Dear Mentor:

Where are short cuts for an MBA?

Sir, I am doing my B.Com. [Bachelor of Commerce] 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 [Graduate Management Aptitude Test] because I have only 3 years of college education. I am also without any work experience. I have heard of some universities in UK, like the Liverpool University and Oxford Brookes University, 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.

Easy MBA Entry, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Dear Easy MBA Entry:

Before we get into the nitty-gritty assessment of a school, we should first address the basics. Let us take the scenario offered by you: Consider a school that, relative to other schools, 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 schools, 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 school and the placement of its graduates are probably not very good.

You may know that the schools do not place you in jobs. What schools do is to attract prospective 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 schools are proud to offer the placement statistics on their past graduating classes. These statistics are typically posted on the school's website, or at least included in the printed materials. You will have to obtain this information directly from the school 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. We are not suggesting that the schools you have mentioned are B-rated. Unlike the US, the ranking of colleges and universities is not a common practice in the UK. We do have rankings done by the Times in The Times Good University Guide: 2001. Unfortunately, these rankings are available only in a book and not on the Web. You can either buy this book or obtain it from a library. It gives an overall ranking of 40, out of 97 schools ranked, to the University of Liverpool. Note that the overall ranking is a composite ranking for the entire school including all its programs. As such, this ranking fails to address your specific issue of the business school ranking. The Oxford Brookes University does not even appear on the list.

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 co-founder of iMahal 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 UK, 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 school 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 school 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 schools 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.

You can find the List of Business Schools in the US and the List of Business Schools in the UK in the iMahal Education Channel. The iMahal Education Channel also contains the US Business School Rankings.

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