Why Engineers Choose to do MBA?

Written by: Nidhi Mishra on 16 Feb. 2017

Why Engineers do MBA - If you are seeking MBA admission in a top MBA college in India, the stiffest competition will emanate from students with a technical background. Therefore, the million-dollar question is that why MBA is attracting the attention of technically endowed Indian men and women.

The trend of shifting from technical to a managerial domain is gaining prominence. An increasing number of Indian technocrats vouch for an MBA degree to diversify their skill sets and get a better purchase from the global labour markets. The current year’s CAT result, where all top 20 rankings were secured by engineers, just goes on to substantiate the trend. However, a similar trend is not evident when it comes to other conventionally preferred professions – be it medicine, architecture, or law.

The apparent question here is that why engineers are so obsessed with MBA degrees, while other professionals prefer sticking to their core competencies. If enhancing skill sets is the only plausible reason, then the obsession should be mutual across all career streams. If you too are troubled with the daunting question, join us, as we delve deep into the reasons that explain for the growing deluge.

Complement Each Other:

A decent engineering degree curriculum makes an individual intimate with engineering practices by ways of research and experimentation. The rationale or focus here is to develop a problem solving, rational, and inquisitive mindset that can keep students as well as the organisations they prefer representing competitive and poised for growth. On the other hand, MBA courses focus on equipping aspirants with essential management skills and developing analytical and critical thinking, besides making them aware of business and its varied processes. The aim of both the courses boils down to making sound decisions and ensuring impeccable implementation. Seemingly, no other career streams complement each other so well as engineering and MBA, which explains for the trend.

Better Career Prospects:

An engineer brings his technical abilities to the table, while you expect great managerial skills from an MBA degree holder. However, your perspective takes a topsy-turvy when a professional with both technical and managerial abilities comes across. The amalgamation of an engineering and MBA degree sets the trajectory for professional to be efficient in both domains, contribute in more ways towards the greater cause, and eventually flourish. This speaks for the penchant that recruiters have for engineers with a degree in management. Currently, companies, irrespective of their size, nature or geographical location, are willing to shell out any amount to enrich their talent pool with such professionals. 

Lateral Growth:     

The modern day corporations present a scenario of a sea of faceless engineers striving to carve out an identity for themselves. The only way out for them is to add to their tally of existing skill sets. Given the hype that MBA dream sellers are creating, such engineers find their best ally in the MBA degree. In the post degree scenario, the employer’s perception of them changes drastically. Engineers can now aspire to spearhead projects that remained the prerogative of the office elite and thus, scale the corporate ladder faster than their counterparts. 

The Similarity in Entrance Tests:

Yet another contributor to the growing trend is the similarity in entrance tests. Right from their school days, engineering aspirants focus on gaining proficiency in English, mathematics, logic and reasoning, as each one is crucial for their enrolment dreams. The evaluation criteria in Common Admission Test, abbreviated as CAT, is more or less the same. The aspirants are expected to possess the quantitative and verbal ability, along with data interpretation and logical reasoning skills. Moreover, the extracurricular activities that are a permanent fixture at any decent engineering college across India add to the students’ awareness levels. Apparently, the engineers find it convenient to get past the CAT and fructify their dream of an MBA degree from top B Schools like IIM. 

A Safe Career that isn’t Safe Anymore:

The misconstrued notion in India is that an engineering degree is a safe bet. Accordingly, the degree can unlock the doors of riches and make you a revered name without much doing. The recent stories where our technocrats have achieved unprecedented success only lends credence to the notion. However, the verity is quite different or somewhat shocking at times. Not many of the engineers end up achieving high paying jobs and rewarding careers. An overwhelming majority ends up with low profile jobs and has to struggle to make their ends meet. Therefore, a sizeable number of engineers opt for an MBA degree to enhance their skills sets and further their career prospects.

Unaware About their True Calling:

A large number of engineers opt for the technical degree in peer and parental pressure. Right from their early days, they are mentored, trained, and motivated to pursue a career in engineering. Even after completion of the degree, they are unaware of their true calling and hence, are vulnerable to fancy sales pitches offered by MBA dream sellers that are working overtime.

Knowledge Gap About Other Career Options:

We are living in an age where IT has intruded into all aspects of living. That said, still, the knowledge gap exists when it comes to career planning. An average Indian student is well aware of conventional career options, including medical, law, and engineering. However, alternative options like marketing, finance, and consulting remain unheard of during school days. The student gets familiar with these options only while he is pursuing an undergraduate degree. Since these alternatives offer great career prospects, the individual may develop a liking for them even if he is pursuing a professional technical degree from a prestigious institute.

Availability of Customised Options:

The MBA degree comes in a variety of formats, including, but not restricted to, regular MBA, EMBA, Part-time MBA, Online MBA, and Dual MBA. Thereby, the engineer is at liberty to opt for the one suiting his needs, aspirations, and budget. Engineers with the luxury of time and money prefer conventional full-time regular courses while working ones find salvation in the more flexible formats like EMBA and Part-time MBA.

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