MBA vs PG Diploma in Data Science
By Aditi Bhat
B-Schools were a preferred choice among college grads, even a couple of years back. However, the trend seems to be changing as an increasing number of college graduates are now shifting their focus in learning technical skills that can help them bag a job.
Apart from the IIMs and some other leading universities, most of the educational institutes have failed to offer value to their students. Hefty fees and lack of placements across most of these institutions are among the major reasons why students these days look beyond the run-of-the-mill MBAs.
A report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Ernst and Young (EY) revealed that as many as 90% of Indian MBA grads are unemployable. Another report by the Times of India in 2017 stated that 1out of every 2 MBA holders in India fails to get a job.
‘90% of MBA grads in India are unemployable’
- Report by FICCI and E&Y
This has resulted in low enrolment of students in MBA colleges over the years. A study conducted by AICTE titled – Growth in Institutes vs Student Intake revealed that the number of students who took the Common Aptitude Test (CAT) has decreased considerably. While 2, 30,000 applicants took the CAT in 2009, only 1, 73,000 took it in 2013.
Source - AICTE
Understanding the new shift (This is where the jobs are!)
As the world continues to be taken over by machines and smarter devices rule our daily lives, there’s a data explosion happening every second! And every fragment of data has game-changing potential. No wonder organisations are investing big on data and on-boarding professional data scientists who can help them in finding meaning out of data.
A blog written by Anand Ramabhadran, an ex IIM-A graduate and now the senior VP of Manipal Global Education Services revealed that data is the new oil of the digital economy. He said that organisations that do not know how to manage the reams of data thrown at them are at a major disadvantage. He further added that this has fuelled the need for data scientists who can analyse data through smart algorithms and help organisations capitalise on crucial insights derived out of it.
Is data science the new-age MBA?
MBA or data science
So, if you are wondering which option will eventually help you advance your career and open up new avenues for you, this comparative study might come in handy.
Duration – MBA is typically a 2-year course, whereas a PG diploma in data science takes 11 months to complete.
Fees – In India, a full-time MBA comes at an average cost of 10 lakhs, whereas a PG diploma in data science comes almost at 60% of that cost. Pursuing it from a reputed institution will cost you around 6 lakhs.
Opportunities – A study conducted by ASSOCHAM made a shocking revelation that as many as 93% of MBA grads in India do not find jobs post the completion of their course. On the other hand, data science heralds a bright future as experts believe that there would be a vacancy for as many as 2 lakh skilled data science professionals by 2018. There certainly couldn't have been a better time for data scientists!
Average salary – Studies conducted on the average salary of MBA grads revealed that only 1% of the 4500 B-schools offer placements with a package of over 9 lakhs. In 40% B-schools, candidates get less than 3 lakhs and 37% institutes fail to offer placements.
On the other hand, a fresher in data science (from a reputed institute) gets an average salary of 7.1 lakhs.
Considering the job market in recent times and the disruptions created by new technology, data science certainly is the course of the future. A PG diploma in data science has an edge over an MBA as it takes lesser time to complete, which means the chances of getting a job will be much higher and sooner after completing it. Moreover, in terms of salaries and the opportunities too, a course in data science seems much more valuable.