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The degree in Master of Business Administration (MBA), which was a craze with most students in the country till recently, seems to have become passe. An enquiry into the drop in the rush of applicants for the Common Aptitude Test (CAT) in the recent years has revealed that students are no more charmed by the programme and have started considering alternatives.
The number of CAT aspirants kept rising every year and peaked in 2008 when a total of 2.7 lakh students registered for the test. However the number dipped steeply to 2.41 lakh the next year which was a sharp break in the accelerating figures of CAT takers. The figure continued to drop steeply in CAT-2010 when 2.04 lakh students registered for the test. This year, the registration for CAT-2011 which ended on October 4 had a total of 2.05 lakh candidates registering. Explaining the declining trend of the demand for CAT Biswaroop Padhi who has been preparing students for entrance exams like CAT for the past 7 years said, "The overall aspiration to pursue an MBA degree among students has decreased as they are uncertain of good placements after the programme. This phenomenon began in 2008 when MBA students failed to get lucrative jobs. For example two major sectors which used to recruit MBA students - telecom and finance are not doing so well as they used to two years ago. So, most students are now clear that they do an MBA only if they get admission to a top rung institute which ensures a good placement." "This trend of less enthusiasm to study MBA has also been reflected in MBA institutes in the state whose admissions are based on GSAT. While the number of GSAT takers has increased in the past few years, there had been around three thousand seats lying vacant in various institutes in the state. This clearly shows that students have become choosy about good management institute which would ensure them job security. A similar trend is also visible in many other states of the country."Candidates from other disciplines just as efficient:Expressing similar views director of PTI education Ahmedabad Sameer Rai added a few more points. Rai said that apart from the global economic recession, due to which the placements for MBA students have lost their lustre, there is an increasing awareness among students and industries that a person qualified in other disciplines with a good communication skill can perform as efficiently as an MBA. "With the increasing fees of the MBA programmes even in average institutes, students are considering other options," said Rai. However giving a slightly different perspective to the trend, a member of faculty at IIM Lucknow Himanshu Rai who was convener of CAT-2010 said, "I would rather say that the number (2 lakh students) is a realistic number. This is the number of students who understand, and are clear with what they want. "What happened in 2008 was an effect of the reports of very high salaries offered to MBA students in the two preceding years. This attracted many students who thought jobs and good salaries are guaranteed through an MBA degree. Now students are realizing that this is not true."
Courtesy: Times of India
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