Studying in America and Canada

Question: I am doing my B.Com. and want to do the MBA. As I am in India, I want to join one of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). I thought of doing my MBA abroad but I can't take the GMAT because I have only 3 years of college education. I am also without any work experience. I have heard of some universities in the US offer a 1-year MBA program. They select students on their academic performance and not their GMAT scores. I want to know if these universities are good enough to give a good placement. If they do give good placement, please let me know about their average salary offered, etc. Are these universities better than the IIMs in India? I have heard that these are B-grade universities which don't require the GMAT. What are these B-grade universities? If there are such universities, please let me know of their rankings.

Answer: Before we get into the nitty-gritty assessment of a college, we should first address the basics. Let us take the scenario offered by you: Consider a college that, relative to other colleges, does not have demanding admissions requirements (such as no GMAT) and expects you to put in limited effort and time (such as only 1 year of education as opposed to 2 years). What do you think its reputation is likely to be relative to other colleges, which do have demanding admissions requirements and more thorough and rigorous programs? What do you think about the quality of its placement for its graduates? Think carefully and be honest with yourself. These are not trick questions. You would perhaps agree with us that the reputation of such a college and the placement of its graduates are probably not very good.

You may know that the colleges do not place you in jobs. What colleges do is to attract employers, based on the quality of graduating students and the school's reputation, to seriously consider hiring the graduating students for top-flight jobs. Most good business colleges are proud to offer the placement statistics on their past graduating classes. These statistics are typically posted on the college's website, or at least included in the printed materials. You will have to obtain this information directly from the college of interest.

The term B-grade or B-rated university refers to the quality of a university as being not very good. It is similar to what you would call in India a third-class university.

The quality and reputation of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) is outstanding, not only in India but also around the world. Dr. Srikant Datar, a a co-author of this book and currently a Senior Associate Dean at the world-renowned Harvard Business School, is a gold-medalist from the IIM, Ahmedabad. B-rated universities in the US, or anywhere in the world for that matter, do not even come close to the quality of education and the reputation of IIMs.

You do not require 4-years of college education to take the GMAT. It is your prospective college that requires a certain level of college education for admission, quite aside from the GMAT requirement. For example, to enter an MBA program in the US, it is the college that requires you to have completed at least 4 years of college education with a degree that is equivalent to a US bachelor's degree. As a result, many students from India join a Master's program in the US after completing their Master's degree in India.

Now a couple of items related to the MBA education in the US. First, most good colleges in the US prefer, although not explicitly state, 3 to 5 years of work experience before starting the MBA program. Second, virtually no financial aid is available to international students in the MBA program. It is just a reality of life for international students.

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