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By Harshita Mehrotra

Job vs MBA: What Should Be Your First Step After Your Undergrad?

28th December, 2020

Many graduates all across India pursue MBA or plan to pursue it. However, one question that bothers most is – whether they should pursue their MBA just after graduation or pursue it after gaining some work experience? MBA before or after a job? Which is better – Job or MBA after graduation?

Job vs MBA: An Introduction

There is a big debate around  Job vs MBA, to which no conclusive answers exist. There are various points that one has to consider before pursuing a Job or MBA. Though pursuing an MBA is the ultimate goal, different routes to it exist. So which is the route which suits you the best? Which route shall you take?

Also Read: 10 Reasons To Do an MBA Before Starting a Business

One thing that you should keep in mind is that every journey is going to be different. Both a job or MBA after graduation has its pros and cons”, both offer a different path to success. Both of them hold a promising future. Before losing too much sleep over it, one thing you must know is that there is no definite route to success and no unique formulae for success. Everyone’s journey is different though the destination might be similar. There is no option that is better than the other.

MBA vs job experience both are very different. It’s just that one option is better for some and another is better for others. You must carefully choose your path and must make the decision only after due deliberation and diligence.

This decision will have a significant impact on your career later on. You must only make this crucial decision only after considering various factors and must consider your career demands before making a final decision. 

Job vs MBA Experience

  •  MBA is a professional course that will provide you with theoretical knowledge coupled with practical training while preparing you to work in the corporate world. However, if you are an MBA aspirant, you have two options; either you can directly enrol in a B school right after your graduation, or you can choose to gain some work experience before applying for an MBA. Pursuing an MBA is a decisive point in one’s career, so one must choose the path they wish to follow cautiously. Both of these options have their benefits and shortcomings. SO before arriving at such a crucial decision, one must carefully weigh all the pros and cons.   Let us have a look few of the things that one must keep in mind before making the final decision –
  • Choose as per own career goals – There is no straight-jacket formula to success in one’s career. Everyone has to make decisions depending on their own needs and their goals for their careers. So, it would help if you strategized, which means to set attainable goals for your career. Where would you like to see yourself in the future? Which direction do you wish that your career should take? 

          Only after setting such goals, one must arrive at a decision…

  • Determine your needs – Everyone has different priorities in life. So it is useful if you assess your necessities and set your priorities before taking the final decision about an MBA before or after your job. For some, it is essential to start earning right away to support their family. For others, it might be essential to devote some more time to higher studies. Some might not be comfortable making such a huge investment for their studies right away and might want to save money before applying for a B school.
  • What will benefit you in the long run? – When it comes to making choices in one’s career, they must plan for the future and consider its impact on their lives and careers in the long run. Someone who will start working right away after graduation will have an absolute advantage over his colleagues as he/ she will gain valuable work experience and have more contacts within the corporation. As mentioned before, MBA vs experience both of the choices has their pros and cons.
  • Many students who have just completed their graduation often find themselves in a fix as they are not satisfied with what the job market has to offer them in terms of salary or job type. So the question that they often ask themselves is -Should I do MBA directly after graduation?  MBA after job experience adds value to your profile. They consider it wise to have an additional qualification before starting to work. An MBA offers technical teaching coupled with practical training, which is highly valued by employers. You can expect not just a fatter paycheque but also better job positions. You can apply for and secure managerial positions in corporate firms. 
  • An additional advantage of doing an MBA right after your graduation is that you are still in the right frame of mind to learn and absorb all that a valuable master’s program like MBA has to offer. As you are just fresh out of your college, it will be much easier for you to cope with your rigorous studies and training at a B school. Many people who have started working find it difficult to get themselves used to studying again. 
  • Working experience may help you gain insight and knowledge that you will not gain at a university. Work experience for MBA in India will help you gain deep insight into the working of a corporate. So, when you are pursuing your MBA after some work experience, you will have a sense of direction and will be able to implement all the learning in a better way. MBA after job opportunities are immense. So while you will be learning about real-life situations in your MBA program, you will be able to understand it much better as you have already been in the situation before.
  •  Though an MBA also teaches you crucial soft skills like time management and communication skills, working in a corporate setup will teach you the real-life importance of all these skills and their various applications. Once you have gained experience as a working professional, you will have an MBA after job opportunities. 

