With little around after a while for India’s one of the most aspirational entrance exam i.e CAT (Common Admission Test), the battle for the B-School is half won. The dream of wearing suit and collared shirts with a fancy degree on resume is half way through. Nevertheless, the other half of this battle is going to be crucial, complicated yet interesting. The other half will be about selecting the B-School which suits you the best. The first half is hard yet crack-able as it all comes down to few equations, rules and lot of practice but for the other half there are no set formulas and no practice grounds available.
There are as many as 3000 institutes in India, offering a total of 15 different courses in management. Among these, the top institutes are the ones having the best opportunities to realize one’s dreams and that is why they are hugely popular. Then there are good colleges which provide quality education, opening the gates to a whole new world. And finally there are average colleges where a degree is seen as the last resort to salary. There are still more colleges but it is would be best to leave them to imagination. Though there are several B-School information provider websites, discussion platforms, offline education consultants, yet as per statement from any B-School college student- the admission process is still a headache. In a survey done by Admito, 5 out of every 8 students have shown the signs of dissatisfaction within a month of joining their choice of MBA colleges.
In order to understand the whole scenario of MBA admissions in B-Schools across India, Techstory interacted with the core team members of Admito, Manu Jain and Sherry Jindal. Here are the excerpts of our interaction-
Techstory: There are many sources offering B-School Rankings. Why are these B-School Rankings inefficacious?
The perfect answer to this question comes from the article “The order of things” published in NewYorker.com. The article is so beautiful that it would be a sin if I put my understanding into it; hence I will just translate it word by word, in an Indian B-School Ranking scenario, it says, “ The Ranking Media’s ambition is to grade every B School of India according to the same methodology. Mathematically, it will be perfect when we have only one dimension to compare colleges upon. A heterogeneous ranking system includes parameters like how big is the college Brand, is the faculty great both in qualifications and teaching, how much satisfied students are with college administration etc. The ranking agency’s ambition to create a comprehensive ranking system—one that considers colleges along 10 variables, each weighted according to a secret sauce cooked up by the editors—would also be fine, as long as the colleges being compared were truly similar. It’s only when one college asks for 15 lakh more than another that juggling 10 variables starts to break down, because you’re faced with the impossible task of deciding how much a difference of that degree ought to matter. A ranking can be heterogeneous, in other words, as long as it doesn’t try to be too comprehensive. And it can be comprehensive as long as it doesn’t try to measure things that are heterogeneous. But it’s an act of real audacity when a ranking system tries to be comprehensive and heterogeneous.
Techstory: What are the problems that students are facing right now in making the choice of an MBA college?
If asked a student about his college selection criteria the conscience mind would make him say average package but in reality it is a mix of package, brand value, college life, peer group, location, etc. Yes, average package has the highest say but then there are other 15 parameters following it. The ranking magazines combine a set of the parameters and give overall ranks but each individual has his/her own set of parameters that he is looking for. For an aspirant say named Anjali, more than package, International exposure matters and maybe location is more important than other things. Thus, the rankings showed every year become little less relevant as they are generalized and not specific to one’s needs. Choosing a B-school is still easier for a student scoring above 95+ but within the range of 80-95 students are bombarded with a lot of choices and don’t know which suits them as per their preferences. One needs to take up the step to streamline this very issue of making a choice of the B-school as per one’s preference through the power of Analytics. We at Admito are trying to accomplish that. We have done it pretty successfully for the aspirants aiming at least 80 percentile.
Techstory: What are the parameters that students choose their colleges on? How are current available systems failing in helping students?
Experts say choosing a B-School is a cliché approach. Students look at one of the three things: average package, percentage of people placed and rank to join a B-school. But we at Admito believe that is not the case. It is the impact of external environment that has made us do that. Excessive advertisements about package and rank from the colleges have amplified this effect. In another survey done at our end to understand the preferences of college selection from an MBA Aspirants, 320+ participants chose 17 important parameters that defined their college selection. Apart from college rank, average package and perceived Brand image, there was alumni base, financial dependence at home, specializations offered by college, location of the college, student exposure, their dream company visiting the campus, batch strength etc.
The current system has failed miserably to help the students in their one of the most important decision of the life. The current system does not understand the student and try to impose its thought process onto students. The B-School information provider websites gives information but the methodology to provide such is not fruitful to many. For e.g., “Top Colleges in Delhi Region”, “Best Private B-Schools of South” are the options provided by them. Rather than this the student needs to know a college which is at an overnight distance from his hometown and is an industrial hub. I doubt that no platform is catering to such desires. In the discussion forums looking for the information you want is like looking for a diamond in the coal mine. And when it comes to personal guidance from an offline education consulting firm, it is lead generation program for a college, there the motive are not genuine but to make sure you enter the college from which they have a tie-up.
Techstory: How technology can help in creating algorithms that can help students choose colleges on the best parameters.
3000 colleges life and offerings, 2 lakh students with their personal preferences and the humongous task to match each with everyone is not under the capability of a normal human being. We need to look forward to technology to help us out. Peter Theil in his book “Zero to One” said that it is the Technology which is the future of progress. Techniques like clustering, cognitive behavioral analysis, fuzzy match are the way forward to streamline our Admission process. Imagine, having a friendly program, where you just have to fill in your CAT Score, your academic qualifications with other parameters you are looking for, let’s say, location, package, fees and hit an enter button. The program automatically displays a list of best-suited colleges. This program works on high-end analytics and data mining, where a set of colleges are displayed after thorough background analytics. The program Admito performs this algorithm for students and provides them with what suits best to their needs.
Manu Jain, Sahil Garg, Suprabhat Sen, Himanshu Mendiratta and Mukesh Kumar and Sherry Jindal are the graduates from NIT and currently perusing MBA from IMT Ghaziabad. They are working on Admito with an aim to streamline the entire Indian Education Admission Process. Admito is not just a tool but a friend which will understand you and your needs. Its algorithm will give the most accurate and corrective information about the choices you have. An expert in profiling, a master in information processing, an ace in counseling, Admito delivers trustworthy intelligence at your fingertips that too free of cost.