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When should you do MBA ? Directly after Bachelors/B.Tech or Work and then ?

Many students across the global with aspirations to pursue management degree like MBA wonder when should they get MBA ? Some think :  why waste and year, just get it right after B.Tech/ Engineering or any Bachelors degree .  What is the correct decision ?  I was one of those who used to always think like that : ” I should not waste time and get it right away”. But, luckily things did not work out and it is a very good thing I did not do it right away. I feel the importance when I am in classes discussing with fellow class mates.

When should you ideally do MBA ?
Short answer, ideally, you should work for at least  3 to 4 years and then start MBA.

What difference does it make ? Why should you work ?  
Work experience makes a huge difference. I can not explain how important it is. Many concepts related to  leadership, organization management, change management need work experience. You will not make much out of those classes if you do not have experience.  For instance, the question would be: how did you deal with your team ? what conflicts did you encounter as a team manager or member.  Think about it, if you have not worked, how would you know ? So, it is very much needed to have work experience.

What point in your career should you do MBA ?
You could pursue MBA for couple of reasons, either to change careers or move into leadership roles. In first case, MBA is recommended when you plan to move into leadership roles or you started a leadership role and need help to do well. Especially for leadership roles, the Golden rule is, you have to work for few years before doing MBA. In fact, some of the top ranked business schools in the world require professional work experience.  They know the importance of it.

In the second case, where one would do MBA is to change their career path . Let’s say you are in some sort of IT kind of role and you want to make a career change to strategy roles. One of the things you can do is get admission at good school, do it full time and on the way do internships in strategy. This gives you an option to change your careers. The key is internships, if not you may end up where you were and may not be able to change easily.

What can I do during my working period after Bachelors to be prepared for MBA ?There are couple of things you can do during your prep time. First and most important thing is to make sure you do well in the tests like GMAT, GRE, or any other test that you would take for admission. So, focus on the important areas that are part of these tests like Verbal,Quantitative, Writing skills, etc. You need to start to research about schools that could fit your passion and goals.

Now, second thing, these things may not directly help you with admission, but will help you be knowledgable and can help you in your MBA classes or after that for your career. Depending on your background, you can start studying books in finance, leadership, Innovation, articles in Economist, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, etc. You can do many of the online courses on leadership on Coursera or LinkedIn that can help you increase your business acumen.

 My Personal Experience :
My background is from engineering and I always had the perception that I should not get break in education and I will lose the track…but, my perception was wrong…I could only realize the value of work experience when I started to do the pre-requisites of MBA and then fully appreciate the value of work experience when I was doing MBA…Having said this, there are many successful students from elite schools, who get done with MBA from top Universities and come out with flying colors right after engineering…but, this does not apply to majority of the students…
What are your thoughts ?  What is your experience ? Do you think, it is important ?
 If you are stuck between decision to do MS or MBA in US, you may read this article on  MS vs. MBA in US – Coursework, Cost and Funding “

   

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288 Comments

  1. Hello sir
    M Doing B.E in computer science from Mumbai University,currently in fourth year.M not good in coding n GD like stuff, but have a interest in management, are thier any jobs for mba’s in technical field considering your B.E degree? I want to know that,if i get a job after doing mba with two years of experience before,will the salary be same as what freshers get right after their B.E degree?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Viraj Patil,
      You can do an internship in Business Analyst kind of roles and pick up roles like Product Manager that are related to CS, but more business centric. It is up to you how you position yourself and get a role in your desired field.

      Reply
  2. Hi Sir,

    I am work experience of 2.5 years in IT (B.Tech CSE 2014 pass out) and i am planning to go for higher studies but confused whether to go for higher studies or just switch to another company. I am not good at speaking and presenting and really confused what to pursue.

    Please give your valuable suggestions.

    Thanks,

    Reply
    • Ankit,
      You should only pursue higher education, when you are clear on what you want to do with your career. Education can be used as a lever to help you get to your final destiny. If you are confused, just take some time to think about where you see yourself in 10 years and then try to plan for education that can help you get there.

