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Thinking Of Doing MBA ? Confused About Part Time or Full Time Program ? Read This To Make An Informed Decision

confused about MBA whether full time or part time

this post is a sequel to my previous post :

So, you have been thinking about MBA for quite some time now ? Suddenly you have noticed that so many people around you are pursuing MBA and then, everyone is changing career options or hopping jobs to get a better profile. You have also started thinking that you are getting limited in your current organization and you need to do something like an MBA to grow further. But now, you are confused whether to go for full time MBA program or do a part time MBA Degree or just do a certificate course ? The last thing you want to do is not to take any action because by now, you have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Let me help you take a decision by bringing certain things to your notice. The points mentioned in this article are written to force you to think hard rather than go by marketing pitches of the so called institutes or degree sellers.

Before you take any decision, answer the following questions. and may be write down answers on a piece of paper so that you can think better.

1. Are you doing MBA to change your work profile (basically, you want to change the stream of work or looking for a new option) because you don’t enjoy the current work you do ? For example: You are a tech person (an engineer) who has become a manager as the years went away ?

2. Are you thinking of MBA because you want to change your job and again, start in a new domain ?

3. You want a Degree because you believe that to grow in life and reach senior positions, a degree is a must and without the degree, achieving heights is very tough

4. That a few of your friends did that degree program and now, they are happy and successful ?

5. are you plainly interested in a lot of knowledge and learning about management and hence, you MBA seems a natural thing to you ?

Now, I am sure you would have answered quickly as you read the questions. So, Let’s break it down.

If you are reading this article on LinkedIn, Most probably, you are a person who has some work experience and thinking about doing MBA or are curious about it. And you wish to make a change in career but at the same time, you do not want to let go of your current source of income. You think that it is too risky to quit the job and go for a full time program. Or you think you are too old to go to college ? or may be you think it is too expensive to go to full time program ? Or lastly, may be you think you cannot make it to full time programs anymore because of the high competition.

When They say “No Pain, No Gain” They really mean it.

Let me take an example if you really want to think like an MBA. As a true management professional and that’s what they teach you in MBA, your returns should be higher than your investments. If the returns are great than principal, then you have a profit. If your returns are same or less than principal, then you have made a loss.

Do a simple mathematical calculation

  1. X = amount of fees paid for the course (whether degree or certificate) .
  2. Y = Value of time invested. if it’s full time program, write your salary for that duration. If it’s part time program, again write estimated salary imagining you worked in that time.
  3. Z = Y / 2 . Known as Happiness Cost . The time lost which you could have enjoyed with your family. For simplicity, We do it as Y / 2 but you can put any number you wish.

Your total investment, I = X + Y + Z

Your returns have to be significantly greater than I. which means atleast 50% more.

Now, with every option, we’ll apply this simple mathematical logic. I am sure if you are rational people, you will value RoI (return on investment)

Option 1

Believe Me, If you are really serious about MBA as a Degree and want to make serious dent in the universe on the basis of MBA degree, then make an effort and join a very reputed full time MBA program. Why so ? Because you gain something only when you lose something. No one hits a jackpot without playing a risk. You gain three most important things in this process of Full time MBA in the priority order:

  • A great Alumni network who’ll be there in top positions in top organizations across the world
  • A Degree which is respected because of the name of the business school. For example : MBA from IIM-B, MBA from Stanford, MBA from Sloan… I am sure you won’t feel nice when you’ll say MBA from QWERTY-Bangalore. and anyway, no one will even care for it.
  • A great theoretical knowledge from distinguished professors and industry experts with again super awesome peer learning environment.
  • To top it all, an opportunity of Campus placements where great companies will pick you up for the roles you wished for..

In this process, you lost your precious 1 – 2 years, your 1 – 2 year salary and gained an education loan. but with in a couple of years, you’ll be in a much better situation. Let’s apply the above given formula with some assumed numbers (consider India scenario at ISB)

X = Rs 30,00,000
Y = Rs 20,00,000
Z = Rs 10,00,000

I = Rs 60,00,000

With total investment of Rs 60,00,000 over 1 year time period, Let’s assume you get placed with starting salary of Rs 25,00,000. So to calculate RoI, you’ll recover your investments in 5 year time period. and now, with in that 5 year time period, you would have earned a significant trust in senior management and would have been rising ranks. So, your RoI will be at least 4 times. because with in 5-8 year time period, your income will be Rs 60 – 70 Lakhs with stock options and if you put a price to the role you’ll play it will be atleast 3 times the role you current are in. So, in any way of averaging out, you have at least 2 times profit in 10 year time frame.


Option 2

I understand that it is not possible when you have an experience of 7 years or above and a salary of 20 Lakhs or above and you have a family to take care of. Then, your second option should be again be off the beaten path. When your goal is to change career tracks and figure out something which will take you far for another 10-15 years, play the fucking risk again. Let go of your comfort zone and hi-flier life. Join a startup or some small company and help the company grow from the scratch. Yes, you’ll spend double the time in office with half the money every month but believe me again, it will be worth it. What will you gain in this process

  • A super awesome network of people who have been there , done that. and you’ll be one of them.
  • A brand of yourself because you have done something which people don’t even try.
  • A great practical experience which can never compete with theoretical knowledge.
  • and you don’t even need placement because you are fuckin’ working at a place in the role of your choice.

