Benefits of B-School Surveys and Ranking?

What are the advantages of the surveys, and the information and data they highlight on the various B-Schools every year, for the huge student community and that depends heavily on the reported findings?

The list of B-Schools in India today is over 1000, from avante garde IIMs, to II-tier and III-tier Institutes offering a variety of future options.

It is believed that the MBA education in India sliding down? Management education schools are closing down? And on the other hand small time and not so professional institutes are mushrooming all over the country. 

It may be worth looking at a broad analysis in the available information on B-School Surveys conducted and rankings published by some of the respected business magazines and publications, like Business World, Business India, Business Today, Outlook, and now CRISIL the well-known rating agency.

What are the advantages of the surveys, and the information and data they highlight on the various B-Schools every year, for the huge student community and that depends heavily on the reported findings?  

In some ways, one would say many! 

For students and for the Institutes, for admissions in particular and also placements of the students passing out. In the choice of institutes, for taking admissions, linked with the student’s individual background and personality, potential for jobs and careers in industry, and in the long-term life and future in the corporate world they enter after graduating. The Surveys, the findings, and information offered to the student community often seem to look as if the future has arrived! The parameters on which the research is done, the information collected and presented, seems to offer students a great hope!

The list of B-Schools in India today is over 1000. From avante garde IIMs, to II-tier and III-tier Institutes. Offering a variety of future options! The surveys and finding published are based on some key parameters in respect of the credible marketplace image and professional standing of the surveyed Institutes, and also the publications (media). 

First important area that is obvious, is the admissions, and application for admissions to the Institutes from the students’ point of view, and needs. The surveyed B-Schools in the media offer a list for choices with detailed information for applying right, and going on to be  selected – after the CETs, like CAT, MAT, and even the Institutes’ own entrance exams.   Even direct in few cases. Fees and affordability and location, along with image (brand) and course offerings (streams) are some of the major criteria depending on the students’ needs, are presented for the students to study in the information sourced, surveyed and published in each of the media.

In the selection, and finally taking of admissions, the surveys and the rankings different criteria are  reviewed and highlighted for the benefit of the target public, for instance,  ROI of the institute (student fees and CTC salaries mix), 360 degree development of the personality and professionalism of students, leadership position of the Institute with faculty and infrastructural advantages, up-to-date on curriculum, Industry or corporate connections, final placement in good companies and commensurate salaries (minimum and maximum)  of past and present students, global orientation if any, and the expected future progress and growth of the students passing out.

Specifically speaking on the methodology of the research, the concerned medium identifies and approaches about 400 to 500 B-Schools and Institutes for the survey. But of the number in reality only about 250 to 300 responds seriously, and out of them about 200 qualify for the actual survey conducted on the defined parameters of the medium, and offering the benefit from the ranking and recognition as may be studied by the aspirant readers and stakeholders. The others, as is obvious, use advertising, promotions, and other media to create awareness and markets. 

It’s worth mentioning that while the benefits from these surveys and rankings by the media to a wide range of target students and the participating academic institutes, is of good and desired  value there are some visible shortcomings and weaknesses as well and may need to be highlighted here. There are also a number of instances of the B-Schools and Institutions not participating in the survey process! Or do not qualify in meeting the basic criteria of the surveyors (media)!

A personal touch in these surveys and studies between the media and the B-Schools is generally missing. It’s all on the basis of a questionnaire basis. Thus cold facts and figures of a third party – that is the Marketing Research Company hired to conduct the survey. Only about one fourth of the final participant list are personally met, verified and scrutinised by the research agency conducting the survey for the media house! 

The criteria laid down jointly by the research agency, and the media, is hardly revised and improved regularly over the past. Also one wonders why some of the B-Schools not participating are not still persuaded to participate? They seem to want to avoid the surveys for some unknown reasons! This leads to a loss of credibility of the surveys and the media! In the earlier days as one has known, even the four or five top IMMs avoided the surveys. However, as of today, they have come back to participate!

All in all, one can say the more you learn, the more you grow, and are better at your business. The surveys highlight a number of things – from infrastructure, faculty, student placements, and such elements which are very important for the students, and which are an advantage for all. This is thus good for both the education sector, and industry recruiting students at campuses.

There is always scope for more advantages being built into the surveys, and their survey parameters, in the future. For instance, the B-Schools’ real ability to train and provide enhanced employability to students, agility in leadership and leadership qualities, and in today’s context areas like ethics, CSR, and gender equality among the workforce and jobs with more women joining MBA institutes, and getting to be taking up corporate jobs in a number of fields! 

Beside the sheer enrolment targets, and their achievement at Institutes with the desired qualifications sought and available among the students, according to another survey, it was expressed that there are things that greatly matter at the students end, and which students must remember for their own benefit when considering the information publishes and circulated in the surveys and rankings:

  • Obtaining a good mix and match with the institute offering the right streams, and it being preferred brand.
  • Its placements record and strength – Industry connect.
  • Offering a holistic education – developing required personality and hardcore skills in students. 
  • Not merely because of it being heavily promoted, or because a few friends are selecting it.

AIMA, in its vision statement and document on education, some time back, states that India will be the biggest (and best) B-School hub after the US by 2025. One needs to see things in light of this and the disruption taking place in our ecosystem to develop education standards in students with opportunities that match thier future need – in the work life, talent and skills development, salaries and salary growth, and the new  technological adoption. And thus requiring an aggressive partnership in manpower resource development by management institutes along with the corporate HR job creators who recruit from campuses.

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