      Reply
  3. hello,
    My name is Raj, I am from kerala. I have done b.tech in civil engineering from a reputed govt engineering college in 2012 and worked for 2 year.in 2014 i have joined for MBA regular course in a famous b-school and completed my MBA(operations and H.R.) in may 2016.Like everyone,i too considered MBA as a value addition to my civil engineering career.But at the end of the day i realized that in career perspective i could find anything beneficial. Now everyone asks for experience and none needs my MBA when i takes interviews in construction companies. i couldn’t find a proper job for with reference to b.tech civil and MBA.this is based on my true experience.M.tech could had been a better choice i guess.

    Reply
  4. Sir,
    I’m a passed out btech mechanical june 2016….I aimed to do mba..but after reading this article I have decided to do job before taking mba
    On the same time I’m decided to do certificate course like ndt to get btech job before taking mba…… Is it worth doing job in ndt field before pursuing mba?

    Reply
    • Deepak,
      I am not sure what NDT and what certificate you plan to…Frankly, many of them may not be of much value, you can do it to learn for yourself, but may not add much value to the admission.

      Reply
  5. very helpful information and advice
    Sir,
    my daughter has done her BE ( Electronics and Telcommunication) in 2015 ,and now working with Tech Mahindra , she wish to do her MBA either in India or abroad . What would you suggest do it in India or Abroad which is more valuable for her career

    Reply
    • mukund gundyal,
      It totally depends on where she want to work after her MBA and what her interests are in MBA. I believe that if she wants to work in US, then US would be better. If she plans to work in India, I recommend doing it in India. Also, second thing is the cost of MBA. it can be quite expensive in US…In terms of rankings and brand value, maybe US has more value, but Indian schools like IIMs, ISB, etc have equally good value.

      Reply
  6. Hello sir,
    I’m currently in my final year of B.E in Electrical and Electronics engineering. I’m good in aptitude and coding but i don’t want to get into a purely IT company. After reading your blog, I’ve decided to take a job for 2 years and prepare for CAT. I also want to do a correspondence course in organizational psychology (In this two years). Can you give me some valuable suggestions to design my preparation structure for this two years so that I can get into MBA. I want to do MBA in HR.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • DEEPIKA,
      You already have a plan in place on what you want to. All I can think of is think about what you want to do after your MBA ? Your immediate task is to prepare and do well and get good scores. Also, prepare for anything that are required to admission. Good part is you have time…Take some time to think about the correspondence course…not sure, if you will have time for everything. Dont load yourself too much…focus on your long term goal.

      Reply
  7. hello,

    sir i am b.tech automobile 2014 pass out. i worked in manufacturing industry for one year and now in operation management dept in automobile eCommerce company. my plan is to get admission in reputed business school via CAT,XAT, GMAT or MAT. am i going in right direction? please suggest.
    What is better to join? Either distance learning program or classroom program?

    Reply
    • ABHAY,
      It totally depends on what you want to do for work in the long run. If you would like to take up management roles, it definitely is a good plan. I always suggest that you take the classroom program, as you will have better interaction and the value you will get will be significantly higher.

      Reply
  8. Sir,
    I read your article and it was really informative and I am now getting a idea about MBA course. Sir I am currently doing Bsc.IT. I have given my last sem exam and waiting for the results right now. I want to do MBA in IT as I am from IT field and I Have also got Job Offers from reputed company such as TCS and Infoysis . So my question to you was that should I do correspondence MBA along with job as I could not afford leaving job will it be beneficial for future. What do you suggest sir will it work or I should opt for full time MBA and start preparing for entrance exam and one more question to you is that is MBA in IT is having a good scope in future

    Reply
    • Pooja,
      If you already have a job, I suggest you take that job and work for couple years or more in that job. What you can do is prepare for GMAT during that time. Some of the schools like ISB or Kellog school of business offers a one year MBA program…you can take one year off from job for education and then join the same company…this is just an option. Some do it as correspondence…but, I prefer the full time as you will get more value out of it…if you do not have a choice, then go for the second option. Also, one key thing to remember is why you want to do MBA, you need to have a plan in your mind and where you see yourself in next 10 years, without that, it will just be another degree and you may not leverage that…