Let’s do math again.
X = Rs 0
Y = Rs 20,00,000 ( half your current of Rs 20,00,000 per annum for duration of 2 years)
Z = Rs 20,00,000 ( 2 years)

Again, investment, I = Rs 40,00,000

Within two years, you are experienced enough that you have played significant roles in small companies and now, you join some mid size companies in senior management roles with salaries at least double the amount. and You have extended your career runway by 10-15 years. and if the company becomes unicorn, you’ll be in the list of who’s who. So, if you put RoI figure, it will still be a minimum of 100% profit. But I agree, this is the riskiest route possible. but then, people who hit jackpots take the highest risk possible.

startup is the best MBA in real life

Option 3

Now, let’s say you cannot even do that because you think you are a low risk appetite. then my friend, with low risk appetite, your life will be like mutual funds. Less Pain, Less gain. But it is still okay. Work hard, download the MBA curriculums off the internet and take free courses on Coursera or do some small time certificates courses without worrying about the Degree. Just go for acquiring the fucking knowledge. Just ignore the damn lure of holding an MBA Degree Because, when you don’t have a Degree from Tier 1 B School, no one gives a shit to the certificates or degrees you gain. and because, you also don’t have practical experience, then the knowledge will come in to your rescue. So, work hard on your own and save money. you are a grown up and if you can do self study now, forget about your dreams then.. In the end , what will you gain

  • A theoretical knowledge at least giving you confidence to try things at your current workplace and appear for interviews if you get called for one.
  • Some more confidence to take OPTION 2.

X = Rs 50,000
Y = Rs 5,00,000 ( you’ll spend 1/4 of your time considering about 8 days in a month)
Z = Rs 2,50,000

I = Rs 8,00,000 ..

With less investment only less gains.. So, if you try hard in your current organization and do some pro-bono projects or change teams, may be you’ll get some increments. or you’ll be able to change job if possible with some good returns. This will definitely give you positive RoI because when investment is low, the risk is low. and when risk is low, even low returns are still keeping your profitable.

Option 4

So, Option 1 and Option 2 are not your cup of tea or coffee for many reasons and that’s fine. It’s okay not to play high risks if you cannot handle it. And Option 3 is not feasible for you because you really cannot focus and study on your own. You still do not want to risk your time by exploring on your own. But Because you are still determined at least, go for a part time program (whether Certificate of MBA Degree) but only from very highly reputed Tier 1 B Schools. IIM, ISB, INSEAD, Stanford, MIT, Yale, Sloan, MDI, XLRI, FMS, and the likes of these.. Because in the end, you’ll still gain the minimum and may be you’ll have a turn around in your career. The minimum gains can be

  • Theoretical knowledge and industry experts.
  • A brand name association and access to alumni networks

In this case, the mathematics is somewhat similar to Option 3. just change some numbers but returns will be in similar proportions.

Option 5

By now, if you are not able to choose any option. Then my friend, I would suggest to drop your MBA dream. You are not willing to risk anything, you are not ready to even put efforts but you want every comfort similar to the people who chose the previous options. Isn’t it that you are asking for too much without giving in anything ? but if you want it, you deserve to be cheated by the so called part time MBA degree sellers who will make your leaders and great managers by giving weekend classes in some local institute of theirs with so called guest lecturers. And, you deserve to be happily robbed of your hard earned money (almost equivalent to your 6-10 month salary) in the name of MBA Degree from a university which no one gives a shit about. you’ll be happy giving fake exams to the examiners who are least interested in evaluating you. And you’ll happy to click a picture of yours in that newly bought suit because you think all MBAs wear a fucking suit.

Now, as I said earlier, option 5 is for laziest people. Let’s do some mathematics here.

X = Rs 8,00,000
Y = Rs 10,00,000 ( 2 year part time duration if your annual salary is Rs. 20,00,000)
Z = Rs 5,00,000

I = Rs 23,00,000

Now, your RoI is doomed or negative. Why significantly negative ? because in this option, you are not gaining any positives. and the knowledge gained here is similar or less than Option 3. Which means it takes your investment high but gives you return like Option 3. And hence, with higher investment and low returns, negative RoI is bound to happen. In this option, even if you are try hard, you’ll not be able to go faster and ahead of people who took Option 3. Either you be behind them or at the max, only few will be at the same level of Option 3 people. Because, the advantage of Option 3 people is that they are self motivated, focused and at least well managed who can figure things out on their own. The option 5 people are dependent on others

MBA from local institute to become product leader - MBA in product leadership

That’s why I always recommend, if you really are looking forward to an MBA Degree, either go to Tier 1 B School or get ready to be fooled. Because if Leaders were created by these local institutes, I am sure IVY Leagues would have shut down their campuses by now. 🙂

In the end, The choice is yours. 

MBA to get product leadership in part time mode

this post is a sequel to my previous post :

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