MBA admission in 2017 or 2018: 5 key pros & cons to guide you opt or drop; don’t get confused

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Updated on June 6, 2017
In almost all the MBA/PGDM colleges, the admission process is to close shortly and it may not be wise to linger on your decision whether to opt for MBA 2017-19 or drop this year
Not even 100 percentile score can guarantee you admission to IIMs or XLRI unless you are backed with a strong academic profile and work experience

With the declaration of  May MAT 2017 exam result, you must have arrived at the decision whether to go for MBA 2017-19 or should take one more chance and prepare for another year and get some better B-school like one of the top 3 IIMs, XLRI, FMS Delhi among others.

At present admission process is open in many mid tear B-schools and also in 400 B-schools including JBIMS, SIMSREE, PUMBA, K J Somaiya in Maharashtra. In almost all the MBA/PGDM colleges, the admission process is to close shortly and it may not be wise to linger on your decision whether to opt for MBA 2017-19 or drop this year to get a better one next year.

With your scores in various entrance exams like CAT/XAT/CMAT/MAT, if you find that you cannot get admission to one of the good B-schools in the country in 2017, you need to take decision without delay. To help you out of the impasse of confusion and indecision whether to take admission in 2017 or should go for MBA 2018-20, experts share key pros & cons which could help you in finalizing your decision

Check the options available to you in 2017

Out of 20 IIMs, 13 have finalized their admission process. Even the 7 newest IIMs have pegged their CAT percentile requirement above 80. Other top B-schools also need above 90 percentile to shortlist you for final admission round. So the very 1st thing is to check what options are available to you as per your scores in different entrance exams.

No doubt admission options through DTE Maharashtra conducted Centralized Admission Process (CAP) are available in JBIMS, SIMSREE, K J Somaiya, PUMBA and other 400 B-schools of Maharashtra. But again you will need 98 and above percentile to get into the top B-school. Now the remaining options for 2017 are only mid tear B-schools.

If you have scored a lower percentile in the range of 60 to 80 and even your sectional percentile scores are also not as per the minimum prescribed qualifying scores of IIMs and other B-schools, you have to think and take decision whether to opt for the admission in the best of the available options instead of aspiring for IIMs, XLRI, FMS, SPJIMR, MDI among others or should take one more chance to score high and get into one of the top 20 B-schools in India.

If you opt for a mid tear B-school, you will get an AICTE or University recognized PGDM or MBA, there is no doubt about it. But how much helpful would this PGDM or MBA be in shaping your career needs to be understood. Again, if there is no surety of getting a high score and if you have to opt for the mid tear B-school next year also, it is no use wasting one more year.  

If you linger on the decision of taking or not taking admission in MBA 2017-19 in the B-school as per your scores, you will miss the bus. It is therefore very much required that you should either opt for the admission or drop the idea of pursuing MBA 2017-19 and prepare hard again for next year but it again depends upon your confidence level.

Your confidence: Key parameter to opt or drop

The question- ‘how confident you are to score a high percentile in CAT 2017 or XAT 2018’ can only be answered by you.  Your low score in entrance exam might not get you a very good B school nor the experts advise you to pursue one if you have confidence enough to hit the high score in CAT 2017. A percentile range above 85 only can push you up beyond a second tier B school. Besides, Not even 100 percentile score can guarantee you admission to IIMs or XLRI unless you are backed with a strong academic profile and work experience.

You need to think again now! If you have scored a CAT/XAT percentile below 90, you may get only a second tier B school. If you can improve your performance and have that strong confidence to crack CAT 2017 with a percentile around 95, advises you to wait and don’t be in a hurry to take MBA admission in 2018.

If you are confident enough to score high in CAT 2017, nurture it and work hard for next 6-7 months to get the top ranking B school in 2018. Think where do you stand and what you would be getting after 2 years of your MBA study? Let your confidence prevail,

If you have shaky confidence and your academics are also not excellent, it is advisable to explore admission opportunity and grab one of the best available options now. The high score is not suffice as you need very good academics also. IIM Ahmedabad has turned down the admission of even a 100 percentiler for the batch 2017-19 and has offered admission to one of the candidates with a percentile as low as 89.67 percentile. In case you do not fit on the admission criteria of these top B-schools, you may not be sure of being offered admission despite getting the top score.

Top B-school fee: 3 times of average fee

Meeting the expenses in top B-schools is in itself a problem. On an average, a mid tier B-school has a fee structure between 5 to 7 lakhs.  If we look at the B-schools in Maharashtra, the fee is below Rs.3 lakhs for MBA/MMS programme since it is regulated by the Government.