      Reply
  9. Hi Sir , I am a 2015 pass out from electronics and instrumentation . I have worked sometime in boo which I think I have done biggest mistake. I know Work ex helps in MBA . I am more interested in finance but no job in hand.I am in complete dilemma I couldn’t even sleep at night properly what should I do should I start cat preparation for 2016 I know it is complete risk if it wouldn’t qualify what should I do I am also giving interviews in sales job

    Reply
    • HARSHIT Rastogi,
      I really did not understand your situation. All I can tell you is take some time to think about your long term goals like where you see yourself in next 5 to 10 years and then study something that will help you get there. I cannot advise on CAT as I am not familiar with the process. If you plan to study in US, then you can take GMAT and apply. Do not take any hasty decision and push yourself, take time and be clear on what you want.

      Reply
  10. Hello Sir,

    I had completed my B.Tech in 2009, after that I am working as a Maintenance Engineer for last 7 years, now I am thinking of doing MBA (executive) along with my job kindly suggest me some best suitable college in NCR area. And how will it give benefit me in terms of salary?

    Reply
    • chetan tripathi,
      We do not really advise on schools here. All I can suggest is that pick a school that is good for what you plan to become after your MBA and that gives you enough contacts to grow in your area of interest.

      Reply
  11. Hello,
    I have compeleted b.tech in mechanical engineering and i wish to do MBA. So i need to know what kind of job does a b.tech(mech)+ MBA guy would
    get
    I mean in what all industries can i work with these degree

    Reply
    • hafeez,
      Getting MBA does not really make a difference, unless you position yourself well on what you want to do. MBA is a management degree, you can position yourself for business centric roles or leadership roles like manager…There is no industry restriction, it is your specific skill and area of expertise that defines your success in getting a role in that industry.

      Reply
  12. Sir , right now I’m in 6th semester of B.tech of ECE from WBUT( West Bengal University of Technology) before this I have completed my Diploma in Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering from WBSCTE ..its my dream to have a MBA from IIM when I was in 10th standard from that time I am planning & hoping that one day god will give me the chance to get a MBA degree from IIM. I’m from a lower middle class family & till now I’m doing my education in sum kind of circumstances which are actually not expected for a student & my family condition is also very poor right now .. So I just want to have ur priceless suggestion for what should I do right now ..should I go for a job , next year I will complete my B.tech .. Or try to get prepared for CAT to have chance in IIM …. I have seen ur suggestion that after completing bachelors degree u should go for a job and have some work experience & then do MBA I am already have that idea & its really perfect. But sir I need ur valuable suggestions to set a target for my own…..thank uu…?

    Reply
    • Tanmoy Ganguly,
      Ideally, it is recommended to work for couple of years before MBA to get good value out of your MBA. It is quite common for many in India to take CAT coaching and do MBA right after B.tech…If you get a job and have a choice, I definitely recommend you to work for couple years and then do MBA. You seem to have a lot of passion for MBA, just go ahead with your desire and work hard and you will make it to your dream school. I strongly believe that working for a year or two will give you more value out of your MBA.

      Reply
  13. Sir,
    My name is Ganga. I am a B.Tech graduate in the department of Electrical and electronics. I graduated in the year 2016. I’m not tech savy . I’m not into coding or core jobs. My interests have changed in the due course of time and now I’m looking forward to doing non – technical jobs. I’m confused as to what to do next. Crack CAT and do MBA in HR or do a ‘quality assurance’ certificate course online from a good institute and apply for a job ?

    Reply
  14. Hello there,
    My name is Kranti Joshi, I have recently completed bachelors in marketing and innovation from a school in london. Now the university requires me to have a 3 years work experience to pursue MBA. What company should i apply in? and for what post? I am in India currently but wish to have higher studies in the US.

    Reply
    • KRANTI,
      Forget about company first, think of what are the job roles you can apply to. You should be eligible to apply for marketing coordinator, associate product manager, sales roles, etc…There are a ton of options, you just need to do some research on job sites and apply. You can fulfill your wish anytime, you will need to take GRE/ GMAT and TOEFL and apply to US schools anytime…if you plan for MBA, it is recommended that you work for few years before you apply for your MBA..

