Career is an important factor in one’s life. Hence, career planning is essential to have a successful and fulfilling life. When we think about the career, it is often very difficult to paint a clear picture in our head of what we want to be. It is very common that people have the same long-term goals in life; like a steady job, a happy and healthy family and a satisfactory life. However, the short-term goals may differ from person to person. It is of utmost importance to set a goal in one’s life. And not just set a goal but work every day to achieve it.
Planning, in simple language, means to organise or establish a specific process to achieve a target. It is the process of thinking ahead and keeping a tab on the progress made to capture the goals.
Any planned process involves three basic steps:
- Choosing the goal
- Evaluating other possible methods to achieve the goal
- Deciding and following a particular path to reach the goal
A career consists of a series of jobs or work that a person takes up to earn a living. It is necessary for the survival of a person to earn to sustain himself. Many times, only one member works to sustain a living for his entire family. In such cases, the burden of earning falls on the head of the family. However, in urban India, many women have started to work and contribute to the family’s income.
‘Career planning is a process of systematically matching career goals and individual capabilities with opportunities for their fulfilment’, according to Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn. It is clear from the above statement that career planning is not just an activity which is to be once. Instead, it is an ongoing process and involves continuous changes. In simple words, it means to know who you are and what you want to be at some defined point in the future.
It involves 5 steps:
Step 1: Self-assessment
Step 2: explore work or career options
Step 3: Narrow down the list of work or career options
Step 4: Decide or choose the best option for yourself
Step 5: Set a career goal
Self-assessment involves knowing oneself. A person should discover one’s potential. It is important to evaluate yourself and know exactly what you desire from a particular job. One should be in a job or work line which suits them and is in link with their beliefs. For example, if a person is a vegetarian and has to work as a manager in a hotel which serves both non-vegetarian and vegetarian food then it might be a bit uncomfortable for that person to work in such a place.
Also, a person should not just settle with any job a person gets so that he can earn money. A person spends almost 8 hours a day at his job working. So it is important that the job is of his interest and adds happiness to his life and not stress. People who love their job and have a happy work environment work more efficiently and add more to the company’s profit too. One should be sensitive about their attitude, needs, interests, personality, values and skills when deciding their career and not just blindly follow into someone else’s footsteps.
Work/career exploration. This step involves a lot of research work and exploring to be done. To set a particular career path you need to know all about the work opportunities it offers. So you need to match your expectations with the offers you have. You can research the specific skills and qualifications required for those occupations that interest you. The Internet is a boon in today’s time. With the click of a button, you can get so many options related to your search. Best and the easiest way to find out about the work opportunities is through the internet. You can discover what kind of opportunities an organisation offers in which you might be interested in. Also, you can search about the various careers that fall within your interests. If you are already working within an organisation find out the opportunities in it and its subsidiaries. Look at career options in other companies. Nowadays, a rise in start-ups has been recorded. This is because people are discovering self-employment options and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Narrow down the list of work or career options. List down three to five career options that match with your interests, personality needs, values and skills. Also, make a note of the opportunities and limitations on the other side.
Decide or choose the best option for yourself. In this step, you choose the best career option which you want to pursue from the above-mentioned list. By this point you should have a clear view of your ideal job description, personal mission statement, job requirements and qualification.
Set a career goal. The process will give you focus and will motivate you to overcome the obstacles that will keep you from achieving your goal.
It means taking action in the direction to attain your goal.
MBA or Master of Business Administration is a postgraduate degree course in business studies offered by MBA institutes, popularly referred to as Business schools (B-schools). For decades, MBAs from top-tier schools have set the standard for business knowledge and skills. Leading entrepreneurs and successful corporate leaders attribute their success to the time spent on campus.
Life in a B-school move in a fast forward mode. It moves on a frenetic pace across classes, assignments, projects, case studies, presentations, choice of electives, summer internship and much more. At a B-school campus, learning happens not only inside the classroom but also during interaction with peers. The lifelong associations created and the diverse networks so formed are invaluable to one’s future endeavours. Most MBAs have an extremely hectic life, especially during their training period and their formative years in an organisation. MBAs are involved in the decision and policy-making activities that are both physically and mentally demanding.
Many institutions offer MBA and PGDM (Postgraduate diploma in business administration) courses. With a rise in the demand for such courses, the number of the college offering them has also gone up. The admission procedures of these institutes also differ sometimes.
Who can appear?
- A person having a Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent) in any discipline (those appearing final examinations are eligible), with at least 50% aggregate marks (45% for reserved categories)
- Applicants with a post-graduate qualification having at least 50% marks (45% for reserved categories) in either their Bachelor’s or post-graduate degrees
Selection of mode:
MBA is offered in various modes. Choose the mode according to your requirement and needs. They are as follows:
- Full-time: The course is spread over two academic years (i.e. approximately 18 months of term time)
- Part-time: In this program, normally hold classes on weekday evenings, after normal working hours, or on weekends
- Distance Learning: In this, the classes are held off campus, just like in correspondence courses
- Executive: Programs developed to meet the educational needs of managers and executives, allowing students to earn an MBA (or another business-related graduate degree) in two years or less while working full-time
Top Colleges that offer MBA courses:
- Grade A: IIM-Ahmedabad, IIM-Bangalore, IIM-Lucknow, IIM-Indore, FMS-Delhi, INDIAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS – [ISB], Hyderabad, XAVIER LABOUR RELATIONS INSTITUTE – [XLRI], Jamshedpur
- Grade B: SP JAIN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT AND RESEARCH (SPJIMR)-Mumbai, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING – [NITIE], Mumbai, MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE – [MDI], Gurgaon, IIM-Shillong, INDIAN INSTITUTE OF FOREIGN TRADE – [IIFT], New Delhi
There are many other colleges also which offer these courses.
It is best to aim for the top colleges; one can also choose any of the above colleges according to their needs, fees structure, location etc.
As per the recent AICTE Guidelines, Candidates need to clear the following entrance tests to apply to recognized colleges:
- MAT – Management Aptitude test
- CAT – Common Admission test
- CET- Common Entrance Test
- ATMA – AIMS test for management admissions
- GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test
- JMET- Joint Management Entrance Test
- XAT- Xavier Admission Test
- CMAT- Common Management Admission Test
- Any other state entrance tests like ICET, PGCET, KMAT, TANCET etc.
Candidates are tested in four major areas – verbal ability, reading comprehension, quantitative ability and business data interpretation. This is generally through an online test which is the first step in the process.
Group Discussion & Interview is the next step. In this, the candidate receives a call from the respective institute and is asked to appear for Group Discussion and personal interview. This step is based on how the applicant performed in the written examination. If you score well enough top B-schools contact you.
The final selection is based on the performance of the aspirant in the written exam, group discussion and personal interview. Work experience also holds significant importance in a few institutions.
To realise your MBA dream, you need to walk the extra mile in order to ensure that you make it to the top B-schools in the country. You need discipline, determination and an appetite for success.