Is MBA In Marketing Right For Engineers?

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With growing industrial competition, it has now become a norm for engineers to opt-in for a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) post-graduation program right after completion of engineering graduation. An MBA is generally viewed, by the fresh graduates, as an opportunity to scale up their talents as well as getting to potentially work in pure corporate sectors managing a variety of tasks.

Now, with MBA offering a multitude of programs to choose from viz. Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Logistics, Supply Chain, Project Management, and more, fresh graduates normally tend to get spoilt for choices and end up choosing the wrong branch. To offer fresh engineering graduates more clarity on MBA specialisations, we chose the Marketing course as a focal point and consulted experts who offered interesting insights:

Post-MBA life will be highly competitive; don’t daydream

The foremost aspect that experts chose was demystification of myths that have now gone on record to state that acquiring an MBA post-graduation degree is a passport to a cushy and high-paying corporate job in a multi-national corporation (MNC).

“Merely acquiring MBA’s will not work. These post-graduation programs should be opted for by engineers for enhancement of skill sets and thereby getting exposed to a wide variety of working roles. An MBA degree is a definitely a prelude to enhanced creativity,” states Dr Radhakrishnan HK- a leading Bengaluru-based career counsellor. Dr Radhakrishnan works closely with engineering students in guiding them towards right career paths along with skill enhancement.

Dr Radhakrishnan’s statement is a direct indicator of the fact that engineers preferring to study MBA should look at long-term enhancements such as better engineering of solutions to suit the society, rather than focus only on the salary that corporates in India (and abroad) offer.

Decoding Marketing MBA for fresh engineers

Of late, there has been a spike in the number of engineering graduates, even those graduating in Information Technology enabled services (ITes) and electronics domains, opting to study Marketing as a core area during MBA studies. On the other hand, we have also witnessed Bollywood movies that propagate trashing of this idea and lecturing engineers to focus on only one area; thereby leading to confusion in the minds of young graduates.

“An MBA program in marketing is definitely worth for engineers, as they can contribute to better designing of the product creatively and infuse fresh ideas during selling,” states Joseph Mascarenhas who works as a Senior Marketing Manager in a Bengaluru-based FMCG firm.

Joseph advises fresh engineering graduates to carefully research on the domain and accordingly evaluate their academic skill sets to check fitness levels required by a Marketing MBA program. Communication is one key skillset that firms look at before opting to recruit MBA post-graduates.

Joseph also points at a shocking trend here when engineers are of the assumption of having acquired high-level communication skill sets and step into companies for interviews after completion of post-graduate programs. This scenario generally leads to rejection despite candidates having obtained high grades during MBA. Therefore, proper skill evaluation, in sync with job descriptions that companies give out (before hiring), is a must for fresh engineers even before they take up MBA marketing study.

Today’s marketing is technology-driven, engineers could fit in perfectly

With technology being a key driver in today’s economy, the marketing sector offers more than just cold-calling and client visits, advise career experts. “Even the biggie MNCs today are investing on technology like Big Data & Analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drive marketing decisions and investments,” states Shankar Prasad – an engineer and an MBA in Marketing holder who now works as an independent marketing consultant in Bengaluru. Shankar has been associated with multiple Fortune 500 firms before going the independent way.

“Management and managerial jobs would open to engineers relatively quickly, provided the latter possesses the right skill sets and leadership abilities,” adds Shankar.

However, experts do not necessarily discourage engineers from considering other MBA streams. This is purely dependant on self-interest and skillsets. In case engineers feel that they can market effectively by leveraging technology to the maximum; then a career in this domain could be explored.

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