      Reply
  15. Sir, I just want to do MBA for a better life and money? I am currently in third year of College of Engineering Pune (COEP). I already have a ppo of 8.5 lpa from an investment bank.Should I proceed my life by just doing job or Should I go for MBA after two years of job.
    Will my job package will increase in coming years that even if I dont do MBA its okay? Please give a detail answer on how should I proceed.

    Reply
    • Sandesh,
      Well, it depends on what you take up after MBA. Having MBA degree will NOT necessarily increase your salary or anything, it is up to you how to plan and use your degree. I suggest you think about what you want to do after 5 to 10 years and see what you should do to get there. Think of what will help you get there in terms of education and pick such thing so that it helps you.

      Reply
  16. I will pass btech.in jun2016,and the CAT percentile i m expecting is 90+% in the upcming CAT 2016.I dont want to join a company bcz it might bring down my performance in the upcoming CAT in nov.2016.im okay in GD and Interviews..Is there a good chance to get into IIM s. Or a reputed b-school like S.P.Jain???plz sir Do REPLY

    Reply
  17. Hello sir,
    I am pursuing B.tech in biotechnology and will be completed in may 2016. i want to do MBA after b.tech but i m confused which branch in MBA course i will choice. should i do MBA in biotechnology or some other extreme,please sir your guidance is needed.

    Reply
    • Diksha Singh,
      MBA does not have branches, it is basically emphasis, if you do more courses in that area. you will not have anything in Biotechnology. You may have emphasis in Marketing, Finance, etc. MBA is a management degree and you are just getting some emphasis on it. Dont worry too much on it. Think of what you want to do with your MBA and plan accordingly.

      Reply
  18. Sir, My name is Sachin Kesharvani. I will complete my btech in 2017 from mechanical engineering. I want to become an entrepreneur. So when and from which university that I can do mba. Are mba is beneficial for me.
    Sir please reply me. I am very thankful to you.

    Reply
    • Sachin,
      MBA can help, but honestly, you do not need to have an MBA to be entrepreneur. You can start off by joining a startup to understand how it works in a startup to gain experience. You can start your own company after you see the reality and once your idea is concrete. If you really want to study MBA, you can choose to apply to any of the schools of your choice, many of the schools offer some form or the other entrepreneurship courses for emphasis. MBA in US will cost a lot of money and I would rather focus on investing the same money in your venture and building the startup. Anyways, you have time to think about this, discuss with your well wishers and take an informed decision.

      Reply
    • Dimble,
      MBA is a general management degree and you only have emphasis based on your interests. Based on your interest and career track, you can choose your respective emphasis.

      Reply
  19. Sir i am from 2011 batch EEE from VIT University Vellore. thereafter i worked as Electrical engineer in JSPL for 4.5 yrs and just joined technical marketing in a start-up. Plan to do mba . Secondly if i study and get any govt job What should i do. In dilemma . My age is 28.

    Reply
    • yogesh,
      Well, there are couple of things you need to think of, firstly, why are you planning to do MBA ? I truly believe that, you should have a purpose or passion for it. Just doing it for the sake of it wont help much. So, if you think, MBA will add value to your career, then go for it, if not No. Coming to your Govt. Job thing, it is your decision to take Govt sector job or private job, each of them has their own meirts and demerits, You need to look at your situation and make an informed decision.

      Reply
  20. Sir,
    i am doing btech in computer science.currently i am in 3rd year so can i do masters in managment or mba after btech…..

    Reply
    • Prince,
      Yes, you can. As the article says, it is recommended to work for few years before MBA to get more value out of it.

      Reply
  21. sir I have a question…
    My name is Amit Dwivedi, I’m a mechanical engineer of UPTU. I got placed in Sandhar Automovtives Bommasandra in Bangalore as a Graduate Engineer Trainee- production, I will join the company in June 2016.I want to do MBA – Operation Management from correspondence along with job. I have selected Xavier’s institute of business management studies. what is best for me . please suggest me. my thinking is right or not. if you have something better then you can email me, I’ll be highly thankful to you.

