Earning an MBA shows you mean business

With business schools in the country evolving rapidly and in sync with international standards, an MBA obtained in Nepal will be on par, if not more valued than a degree earned abroad.

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Any young urban professional, fresh out of undergraduate school or with a few years of work experience, is likely to have contemplated the perks of attending graduate school, and weighed them against removing oneself from the professional lives for the couple years it requires to earn a Master’s degree. One too many prospective applicants wrestle with the idea of obtaining an MBA degree, which is an optional academic pursuit, as being a rewarding investment that bears fruit over a lifetime, or a dangerous voluntary eviction from the workplace.

Narottam Aryal, Executive Director of King’s College, comments on the popularity of the MBA degree across the nation and globally as well, and likens it to a personal brand that sends a comprehensive and unambiguous signal to the job market, “An MBA degree is like a brand. Everyone knows what it is. If you are an MBA graduate, you are telling prospective stakeholders, such as an employer or a partner, that you have invested in a rigorous and esteemed higher education, and that you have the essential know-how and expertise to pursue a wide variety of possible careers skilfully and confidently.”

Aryal explains the steady high demand for an MBA degree by iterating that its resourcefulness lies in its generic education that allows for multi-faceted application across various fields. Career opportunities for MBA graduates range from industrial banking to accountancy, financial consultancy, institutionalised management, and foreign trade among others. Management is fundamental to any of the aforementioned career paths, which is where an MBA degree proves quintessentially useful. Nar Bahadur Bista, Principal and Managing Director at Uniglobe College, provides further contextual insight on the utility of an MBA degree and shares, “Industrialisation is fairly new in Nepal, and is taking baby steps towards economic growth. We are lagging in economic development, which is why efficient management is of utmost importance. Organised management is key to securing sustainable economic development, and to maintaining order in the economy, which is why there is a very good emerging market for MBA degree-holders.”

For those curious to know how an MBA degree obtained at a Nepali college holds against one obtained at a foreign university, or are conflicted between studying abroad, Bista says, “We are a small country with an emerging industry. Nevertheless, the top universities across the nation hold a very high standard with regard to teaching quality, facilities, practicality, career guidance, and the likes. We work hard to ensure that our education, which is accessible locally, meets the standards of esteemed international universities and doesn’t fall short in any respect.”
Aryal cautions against making broad generalisations with regard to foreign universities and urges the need for specification. “When you talk about foreign universities, you have to be specific. Which particular university are you talking about? There is a whole range of universities from very low quality to top-notch institutions. The quality of education you can expect at any institution varies significantly from one school to another, and from one country to another, which is why we must refrain from making assumed generalisations or broad comparisons. Having said all of this, in general, the quality of education, resources, facilities, and teaching technology in top institutions in the country match the standards expected of accredited foreign universities. Although one must be careful to factor in the business climate, societal framework, and overall development of a country, including our own in which we fall a bit behind, when analysing academic and professional opportunities.”

Speaking on the subject, Rupesh Krishna Shrestha, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Kathmandu University School of Management (KUSOM), says, “Earning an MBA degree is very helpful to start a career in Nepal. Most of the managerial jobs require the applicants to have completed an MBA degree. MBA graduates from a good institution are sought after by companies. The corporate sector, banking industry, development sector and service sector are areas where most of the MBA students seek their careers.” He further adds, “An MBA degree from Nepal holds up fairly at par with most of the foreign universities. In context of Kathmandu University School of Management’s MBA, it is globally recognised and alumni from our institution have not had a problem while getting their MBA degrees recognised in foreign countries. Even their career performances have been fabulous.”

Bista furthers on another crucial factor that comes into play when making a decision on pursuing an MBA degree in Nepal versus abroad—work experience.  “In most local universities, it is mandatory to have done an internship or a job whilst enrolled as an MBA student to fulfil graduation requirements. So pursuing an MBA doesn’t absolutely remove one from the job market but instead opens doors to new opportunities for learning and networking, and invites students into a resourceful alumni network to find their professional footing upon graduating.”

This proves to be significantly advantageous in establishing careers in comparison to graduates fresh out of foreign universities who are likely to be lacking in local work experience. MBA programmes at Nepali colleges that incorporate work experience atop the principal syllabus not only expose students to the professional world early on to prime them for life after graduation and with the safety net of the institution, but also provides an opportunity for students to apply a global theoretical outlook to approach local challenges. This is made possible by the affiliation of most local universities with accredited foreign institutions allowing students to localise a global education.
With business schools in the country evolving rapidly and in sync with international standards, the decision for prospective MBA students undoubtedly is now less than straightforward. And in the near future, it would appear, that an MBA obtained in Nepal will be on par, if not more valued than a degree earned abroad.

source:kripa shrestha, the kathmandu post,28 March 2016

2016-03-28 | EducateNepal

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