Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Is MBA a good choice for IT guys?

I get a lot of mails asking whether I recommend ISB. Most of them are with IT background. Before answering this question, lets think why an MBA is necessary. In salary perspective, MBA might be attractive for freshers. Even there, the gap is reducing. Recently, I read an article in Economic times about the hike in salary for IT engineers, especially in entry level. Engineers are getting as high as 9 lakes per annum and even IIM MBA cannot give more than that.

For laterals, especially for people getting more than 8 lakes and with around 5 years of experience, MBA is not going to give a big salary hike. For those who go back to the company they worked for, there could be a good hike and promotion, but that is not just because of MBA but mainly because of their proven track record. Typically, your boss may not be able to give you hike and promotions as much as he wishes due to company policies. He would be able to decide on the salary part for lateral entrants, but he may not prefer to give them more salary as he doesn't know about them. When you go back, he is betting on a known horse, with added qualifications.

For laterals making a career shift salary could even be lower than they were getting. Then why MBA? MBA is a long-term strategy. Your growth will find an impasse after ten or twelve years. That time, salary will not be the only thing that matters. You might have ego problems in reporting to the new CEO/COO younger than you. MBA is just letting others know that you know to manage and that you are certified for your managerial skills. If you are keen about learning, then MBA gives t o time and tools to rethink about your management style.

For laterals, learning comes mostly from the peers. That is the reason ISB is becoming an ideal place for experienced professionals. I don't recommend ISB for freshers. IIM is ideal for them. First, they start their career with a huge burden of 15 lakh loan. This makes them risk-averse. Second, they don't have the maturity to learn from peers.

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