    Reply
    • Amit dwivedi,
      I always believe that you will get more value out of a program that is in-class or at evening programs where you have classes in the evenings or weekends. You can wait for couple years and then do MBA, there is no rush to do it. Take your time.

      Reply
  22. Hello sir, I will be completing my BE in Chemical in this year.
    After that if i get work experience from a less reputed industry, say for 2 or 3 years and then switch to do MBA ,
    will this do good ?

    Reply
    • Yash,
      That sounds like a good plan. It is recommended to get work experience. You do not have to go for less reputed industry, try to get the best, if no option then go for the less reputed.

      Reply
  23. Sir I have done ba in 2014 after that I was preparing for ias exam it’s been two years I couldn’t crack it don’t have any work experience wanna to do mba is it possible for me to do this intense program

    Reply
    • Dixit,
      You can do MBA anytime you want, there is nothing stopping you from doing it. You may need to take relevant entrance exams and then apply, you should be fine. Having said that, as the above article says, it is strongly recommended that you work for few years before you do MBA to get good value out of it…

      Reply
  24. Sir, i am a passout from b.tech in 2013. In Dec 2014 i started doing job as a Energy Advisor in Govt. of Rajasthan and till now i am doing same job now i m thinking of doing MBA. Suggest what else best i can do.

    Reply
    • Vikram Singh,
      Going for higher education is a personal choice. You need to think of where you see yourself in next 5 to 10 years and then pick up something that can help you get there. I suggest think about these things and then decide if MBA will help you get there…

      Reply
  25. Sir , I am neither a engineering nor a commerce student . I did B.A in english…shall I pursue MBA ..I tried but failed in group discussion and got rejected , felt horrible ….what should I do? As u have said work experience is required to get the best out of the course ..please suggest me . Thank you.

    Reply
    • Bedanga sonowal,
      Don’t worry, failing in a GD should not disappoint you, you learn with every mistake. I suggest, you take time to boost your confidence by taking any classes that can help with your shortcomings. If you are applying to US schools, there is no GD, but you will need really good GMAT scores. Again, I am not sure what your plans are for MBA, either India or outside of India. Eithercase, I suggest try to work on your weakness and you will just do fine. Stay positive and you will succeed !

      Reply
  26. hello sir,
    i`m pursuing b.tech in mechanical engineering & wiil be completed in may2016. I want to do mba after b.tech but as u said that the work experience is more important before mba . so now I want a job before mba but I want to ask that there is any sapcialize compony & post which will be bettr aftr doing mba…..or doing job in any compony is enough.

    Reply
    • rohit singh,
      Working in any company will help. It does not need to be of specific area. The goal is to experience a company setting, policies, team work dynamics, etc.

      Reply
  27. Sir i have completed by btech in 2015 trade EE But i hv back logs so i wil complete my degree on 2016.. Now i am working as an electrician in a company.. So i m thinking to do.coaching on MBA From the month of june..was it right decision

    Reply
    • suraj,
      It depends on what you want to do. First focus on getting your current things in place, then you can think about future. For MBA, it is recommended you work for few years…

      Reply
  28. hello sir
    i have completed my B.tech(2015) in ECE .Present i am searching for job,Now i thinking to do MBA is it right Decision or not.if not what to do…???

    Reply
    • sandeep,
      I suggest that you find a job and work for few years and then do MBA. Do not get into the trap of pursuing higher education because you cannot find a job on time. I can imagine, it can be tough to get a job, try all options and secure a job. You will see more value in MBA, if you work for few years and then do MBA.

      Reply
  29. Hello sir! My name is Pradeep pariyar im pursuing b.tech from IT trade. I wants to MBA from us country with job.so what is the procedure for that course and what exam would be break for that study please say me sir for my carrier.I hope u will be guide me I waiting sir our response.thank you sir

    Reply
    • Pradeep pariyar,
      Applying to MBA is like any other degree. The standard process is to take standardized tests like GMAT, TOEFL and then apply to schools. Each school has its own set of requirements. I suggest you check the school’s websites that you plan to apply to for full requirements.

      Reply
  30. My son is in final bcom.we are in dilemma to do direct mba or joining job and after two/three years pursuing mba is good from good school in india.