Cost Analysis

  • Before applying for an MBA program, it is necessary to set your priorities straight. MBA is a costly master’s program with B schools charging a considerable amount of money for it. Your decision to pursue an MBA is mostly dependent on one crucial factor, i.e., Expenditure. There are a few factors you must keep in mind while analyzing when is the right time to do MBA in India. 
  •  Higher education, particularly an MBA, carries a considerably higher cost. So, many students pursue their MBA after securing a loan from a bank. Carrying a colossal student loan is a big responsibility which you must take only after due consideration. Also, check if you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your MBA program. When calculating your MBA program’s real value, it is advisable that you also calculate it in terms of ROI(Return of Investment). 
  • To calculate your ROI, divide your MBA program’s total cost by the uplift in your salary. This way, you can calculate how much time it will take to nullify your MBA program’s cost. Pursuing an MBA is a big decision that you must take only after strategizing on your plans.
  • Another critical factor in terms of cost analysis is work experience. If you have no prior work experience, you will get minimally paid if you apply for a job. Even if you are a fresher with an MBA, you can only expect a slight increase in your remuneration. However, having work experience might make your prospects much better; work experience adds value to your CV, making it easier for you to get a good job.

Career Advancement

  • Everyone wishes to see their careers advance in the right direction. Whether you have chosen to pursue an MBA or have opted to gain some work experience, both of these choices broaden your horizon and are great ways for career advancement.MBA vs experience both offer great opportunities for career advancement. 
  • However, if you choose to pursue an MBA, you are looking forward to a great learning experience. So, why MBA after graduation? While pursuing your MBA, you will acquire a valuable and broad skillset highly valued by employers across all sectors. It offers higher growth opportunities as it makes you eligible for managerial level posts. You can make your way up in the corporate hierarchy more rapidly and steadily. You can also expect a better salary or a fatter paycheque in the future,
  • The alternative to pursuing your MBA right after your graduation is gaining some work experience. Though it is true that while working, you can acquire only a limited skill set with limited compensation. Nonetheless, the growth potential is immense; it is the real testing ground for finding your core area of interest.

Skill Polishing

  • It is of paramount importance for any employer that the employees have a broad skill set. Still, it is equally essential that these skills are polished and capable of practical use—skills like communication skills. Leadership skills, team management skills, etc., can be polished both ways, i.e., either by working or pursuing an MBA. Both of these options offer a different experience for each individual. However, both are great learning experiences.
  • Before deciding on a job or mba , one must consider that  a job will offer a real-time experience of working in a corporate environment. It will teach you skills and continually test you on how you can put these skills to their best use. It will teach you crucial management skills like time management, teamwork, communication skills, etc. While working, you will learn to handle pressure and how to stay calm in such situations. However, an MBA is also an excellent platform to learn these crucial skills as you will undertake various tasks, assignments, etc., where you are required to work in a team.

Growth Advancement

  • Working a job has its advantage; while working in an organization, you can expect significant growth in your career. You can expect regular promotions within the organizations, which reflect very nicely on your CV. You can also expect a constant increase in your pay if you prove to be an efficient employee
  • The growth aspect of pursuing an MBA is something you must keep in mind. MBA is a great learning experience where you learn about business management’s technical side, coupled with valuable knowledge. Most B schools offer full placement services and excellent job opportunities with higher pay. You can make it to senior-level positions.

Concluding Remarks

Both MBA and Job are great learning experiences and have their advantages and disadvantages. They are great platforms for learning, growth, and networking. Both offer a different learning experience and are excellent in their respect. There is no straight-jacket formula for everyone’s success. You have to make a decision based on your own career needs and demands. It would be best to make a smart choice depending on your interests, financial situation, and career goals. 

Planning and strategizing is indispensable when it comes to your career. You must plan for the future in advance while keeping your demands and needs in mind. Remember, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

About Sunstone Eduversity

When it comes to an MBA, one size doesn’t fit all. The industry is ever-evolving and changing, and B schools need to keep up with its demands. 

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By Harshita Mehrotra

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