Is MBA Education Still Worth It During a Global Recession?

What is the value of an MBA during a recession? Is it worth pursuing?

The textbook definition of ‘Recession’ is a significant decline in general economic activity in a designated region. When we witness two consecutive quarters of economic decline, as reflected by GDP, in conjunction with monthly indicators such as a rise in unemployment and negative growth rate, it is generally accepted that the economy has slipped into ‘Recession’.

The COVID-19 recession is an ongoing global economic recession that is due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This recession was considered the worst global economic crisis since the great depression. This recession saw an unusually high and rapid increase in unemployment in many countries. The world’s largest lockdown announcement in India, caused many small and medium enterprises to close shops. During June 2020, several economists started commenting that the recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic was worse than the 2008 recession in its initial ferocity. Later in November 2020, stock markets recovered and jobs were added back into the economy. In the January to March quarter of the financial year 2021, the attrition rate in several Information Technology(IT) companies was at an all-time high, and some IT companies announced that their attrition percentage was as high as 21%!  Hence it has been a roller coaster ride. With many predicting the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, fourth wave in the United Kingdom and other European countries, there is ambiguity about the future and the worry related to the ‘Global Recession.' In this scenario, many aspirants wonder if pursuing an MBA (Master of Business Administration) is the right decision to take?  What is the Value of an MBA During a Recession?

Time to Sharpen the Saw

The present global economic slowdown and outbreak of CoronaVirus has brought industrial growth to a minimum level. The demand for engineering graduates is low. Unless the individual is equipped with some added management qualification, getting a good profile to work and a decent pay package is a challenge.  It is therefore of utmost importance to acquire management skills that would add to the learning in a practical business scenario. Recession time is the right time to sharpen the saw - acquire new skills and be job-ready for the future. In all premier Indian B-schools, more than 50 per cent of MBA graduates are from an engineering backgrounds. Hence this is a great opportunity for them to take their career to the next level by pursuing MBA during a recession. By the time they complete their MBA programme, several career opportunities will be waiting for them.

Recession Time is Study Time

Data shows that historically MBA applications to B-Schools have always increased during the recession period. In 2000 and also in 2009, competitive exams like CAT (Common Aptitude test), SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test) - which are the popular entrance exams for MBA programs to premier Indian B Schools - received more applications than they did the previous year. With many companies in the Hospitality sector, Airlines, Travel and Tourism laying off workers, taking a bank loan and pursuing an MBA from any premier Indian B School will give 2 years’ time to reskill and get ready for the fast track growth – without much financial pressure!

Time to Create a Strong Network

It is a proven fact that – Stronger the network stable is the career track. A strong and able network that an individual has, always helps the individual to grow- as they can rely on their network when the times get tough — be it job search, or a search for investment for their startup. Creating such a network is not easy and hence pursuing an MBA gives an individual the right platform to connect with  corporate honchos, angel investors, and influential people from the Industry. It also gives an opportunity to get connected to the strong alumni network of the B School – which is considered as a family to get connected – which is otherwise impossible!

Hence pursuing an MBA during the recession from a premier B School is certainly a lucrative option to fast track career trajectory and a great opportunity to reskill and add value to oneself.   

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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