    Reply
    • vijaykumar,
      I always recommend that one should get work experience before MBA. In your son’s case, it would be good, if he can work for couple years and take up MBA, either in India or any other country is also fine…

      Reply
  31. sir, iwant to work in a top class company. i have recently completed my b.com(comp). i am confused about persuing MBA or MS first .what would be the smart choice whether persuing MBA first or MS.

    Reply
  32. Sir,
    I am Btech graduate in ECE. I got placed in a company as Service engineer. Although work was not as per engineer standard but I worked for 9 month . After that company approached me for marketing dept as BD executive. I am working in BD from last 2 years in the same company. Now I am planning for MBA from distance course. Which course will be better for future prospective. I am good in managing and administration. Should I do MBA in Marketing or some other extreme. Your guidance is needed . Waiting for your kind reply.

    Reply
    • Hi Ambesh,
      Well, it depends on how you position yourself and your preferences. Online degrees are getting very popular these days, but I still believe that in-class MBA has more value as you get more out of it. Read Why NOT to do MBA Online . Take time to think about it…

      Reply
  33. Hi
    Sir this article is very help full now iam doing job in it field so I want to do MBA could you please suggest me how should I prepare and syllabus and which course I can go in MBA

    Reply
    • Saikiran, There is nothing specific you need to prepare. I suggest you start preparing for the GMAT and other entrance exams for MBA. Regarding courses, it is very much a general MBA, you can make a choice during MBA or you can choose to do emphasis on your preferred option, if you have anything in mind. Start talking to few people and do some research online, you will get some information. Think of what you see yourself doing in 10 years, then pick something that fits your goals.

      Reply
  34. Hello sir,
    The information provided was very helpful. I was planning for mba overseas. Im a btech passout june 2015 batch. I worked for 2 months at a company and left the job so that i could plan for further studies.Could you please guide me if i can go ahead with mba. From the artical i see MS as a better option now but im not a tech savvy and to mention im from a computer science background. Hoping for a solution asap. Thankyou

    Reply
    • Ramya, Well, if you think you are passionate about more business centric roles, then MBA might be a good place to start. As the article says, having work experience does help a lot and you will comprehend many concepts. I always recommend working for couple of years before you start MBA. See, if you can go back to another job and work for sometime, before you take the break for MBA….if you really want to study now, then you can even pursue it…

      Reply
  35. I also confused about MBA or M.Tech? I will complete my graduation now i want do master. So, can you help me sir about which stream i choose?

    Reply
  36. sir..i’m in now final year…of the bachelor’s course for mechanical……and at this stg of tm I’m very confused that what should i do after my graduation should i go for mba or mtch…..plz help me

    Reply
  37. Sir by heaving a pressure from my family I. Start my technical carrier like diploma, then btech in lateral in electrical branch but today I have no interest on that industrial jobs like engg.so can I prepare for cat to get in good b school..its really important to know for me sir…..

    Reply
  38. sir I am going to complete my graduation with mechanical engineering this yr… sugest me that can i do mba or not………………..

    Reply
  39. I am B.Tech mechanical with 6 years experience in Power sector. I want to gain some higher education. Whether i have to go for M.S, M.tech or MBA. Please guide.

    Reply
  40. Sir I’m btech 3rd year student from electronic and instrumentation branch, sir I should do mba after my engineering or nt…or sir take some experience, which is better. …

    Reply
  41. Hey,

    I have work experience of 3 years and planning to give GMAT. Was delighted to see your article and motivated to find out that I took the right decision.

    Reply
  42. hello sir
    this is vipin yadav
    you should go for executive M.B.A or 2 year M.B.A
    this is best for you
    if you want M.B.A then we can help you
    we offer you M.B.A from reputed UGC approved university
    and also you can do M.B.A in distance or regular
    we assured you we will you best result
    contact me
    vipin yadav

    Reply
  43. Sir,
    I am B.Tech mechanical with 6.4 years experience in Power sector in maintenance of euipments. I want to gain some higher education. Whether i have to go for M.S, M.tech or MBA. Please guide.

    Reply

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