Students from the general stream find it relatively easier to take a decision since in India, there is little prospect for students after completing a regular arts or science undergraduate course. Hence most of them opt for an MBA or PGDM, unless they plan to go into the teaching profession or something specific.
Prospects for Engineering Students
For engineering students, however, the dilemma is bigger. Students are mostly unsure of the prospects in the industry for an M.Tech compared to the assured growth up the management ladder for an MBA/PGDM holder in India. Data shows that more than 70% of engineers do their MBAs, sometime or the other, during their professional career.
Recent trends also show that most students opt to work for 2 to 3 years after graduation and then apply to Business Schools, abroad. This is because most institutions in US and UK demand prior work-experience of at least two years. However, when it comes to choosing between a Masters in Engineering or an MBA/PGDM, some other factors also come into play in addition to career prospects. Some of these include, finances or cost of education, career aspirations, knowledge quotient and aptitude of the student.
Career Prospects and Career Aspirations
Talking about career aspirations, if a student wants to focus on a technical profession and work in an engineering-related sector or conduct research or take up teaching as a career, then pursuing a master’s degree in a field of engineering is a good choice. However, if the goal is to earn a big fat pay cheque, jet-set across business capitals and stay in top-class luxury-hotels, an MBA obviously appears to be the most coveted degree in the world. Moreover, MBA/PGDM also gives diverse career opportunities which is not for the engineering students who do M.tech/MS and that’s the main reason MBA/PGDM gets extra edge.
Candidates can expect an annual salary of INR 8-9 lakhs after completing a Master’s in Engineering in most cases, while an MBA/PGDM candidate can expect an annual salary of anything around INR25 lakhs, depending on the business school in India, they graduate from. Average starting salary for the enginerring students are 3-5 lakhs whereas for the management students are 5-7 lakhs.
In current times, companies are unwilling to offer fat pay-cheques to fresh engineering graduates. Rather, they are investing in training them to meet their skill-set requirements. Furthermore, corporate across the nation are encouraging employees to take time off to pursue a master’s degree of their choice and offer their jobs back with a promotion and higher pay after they come with relevant degree upgrades.
India is offering a fertile environment for startups. For individuals who wish to pursue that path, considering an MBA/PGDM in addition to their undergraduate degree in engineering can equip them with the right skills in strategy, operations, finances, human resources management and leadership- all required to drive any business to a success.
Students with analytical and technical bent of mind are more suited for an MS or M.Tech degree, while students with an aptitude for realizing their entrepreneurial dreams and ambition to rise in rank in the field of managing business are suited for PGDM or MBA degree. Engineering graduates today are being offered huge opportunities in manufacturing, oil and petro-chemicals, automobiles, computer-technology, communications, infrastructure etc. The demand for trained engineers with relevant postgraduate degrees and research experience is growing. Thus, it is important for a student to make a choice based on his aptitude and not just income. It is ultimately the job satisfaction that will keep one motivated to work and keep going.