Why do people shift to MBA career after Btech?

Generally engineers move to business arena for several reasons.  The MBA career is the most sought after post graduation degree by the Indian engineers and this is because it is viewed as an easy and faster way to get into management career, as the program is much easier than engineering curriculum. 

This may seem a little strange to the folks from other countries. But in India, the current scenario is that a significant number of engineering graduates end up in industries and roles that their Btech degrees have little or no relation with.

So you could have a Btech in Environment from IIT Kharagpur developing test cases for automation software to be implemented for a financial services client.

Compared to a tough field job with a mediocre salary, a Civil Engineer from IIT Kanpur might prefer the glamorous air-conditioned beautiful Infosys campus in Mysore with a nice salary, free gym membership and unlimited coffee from the well-stocked cafeteria!!

There are companies that still believe in the traditional tenure based approach to promotions. No matter how much potential one have, there is a long queue of seniors waiting in line for their salvation.

Generally it takes a professional around 20-25 years to move up into the executive ranks of any organization. The MBA is often seen as a way to change not only career fields, but also positions.  
Nonetheless I think the world needs more engineers but I once an IT professional myself can understand why many get frustrated with their companies and decide to make a change. 

At some point in your career, your needs will not be satisfied and you would bound to be discontent.  What those needs are takes some investigation however.  Maybe you don’t get enough recognition, or exciting assignments you always dreamt of during your B.Tech days in college. 

If you leave these needs unfulfilled long enough, they will force you to make a change.  It will change your attitude, beliefs and eventually your behaviour towards your professional life.  It is a natural process and hard to detect because it happens nonchalantly.  But once you begin to feel frustrated or have that first notion to change jobs, you need to ask yourself “what need of yours isn’t being met?”
I see way too many professionals getting an MBA with high hopes, only to comprehend what the many who already have an MBA know i.e. it isn’t a quick fix for your problems! 

Check out the book “The Joy of an MBA” by Todd Rhoad.  It will give you various insights from MBA professionals on what the MBA can do for your career.Btech leapsinto MBA career

Is MBA after B-tech is required at all in the industry today??

Well the answer to this is Yes. For a section of industry we do require an MBA who has had a Btech earlier.

To understand this, consider the following example- Suppose there are two factories which produce a car engine. The manager of one factory is a B-Tech + MBA while that of the other is simply a Graduate + MBA.

Now manager of the 1st factory, being a B-Tech, can understand the problems of technical department they face while manufacturing the goods more easily. Moreover he can also be cost efficient as he knows what all materials can be used alternative to costly materials which will provide same quality to the engine produced and thus can improvise more efficiently. And being an MBA he can decide the marketing strategy as well, pay scale of workers and profitable deals etc.

On the other hand the manager who has done an MBA only cannot understand the technical section of production. He can only understand finance and marketing, sales etc. (Disclaimer: Born intellects who can apply their brain at everything shall not take this to heart!!)

Conclusion of my example is that for handling the technical companies BE/B-Tech + MBA professional are preferably more suitable because only MBA professional cannot understand the technical concept readily. Thus opting for MBA after BE/B-Tech does not go in vain at all!

Now, why MBA?

. Business: One reason stated by most of the people who go for MBA after engineering  is that MBA will give them better idea about how to start their own business venture.

Well in my opinion to be an entrepreneur you need not do an MBA, you just need to have one good idea and you should find a team and start working on it right away. Such fast is the technology growth these days that if you wait for an MBA, you won’t be able to materialise your ideas. In the meantime that original concept may occur to someone less!! Better you hire an MBA rather than pursuing it yourself.Management Career after engineering

2. Job Upgradation: When people are not satisfied with their job profile which happens when most of the engineering students are hired by the IT Companies. Even the Electronics, Mechanical graduates are required to do software testing, coding after a training given to them over a period of 3-6 months. Thus this leads to chagrin among them. And when they see their Project Managers who are sitting with ease, they think a manager’s life would have been so good. 

Note: Most of the B.Tech Graduates join IT companies with an intention to get a 2-3 years experience so that they can apply for MBA as the B-schools prefer the experienced ones.

3. The notion “I didn’t get a Good Job after B.Tech” –make some people think MBA is a shortcut for getting the right job what they always wanted.

Please note: MBA is not at all a shortcut to get good jobs, thousands of MBA grads from some not so called B- Schools are selling products in door to door marketing or still busy in job hunting.

