Following are the various options available for a management program in India.
The 2 year (20 month) MBA programme is the most common form and de-facto meaning of MBA. The programme typically comprises 6 terms of 3 months each and a summer-internship of 2 months duration. A few B-schools also have a winter or even more than 2 internships during the programme.
The first term typically begins around June-July of an year. The second-third term would see the process for Summer Placements wherein companies would visit campus to select candidates for the internship after the third term. The internship is typically in the months of April-May. At the end of the internship students may get a placement offer (PPO or PPI) depending on their performance etc. during internship.
A lot of B-schools also have an exchange programme with various B-schools across the globe. As a part of the exchange programme, the students get to spend a term (5th term) at the selected B-school. This gives them an opportunity to develop cross-cultural senstivity and better explore the country/region.
The sixth or the last term marks the final placement process. The placement process for students with work experience (typically more than 20 months) would already have been completed by this time.
These programmes have a duration of 12 to 15 months. The subjects that are generally covered in a two-year course are also covered in these courses. Many of these programmes are tailor made for working professionals who have gained valuable experience and are now looking to acquire management skills for faster progress in their careers. The Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, IIM-Ahmedabad and Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM), Chennai, are some examples of such institutes.
The top one-year programmes in the country are:
- IIM Ahmedabad – PGPX
- IIM Bangalore - EPGP
- IIM Calcutta - PGPEX Program
- IIM Lucknow - IPMX program
- IIM Indore - EPGP Program
- ISB – PGP in Management
- GLIM – PGP in Management
- SPJIMR –PGP in Management
- XLRI – General Management Programme
These one-year programmes are meant for working executives who have at least two years of work experience. Though the fee charged is on the higher side (anywhere between Rs.15-30 lakh), the fact that the student saves on a year and can be gainfully employed, is bound to offset such high programme fee. In any case, these institutes have ties with financial institutions to provide loans and also have a scholarship scheme in place to help the meritorious students. These programmes have not been listed in the B-School categorisation as they offer short-duration programmes for a specific audience; however, each of these institutes would easily figure amongst the top institutes in the country.
This programme is primarily meant for working professionals who cannot pursue a full-time programme. Many of the institutes offering the two-year full-time programme also offer this programme for working professionals. As the focus is on working professionals, the eligibility criteria for this programme calls for a certain amount of work experience (usually two years). IIFT Delhi and JBIMS Mumbai are two of the better-known institutes that offer this type of programme.
The market value of a correspondence course in management is less than that of a full-time course. The reason for this is that the classroom learning in a management course is experiential, with the required focus on activities like group interaction, group projects, and classroom presentations. Active participation in these activities certainly equips a regular course student with more information, experience and exposure to real-life situations. This is not possible in a correspondence course because of the very nature of the course.
But those who are unable to pursue a regular classroom programme can look at the correspondence course as an alternative to acquire knowledge of management concepts. One thing to note is that there is not much of a difference between the syllabi and text books prescribed for the regular course and the correspondence course. Hence, it can be said that those who pursue a correspondence course usually receive the same theoretical inputs as their counterparts in the regular course. In cases where an additional qualification in management is essential for a working professional to become eligible for promotions, a correspondence course is often looked at as an easy way out. However, one should check with their organisation regarding the acceptability of the correspondence course one wishes to pursue.
The top institutes offering correspondence course in MBA are IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University) and Symbiosis, Pune. Many more top institutes have started to offer such programmes and students are advised to check them out before finalising their decision.
Most top management institutes in the country conduct Executive Development Programmes (EDPs). Typically, an EDP is a short-duration programme lasting anywhere between a week and three months. While there is no entrance examination for admission into EDPs, sponsorship from the organisation where the candidate is working is essential to gain admission. The EDPs, especially at top-notch management institutes, are usually quite expensive with the fee anywhere between Rs.20,000 and Rs.3,00,000 for a two-or three-week programme. These programmes are mostly meant for acquiring additional skills in specific functional areas and also for refreshing one's knowledge of the latest developments in one's regular work domain.