On the other hand, top IIMs, XLRI, MDI among others have a fee structure between Rs.15 to Rs.20 lakhs which is many times more than the average fee structure of other B-schools. Unless you get FMS Delhi or JBIMS Mumbai, you need to shell out this amount to meet your academic expenses in top B-schools. The other supporting expenses to living expenses would be in addition to these expenses. 

You need to think well whether it would be feasible for you to forego admission opportunity this year available with low fee and go for next year MBA with high fee, that too when it is not certain.

Don’t give up the job

If you are engaged in a decent job and are getting handsome salary, why to give it up when you are not sure of getting a top rated B school next year. There are other good MBA options available also.

If you do not wish to pursue MBA this year, prepare again but remain in the job. When your exams are close take leave for a month or so and give your best.  This will save your job and additionally by the time result is out you will be eligible for good bonus marks due to your experience.

In case of not getting sure to score higher than what you have scored now, it will be better to continue working and along with your work try to boost your confidence level rather than incurring the high costs associated with obtaining an MBA or PGDM from a low ranking B school.

If you end up investing Rs.10-15 lacs as fee and other expenses in any B-school or should invest it to pursue MBA from one of the top rated B schools, our answer goes for latter. How wise it would be to invest 10-12 lacs to get an annual placement package of Rs.5 lacs after 2 years, that too when you are earning almost same amount before your MBA degree? What’s the ratio of return and why should you go for it? If it’s only for the sake of pursuing MBA, you can do it with distance learning, executive MBA and with other numerous options.

Prepare only if you are very confident…

If you think you can hit the jackpot and can get admission in one of the top rated MBA programmes next year, you must give it a try. Getting into IIM A, B, C, L, FMS, XLRI, SPJIMR, MDI among other highly ranked B-schools can be a much better proposition than joining a lower rung B-school this year.

How important is 1 year …

Every minute, hour, day, month or year is very important in life. But it applies to everyone whether successful or without success. In fact the person who has nothing to do is always in a hurry and thinks that his time is most important whereas the busy one spares the desired slot from somewhere.

Out of 80 years of your life 35-40 years will be in working domain and rest of the life is devoted to pre job and post job affairs. Now focus how much this 1 year is going to impact your rest of life. Assuming that you scored 80+ percentile in CAT 2016; 80+ in XAT 2017; 95 in MAT 2017 and have fairly good academic profile and are bent upon to take admission in MBA 2017,  the suggestion for another option to  prepare for CAT 2017 and take admission in 2018 also exists. Let us find what difference it could make

MBA entrance exam 2016-17 2017-18 Comments
CAT/XAT & others 80-85 95-98 After 6 months of preparation
Admission available 2nd or 3rd tier B-school IIMs, XLRI, FMS, SPJIMR, FMS, MDI  
Fee & other expenses Rs.5 to 7 lakhs Rs. 15 to 20 lakhs (Finance option available in privileged category)
Learning experience Average Excellent  
Alumni support Average Excellent  
Average Placement salary Rs.4 to 8 lakhs Rs. 15 to 25 lakhs  

Excellent career, now or next year?

There are number of B-schools who are not able to have good placement nor good recruiters are visiting them. If you are getting admission offer from such institutes you may be wasting time, energy and money.

MBA Placement 2017 shows great positive trend where highest and average salaries have gone up despite the increase in number of students seeking placement in top rated B schools. The economic slowdown appears to be over and better opportunities might be waiting from next year onwards. 

Now you should find out your strengths and weaknesses. Work on them and overcome the weaknesses while improving further the strengths.  Now assess with the strategy of preparation you are going to adopt, where you would stand after 1 year. 

The boom in number of admission seekers to good MBA colleges is more than ever earlier. The basic reason is high ROI; career prospects and good managerial skills. For example, if you compare admission in MBA and admission in MA, M.Com, MSc or any other Post graduate course, opportunities with MBA are more, while admission criteria are almost same. Moreover, funding the MBA education is not a major problem at least for the good B schools.

 If you are not able to make it to top 30 B schools in India next year, it is no good to invest another one year of preparation. When you make a self assessment, consider your academic profile also as it can take you to a good B-school or may drop you out despite scoring high in MBA entrance exam.

The future of MBA job market has already started showing upward trends. Almost all the good B-schools like IIMs, FMS, JBIMS, XLRI, SPJIMR, MDI, IMI, IMT among others have claimed a hike of 15 to 25% in highest and average salary offered by recruiters to their students in placement 2017.

According to the experts and mentors on MBA preparation, a confident skilled professional can turn the tables in his favour. They suggest to remain fully motivated and confident with your preparation level for the coming year to score not less than 95 percentile.

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