And this comes as a greater setback because an MBA degree is much more expensive than any graduate degree. So after investing so much money and 2 years of your life’s primetime, if one does not get the job he/she wanted then it often leads to even more desperation and depression in life.

So if you really want a good job prospect its better you aim for the top 20 Bschools in the country else it may be of no use.

4. Parents, brothers, relatives say that it’s good to do MBA and it adds to the status symbol in the society and will definitely get you good dowry and girl!!

5. Some say “I don’t think that I am good in the technical side like MS/M.Tech/Ph.D. So I feel I should go towards Business side. I took B.Tech just because everybody was doing it”. Just one advice for them-Please don’t mock with your life and career like this!! Attend some counselling sessions beforehand when you’re in 12th or rather when you opt for your subjects after 10th standard if you are not clear on what career to take up.

However it is important for everyone to understand that Engineers are a part of the most important activity of the puzzle called operations in any business. In the normal course of development, as one develops mastery over the engineering aspects, it is logical for anyone to cover the other aspects such as finance, marketing, HR and finally general management as well. Such resources would eventually become a well experienced personality ready to become COO/ CEO’s. This is how the course of sequence should be ideally.  

Today engineers despite being ahead of the pack in their academic life, mostly software professionals lose their identities in the ocean of faceless people just like them, “Another-brick-in-the-wall syndrome”!!

After a point in time, the guy who was hailed by his relatives as the reincarnation of Steve Jobs starts getting disillusioned. Rather than changing the world, he’s now sitting in a cubicle changing the table structure within a rather perilous looking database schema.

The mid-life career crisis starts its onslaught earlier in the career. As opposed to the earlier generation of professionals who’d start hitting the glass wall after 15-20 years of working. For the current generation, the career cycles are shorter and more frequent.

Within 3-4 years, all the excitement of joining a new company at a higher salary dies down.

An MBA seems like a good way to break away from the clutter and add a recognisable face back. Add to this the fact that the only way for IT engineers to rise through the ranks in the software industry is to take on managerial responsibility in the same field (as opposed to a diagonal or horizontal shift into unrelated areas).

So a few become team leads, project managers and start dabbling in new areas like recruitment, business development, budgeting.

The naturally gifted (and politically savvy) ones manage it well. For the others, an international MBA could give their career vehicle the little nudge that it needs to start the growth phase once again.

But again the problem of market saturation and oversupply of similar skills is there. Remember this happens with MBA’s also.

MBA after BtechThink before you jump onto MBA Bandwagon

My personal suggestion is whichever career track you see yourself in, stop for a while and do some introspection. Talk to friends and colleagues who according to you have the track that you would like to get on to.

Ask them specific questions to find out for yourself if they are really happy or is it just a facade. It will give you the real world and first hand perspectives that would be more helpful in sorting out your own dilemmas.

If you are looking for something more formal, unbiased and structured, we offer personalized and confidential career counselling and guidance.

Finally , if you decide to do a post-graduate programme in MBA, then there are various selection exams like CAT, XAT etc which govern the admission to Indian Business schools. In India IIMs top the list of ranking for MBA training.

Written by Sumaiya Arafaat

Sumaiya Arafaat

Apart from being a Bachelor of Technology in Electronics & Communication (SMIT) and a System Engineer in TCS…I am an ardent movie addict. Married to an Airforce Officer I love to live, explore, socialize, learn, grow, heal, to seek compassion for justice and to find beauty in anything. On a mission to define my own path with one sole motto that whatever in life you do, Do It With Passion!

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3 Responses

  1. Bharath says:

    I’m a prefinal year undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering. I’m not sure if I’m really interested in Mechanical field.But I feel like interested or made for management roles.I’m also thinking of doing an MBA. I’m not sure of what to do next.I badly need your advice regarding this.

  2. Sumaiya Arafaat says:

    To feel interested in Management and to actually perform and do management is different. I would suggest don’t rush into MBA. Grab a campus placement and take some work experience for 2-3 years and then decide what to do next. Remember there are right now a hell lot of MBA’s and you will only add one to this club. Moreover, MBA with work experience is more valuable. And in this time you can also explore other options apart from MBA.

    Give time to clear out your mind about what you actually want as you will already be getting a degree in which you are not interested by far.

    Good Luck!

  3. Amit says:

    Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.

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