Business schools are supposed to provide a jumpstart to your career; catapult you to the league of extraordinary businessmen/women. And the measure of success traditionally has been (rightly so?) the astronomical graduating salary figures. But the times have changed, more so in India. Yes, I have data to back up my claim. The average salary at a top-3 school in India is up 30% from 2007 to 2013, the consumer prices (or the inflation) are up 80%, and the fee is up (whopping) 230%. The learned may say that 2007 is not the right year because the fee saw a structural revision in 2007. Well, with 2008 as starting figure the salary is actually down 3%, prices up 63%, and fee is up 51% – the math is still fairly bad. And we are not even talking about the opportunity cost of not working for 2 years.
Source: Pagalguy, Reported Salary and Fee, CRISIL, and GradStory Analysis
In the parallel world, massive open online courses (also known as MOOC – some of the famous ones being Coursera, edX, etc.) are redefining education. From the comfort of your room, a laptop, and access to Wi-Fi you can educate yourself from and with the best in the world. For example, my friend, Ankit, recently did a course online from Stanford GSB, arguably the best in the world – for FREE, including all the submissions and virtual class discussions.
The point really is that don’t apply to a business school for just the jumpstart, for the six-figure salary, or even for the academics (yes, I said that). Apply for the experience it offers, the network you create, and the chance to push and reinvent yourself – the things that set you up for a successful long-term career. Going in with the right expectations would help you cut through the noise and focus on the things that really matter. And hopefully, you would make more money too – in the long run.