Is MBA a rat race?


In a country such as India, where survival is cheap yet competitive, people are always in a race. Be it for homes, school admissions, discount on their favourite brands, a seat in a bus, or jobs, people are and always will be in a rat race to get there first. And in this process of getting the slice of cheese before the others, people blindly follow what is supposedly the fastest way to get more money. To get a fact paycheque in this country, one needs to have good certification instead of knowledge. Having an undergraduate degree doesn’t cut it in this country. So the next big thing for every undergraduate is an MBA (Master in Business Administration) degree. The benefit? It gives you a straight shot at that high pay managerial role, which will take some years to get if you go the long route.

Current Scenario:

Some 2.5 lakh students attempted the CAT (Common Aptitude Test) 2018 to try their luck at the premier institutes for MBA – IIM (Indian Institute of Management). But, only 1250 of them will make it through. The rest will have to settle for less. People with really good skills are forced by well-meaning yet overeager and misinformed parents to take up MBA courses, just because that's what the next door neighbor’s son/daughter is doing. Doing an MBA from a roadside institute is not a good idea especially when the person doing it is uninterested in the course. Needless to say that only the IIM lads make it big. After all, Hindustan Lever non-executive chairman Harish Manwani got his MBA from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management. But with an average pay of 16 lakhs per annum, IIMs remain the top choice among all the aspirants. CAT preparation institutes are popping up everywhere, and as the number of MBAs goes up, the value of the MBAs drops.

 It is a crazy rat race, and the consequences aren’t always pleasing. Not only is the probability of getting through a top college low, but employment is also a cause of worry. After all, general business programmes are in abundance and with everyone opting for the same course, there is no freshness that comes out. Everyone wants to be globally relevant but at the same time wants to work within sectors of the Indian economy. The key to getting out of this may lie in trying something unconventional.

In the News:

October 2, 2018: Top company CEOs point out how they value an MBA degree. Those parents or aspiring students who spend sleepless nights because of their limited financial means to acquire overpriced MBA must not despair but reflect carefully on the views of Google’s co-founder Larry Page who calls MBAs’ approach to doing business “stupid” and bluntly expresses Google’s reservation in hiring MBAs. A job-search company recently reported that 15 top organisations of the world “no longer require their applicants to have a college degree”.

Let's find out the two sides of the coin.

Yes, the rat race for MBA is worth it:

  • In a developing country such as ours, there is definitely a need for people at managerial level roles to manage the growing workforce.
  • In the end, money is the factor driving all of us. the prospects of getting a high salaried job are better after an MBA degree.
  • There is a saying, If you can survive the first semester at IIMA, then you can survive life. So MBA is not just about monetary skills, it teaches you about how to survive in life too.
  • The hoard may be huge, but the wolves are less. Serious aspirants for the entrance examination are not close to the ones attempting it, making it more than possible to crack the examination.

The rat race for MBA is not worth it

  • One may not really be interested in pursuing this degree and would be doing so under peer pressure only, and in the end, we are choosing to do something for the rest of our life, it should be 'interest' driving you not peer pressure to do an MBA.
  • One cannot always get into a premier institute and might be wasting his time, trying to get a degree for namesake from a low-level college. the value for doing an MBA from a low-level college would be wasting time and money.
  • The most important factors in the uselessness of degrees is the curriculum which is just not able to keep pace with the changes demanded by progress experienced by markets.
  • On a greater level, the exploitation of higher education by a large number of fly-by-night greedy private operators has also played a major role in turning a degree into a mere piece of paper.
  • According to a report, 15 top organizations of the world “no longer require their applicants to have a college degree”. So why bother?


While MBA might be a degree giving you a boost in the corporate sector of this competitive world, the grass might is always greener on the other side. Before entering into the race, one needs to ask himself if he really wants to enter or if he is just competing in the never-ending rat race.

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