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Know the Reasons Why Engineers Opt For an MBA Program

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CAT, the premier entrance for MBA admissions continues to be dominated by engineers. In 2016, the top 20 candidates scoring 100 percentile were engineers and in 2017 out of top 20 candidates 17 were engineers. It would be intriguing to know why a highly technical degree holder or working professional feels the need to pursue.

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You might have been surfing the internet to know why it has become a trend to pursue an MBA after completing studies in engineering. The trend is not similar in other professions such as law, finance, medicine, CA and CS but quite dominant in the engineering field. If you get a chance to visit a typical classroom in any of the IIMs in India, quite possible that you will get to meet more engineering students then students from other academic backgrounds. Interestingly, IIM Calcutta has an overwhelming number of 88% students from engineering background and IIM Ahmedabad has 68% engineering graduates. And the case is same for almost all business schools in India.

Here we shall find out firstly why engineering students opt for an MBA program and secondly how it will help them in shaping career opportunities and then delve into some common and straightforward reasons given by engineering students:

  • If engineering is a safe career then MBA after engineering is the safest career path.  
  • The fact that MBA graduates are paid more than the ones holding M.Tech/M.E or professionals working after bachelor’s degree drives engineers towards the program.
  • MBA increases the scope of job opportunities across various sectors, especially when there is a dearth of good engineering jobs in India.
  • MBA or M.Tech? The winner has always been MBA as it offers better avenues, career growth and remuneration.
  • Midway through the course many engineering students lose interest in their subject or specialization hence MBA comes as a vent out for them.
  • Cracking management entrances like CAT, XAT, NMAT or other entrances is a cakewalk for engineering students due to strong hold on basics required to crack Quantitative Aptitude and Logical Reasoning sections in management entrances.
  • ‘Walking with the herd’ is a dominant mentality among students where everyone plans to pursue an MBA just because others are doing so.

Why Opting An MBA Is A Wise Decision?

While students have their own reasons, but faculty and education experts have time and again expressed the importance of gaining a degree in MBA after engineering.

An MBA equips technical professionals like engineers to engage their expertise with business knowledge, empowering to assume a senior management or board level role after 4-5 years of work in a particular industry. An engineer who is engaged in performing technical role can pursue an MBA for transiting to a managerial role.

Specific knowledge restricts career path of engineers, which they may wish to explore or expand. Studying an MBA equips them with business skills, offering a complete change of career. Then be it a shift from a pharmaceutical company to a food production company or from a specialist engineer to a more commercial professional engaged in new product development.

MBA programme also fosters entrepreneurial skills in engineering professionals which is required to pursue a new business based on research and development. Most of the engineers within 3-4 years of job start facing mid-life career crisis as they’ve learned enough and the excitement to join the company at a promising salary withers away soon. An MBA degree would open better job avenues where they can use their expertise to explore in different job sectors. Also engineers who have developed products based on their research would want to convert it into a profitable business venture. Hence an MBA.

In a world heavily relying on technology, engineers need to move beyond innovating products and put them in market place where they realize their work. An MBA degree would be their starting point. The role of engineers is expanding and changing rapidly in a commercial and business economy. Engineers are likely to take up more managerial jobs so they may implement new technology and practices in an industrial organization. An MBA would expand the horizon of education in the areas of management.

An MBA program aims at making confident professionals and gives the drive to innovation and experimentation. It enhances managerial skills in engineers to allow them to work towards being more productive. It enables an engineer MBA student well-versed in management concepts with the ambit of their technical engineering abilities – an asset to an organization.

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