Degrees alone are not enough

Degrees alone are not enough

With over a thousand management institutes across India, the ‘quantity’ of management graduates is increasing. But management gurus and thinkers are not convinced of the ‘quality’.

A friend of mine who heads the HR department at a leading retail company once said, “I am frustrated with the quality of students that come to us!”

For me—as a person who believes in the potential of management students—this came as a surprise. But on further questioning, I found myself supporting this person’s statement!

Most students from B-Schools come with MBA degrees. But none of them has any practical idea of the corporate world.

Chanakya had said, “One conversant with the science, but not experienced in practical affairs, would come to grief in carrying out undertakings.” (1.8.25)

With over a thousand management institutes across India, the ‘quantity’ of management graduates is increasing. But management gurus and thinkers are not convinced of the ‘quality’. The science of management is good as a theory but all that we learn has to be effectively practiced as well.

But this situation we can tackle together by targeting the different levels of education and vocation. Here are some tips for the same:

For management students

Management students, or those studying in B-Schools, should not look for degrees and jobs only. They should be life-long learners. Even while studying their course, they should go the extra mile to increase their practical knowledge. They should meet industry people, do self-learning through the internet and maintain a record of their learning. It is important to maintain the ‘reading’ habit even after getting a degree and a job.

Management schools

The Directors and the Professors of the management institutes should be updated with the latest problems of various industries. They should spend enough time understanding an industry’s specific needs. This should be passed on to the students and practical solutions should be worked out. Industry experts should also be on the board of management institutes.


The challenges of every industry are increasing and changing day by day. Industries like telecom, retail, finance, tourism and others—through their respective associations—should make a list of the key result areas (KRAs) that they would expect from their new managers. It is important to communicate the same to the management institutes so that the students are trained accordingly.

Individual companies

When the new recruits fresh out of a B-School join an organisation, the management should acquaint them with the realities of the corporate world. They should mentor them by deputing a senior. This is not to say that the industries should be blind to the recruit’s theories. Rather, after accepting and absorbing these, the industries should provide the student with insights into the practical aspects.

Remember, the road between theory and practice can only be shortened by a deeper understanding and open communication. Each individual has to take the initiative to learn the know-how of the world by keen observation, open-mindedness and a will to take up higher responsibilities.


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