If we look at the previous 15- or 20-years’ data of preferred career choices in India, MBA finance has been one of the most sought-after career choices for students from various educational backgrounds. Then we all must also agree on the fact that over the years MBA finance has lost some of its glow and the industry has revised its expectations from MBA finance graduates. In some cases, MBA pass-outs are also being treated on par with graduates. The natural question arises as to what has lead MBA finance or rather MBA as a profession in general to be considered so lowly.

Some of the reasons for this can be summarized as follows:

Increased competition in the field of finance from courses like CFA, FRM, CFP & CA.
With a significant increase in the number of Management Institutes offering MBA courses, there is excessive supply of MBA finance students which cannot be match by the low demand from the industry.
Industry has specific requirements from MBA finance graduates which are not being met by the existing skill sets developed by the students as part of their course curriculum.
Some of the institute fail to match the necessary infrastructure and quality of education which is required to be imparted as part of the MBA course which in-turn degrades the name of the profession itself.
Over the years it has been established that the focus of MBA course is to get a good placement. Though that is perfectly alright as an ultimate objective, the students tend to forget that in order to achieve good placements, one has to first focus on gaining knowledge & developing their personality.

So, looking at the current situation, what is industry expecting from MBA Finance graduates

At the end of the day, no industry or corporate can ignore the strong fundamental knowledge and expertise of the subject that a person has. So, the most important or primary focus of an MBA Finance student must be on developing fundamental knowledge about various finance related subjects being taught as part of the curriculum.

MBA Finance graduates must showcase effective communication skills combined with superior presentations skills because that is one of the most essential things that will differentiate them from other courses.

MBA Finance students should be updated about all the latest happenings in the economy. They must be able to relate & apply their learning from MBA course in the real-world challenges. They must also develop basic knowledge of technology-based tools or software that are frequently used in the industry.

They must also be able to apply basic knowledge of other MBA specializations like Marketing, Human Resource, Operations, Information Technology etc. because that will make them stand out in the neck to neck competition and make it easier for them to find placements.

By taking into account the requirements of the industry and then following a strategic approach to develop all the necessary skills, can surely bring reputation of MBA Finance graduates back to the earlier levels.

It is quite obvious that all these changes need to be implemented in a planned approach and won’t happen in a day or two. It will require a conscious effort on the part of the management institutes, their leaders, faculty members, students and the governing bodies to re-establish management education as a premium product.

- Prof. Siddhesh Soman
Assistant Professor

Author's Bio: 

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