluate product/service lines, and work towards increasing the bottom line of the company.
Job profiles offered to candidates with this MBA specialization are :
- Business Analyst
- Business Analyst Industry Expert
- Business Analyst Project Manager
- Data Analyst
- Data Scientist
- Predictive Modeller
- Qualitative Analyst
Along with this, a revolutionary boost in the innovative use of technology and start-ups has catalyzed the evolution of the above-mentioned roles.
And in this whole process, newer roles like program managers, product managers, growth hackers, data scientists, etc. are getting established that demands a unique blend of business acumen and administrative capacities to push the company forward.
Some of the roles which are going to be trending in the coming years are as follows:
A perfect alternative for MBA aspirants who love to command and shoulder responsibility for the success of the business.
As a program manager, you blueprint the program’s strategies, its objectives, and execute all the linked projects to reach the long term business goals while measuring the ROI.
Nowadays, companies recruit the Product Manager who is responsible for planning the entire product life cycle.
Right from collecting product requirements by the customer, defining the product vision, sales, marketing, revenue analysis up to customer satisfaction- product managers work closely with every stage of product development and launch.
# 6 Career After MBA in India
Entrepreneurship for MBA graduates
Generally speaking, most MBA graduates prefer working in corporate and MNCs. Nonetheless, these days it is no surprise that many opt to venture into entrepreneurship as the biggest challenge faced by MBAs is securing a well-paying job in a prestigious company due to the sluggish economy.
There are numerous small business ideas for MBAs who either want to kick start their career with a small start-up or who have worked for others in corporate and now want to work independently.
And starting a business for an MBA graduate should not be that big a deal. After all, they have been educated to manage businesses.
# 7 Career After MBA in India
Small business ideas for MBA graduates
Businesses have to train their staff time and again to keep them updated. That’s why providing mentoring services to such an organization can be a promising business with very less capital investment.
- Business financing expert
Business finance concerns raising and managing funds for running a business. As an MBA you can market your services and guide new entrepreneurs about the ways of successfully securing loan approvals and other means of fundraising for their business.
- Feasibility consultant
Very few business aspirants will know how to study if their business idea is feasible enough to see the light of day. A feasibility consultant helps find that out.
- Business plan and proposal writing
For any business, potential investors would want to see the business plan and proposal. An MBA with his sound knowledge will be able to write a winning proposal for entrepreneurs.
- Business management consultant
Small businesses prefer to consult a business management consultant, who helps the organization solve problems, improve performance, and achieve growth.
- Market research consultant
Market research, like testing waters, is the process of determining the viability of a new service or product by conducting research directly with potential customers. It helps a company to discover the target market and get opinions from consumers about their interest in the product or service.
- Recruitment agency
Appointing a suitable candidate for the organization is a task in itself. Thus, companies find it convenient to hire a recruitment agency to find candidates professionally.
Agency recruiters do this by researching the position role, identifying qualified people, screening the candidates, and providing support to the employer during the selection process.
- Financial expert
Not everybody can make sense out of financial data. However, this also means for a business owner this leads to financial mismanagement having a profound effect on a company’s profits.
An MBA can join the dots and guide them in areas like cash flow analysis, taxes, interest rate, expected profit, investment, and auditing.
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- Debt Management Consulting
If you are an MBA graduate in finance, then debt management consulting is the way to go. This type of service is sought after by organizations in financial products, manufacturing of distribution products.
Up to this point, we have discussed almost every career option in the private sector. Now it’s time to discuss Government sector opportunities for MBA graduates.
When I say government jobs, the way we picture offices in our mind turns by 1800 – from an ultra-posh and shining corporate board rooms to an “antique” room with high ceilings, old tables, and chairs and no sign of AC.
Yes, the glamour quotient of government jobs in comparison to corporate jobs could be hitting the bottom but its popularity weighs more.
With increasing competition and uncertainty around private jobs, Indian youth has seen a newfound- love for government or PSU jobs, even if that means preparing for yet another competitive exam after laboriously completing the MBA.
So, quickly go through the list
# 8 Career After MBA in India
Top 5 Government jobs for MBA graduates
Bank personnel officer
The post is sort of a human resource profile.
The officer is expected to conduct posting and transfer of employees, decide perk packages, arrange training and promotional activities, look after retirement benefits disbursal, and monitor staff performance.
Recruitment process-National level competitive examination or IBPS score depending on the bank. PG with specialization in personnel management, HR, industrial relations, social work, or labour work is needed to be eligible.
# 9 Career After MBA in India
2. Bank marketing officer
Yes… the banking sector too is no less than the corporate world when it comes to marketing because the growth and competition that it has seen are unmatchable.
Hence, devising efficient marketing strategies is the underlying function of a marketing officer. This includes managing social media and marketing campaigns, associating with the digital marketing agency, product promotion planning, and so on.
Recruitment process-National level competitive examination or IBPS score depending on the bank. Though an MBA in marketing is desired, PGDBA and PGDBM are equally eligible.
3. Additional program officer in different PSU
The program officer mainly supervises the entire program implementation. Execution, monitoring the progress of the program, and guiding staff concerned with the particular program are the duties to be handled irrespective of the agency.
Recruitment process- Selection is either based on merit or competitive exam score. MBA graduates are eligible for the post.
4. Management trainee in different PSUs
Many PSUs declare vacancies for MBA freshers as well. The opportunities are available in various departments like finance, operations, HR, etc. The selected candidate undergoes training for managerial positions. Criteria are again based on merit or entrance.
