Value of a Top-Tier MBA - ROI or ROO

The MBA is the most significant investment in education in many people's lives. MBA from a leading B-school is typically costlier, with weighted average expenses for top-tier B-schools being in the range of USD 150,000 to USD 200,000. Living expenses also contribute to the overall monetary burden. So why go for it? Is it even worth it? There is one word that personifies the value of an MBA from a top-tier B-school :- Return on Opportunity.

An MBA in a top-tier college improves the ROO in following aspects:-

1. Timeless brand:- An MBA from a leading institution such as IIMs and ISB in India and the likes of HBS, Standford, INSEAD among others, associates one with a world-class brand. Most of these brands are so strong that they remain at the top of rankings for several decades. Compare that to an FMCG brand, and you would realise the strength of association.

2. Holistic learning:- A leading B-school imparts holistic learning to its students, imparting both functional (hard) and emotional (soft) skills. Students learn to thrive in a highly competitive environment, develop leadership skills, and be prepared for the long-run.

3. Leading faculty and amazing cohort:- MBA is an experiential learning program. While the course materials can be accessed by anyone in today’s connected world, the learning can only be complete when done together with an accomplished cohort and a world-class faculty.

4. Power of network:- A person derives power from 3 sources – the power of persona, the power of position, and the power of network. In an increasingly interconnected world, the power of network becomes most important. A leading B-school gives access to highly accomplished alumni, opening several doors for a graduate. The hunting of network is taken care of. A candidate only needs to farm the network.

5. Placements:- Yes, this is the most talked about aspect. A leading B-school graduate has access to positions at top management consulting firms, investment banks, and leadership roles in industry. Several organisations recruit exclusively from top-tier B-schools, and this is reinforced further because of long-term relations of organisations with B-schools. Graduate of a leading B-school is thus placed much ahead of the curve as compared to graduates of second-tier B-schools. And in most of the cases, the leading B-school graduates get not just a job but a career. However, a top-tier school is expensive. They may fish out fewer scholarships and monetary assistance. This becomes a pain point for candidates and some end up choosing a second-tier school instead.

To derive value from an MBA, a graduate needs to think for the long-run. Look beyond the sticker price, and focus on ROO instead of ROI. What are your thoughts on this topic?

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