5. General manager for banks and PSUs
Although, specifications may slightly differ for different firms at the core supervising all the operations and taking care of revenue are common duties of the General Manager.
Researching for the job opportunities for MBAs in government sectors got me all thinking about the drastic reversal of the job market for MBA graduates.
There were times when getting into the corporate world was every MBA graduate’s fetish. Many MNCs and private sector industries became a breeding ground for countless talented leaders.
However, a considerably large proportion of today’s youth is now ready to even bribe for a public sector post. Recall the news of MBAs applying for security guard’s posts???
So let’s set these two sectors side by side to find out why?
# 10 Career After MBA in India
Public sectors jobs Vs. Private sectors jobs
There is a clichéd perception about government jobs is that when compared to their private counterparts they offer better pay scales and benefits.
Sure, MNCs offer package to die for. But with the advent of the 7th pay commission, the pay scales for even entry-level posts have become more lucrative than private firms’ packages.
Barring some big corporate giants, no private firm offers pluses like paid maternity leaves, LTC, home loans, medical cover, furniture and fixture expenses, and so many others.
With such benefits, it is understandable that job aspirants settle for even comparatively lower pay packages.
If you have ever been to any government office, you would know that the employees ‘strictly’ abide by their working hours. Even if the workload demands stretching the time limit a bit longer than usual, they are remunerated for the same.
On the other end, private sector employees head to work on their usual office hours but cannot leave the office on exact closing hours. Given the hefty workload, they are forced to do overtime for which they are not paid.
Work stress among management people in the corporate world has been a serious health concern. The predominant factors are job insecurity, high job demands, inflexible working hours, etc.
Government posts do come with their share of stress and additional duties but to a much lesser extent than private jobs.
For this one private-sector job earns a bonus point over the public sector. For an extremely talented MBA, nothing is more frustrating than a stagnant career because promotions and career progression happen slowly in government jobs.
On the flip side, private sector jobs do provide the opportunity to scale up the higher position of hierarchy provided the candidate is truly competent.
Overall, government jobs are more secure than private jobs as layoffs due to reasons like recession, non-performance, office politics are less prevalent.
However, the scenario has been changing lately. Unlike the early days when the government employees would have no fear of getting fired for their under-performance or misbehaviour, the current digitization of processes has made the performance indicators more obvious.
A more vigilant government has implemented more stringent policies and protocols to ensure more accountability on employees’ part.
There are no grey areas here… government officials enjoy more public holidays in addition to paid leaves.
While private sectors have only a limited number of holidays and can only dream about getting certain holidays which the public sector person is accustomed to.
All and all, choosing an option between public and private sector jobs cannot be objective and un-debatable. Both the sectors come with their own set of pros and cons-the final decision depends on an individual’s priority. Plus, for candidates who are unable to crack competitive exams, the dream of bagging a government post can be a little far-fetched if not impossible.
The decline in the employability of MBA graduates
After the changes in government policies in the year 1991, the country’s private sectors witnessed a revolutionary boost in open markets and hence the growth opportunities.
Flourishing private sectors required B-school trained talented executives in the form of MBAs. That is how the MBA became one of the most sought-after careers paying fortunes to graduates.
Graduates coming out of prestigious IIMs and other top B-schools were hired with whooping salaries even before completion of the graduation. Nonetheless, MBA graduates from other B-schools also did not struggle to garb lucrative job options.
Unfortunately, the degree is now losing its value.
While the top institutes still hold their reputation in the industry, others are not able to guarantee employment to their students. A study conducted by ASSOCHAM revealed that only 7% of graduates out of these institutes are employable.
In the year 2018-19, more than half of MBA graduates could not get hired during campus placements. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) study shows that only 47% of MBAs were placed. Also, more than 220 B-schools in top cities of India have shut down as a direct result of slackening campus recruitment and some more down the same road in the coming years.
What’s happening? Where these institutes are going wrong?
Institutes now focus more on their own commercial goals rather than students’ educational goals. Hence, the quality of incoming students and infrastructure is compromised without a doubt.
The institutes fail to revise their curriculum as per the changing industry demands. Students educated with obsolete fundamentals leave a gap between academics and industry- something that is enough to make them less employable.
Lack of competent faculty
The curriculum makes sense only when industry experts are on board to impart knowledge to the students. As seasoned industry experts, they know better than anyone else.
Unfortunately, it costs a big number to the B-school to hire and retain entrepreneurs as teaching experts. Thus, most of the institutes recruit inexperienced graduates who have developed very limited practical insight into the field.
No wonder the graduates coming out of such institutes are not industry-ready.
So what can be done by the institutes to refurbish the quality of education and nurture the efficient leaders of tomorrow?
Here are some suggestions
- Revise the curriculum from time to time as the industries change dynamically.
- Let your students imbibe from a mix of industry leaders and research experts. Only a high-quality faculty can equip students for industry challenges.
- Train your students for entrepreneurship.
- Maximize hand-on experiences of students by including more on field education.
It is no secret that as an MBA student you face a plethora of difficulties to earn an MBA degree. It’s a long arduous journey. Be it slogging hard to crack CAT to make it to one of the prestigious B-schools or blending in with an altogether new crowd or even keeping up with insanely rigorous academic schedules. But the good news is that this very specialized training makes you take on challenges and stand apart in the crowd.
I hope this piece of writing guides you into making the most crucial career decision of your lifetime.