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A Blogpost titled ‘Business Education in Pakistan’ was published by Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi2 when he himself was an MBA student at SZABIST Karachi. The contents are still valid as can be seen from excerpts below. [Quote]
Universities, like Pan Shops, began to open all over the urban centers of Pakistan offering business education and throwing run-of-the-mill business graduates in the market…
As anyone can guess, the teachings of these universities were highly disconnected with market demands and this phenomenon still plagues Pakistan’s academic circles. Nearly all business schools teach their graduates to be “Business Administrators” but none of them train them to be “Businessmen”.
Take any graduate who recently completed four-year BBA degree and check his transcript and observe the course titles…
If the same student proceeds to MBA then basic courses like marketing, finance, accounting and computers will all be repeated, some of the electives may also be repeated (if Marketing is chosen again) and the new transcript will also be filled with random subjects that would make you wonder what the student actually wanted to be…
It is baffling to see how confused the business students are by the time they graduate because they seriously do not know what have they studied, how to apply their knowledge and where to actually start. Majority are not aware how to make their first CV and end up copy pasting each other’s work, listing down their major subjects just to fill the empty space on the very first page. In all the four years (or more in case of MBA) of education, the student is barely encouraged to actually start his own business instead of applying to existing companies. The business institutions themselves show no interest in encouraging Entrepreneurship among the youth and consider their work ‘done’ by teaching one course titled Entrepreneurship by the end of third year.
Not only the disconnect is worse than ever but the sheer number of graduates the institutions are releasing into the corporate world every year is a horror as none are trained to start their own business, few actually know what they want to do and fewer still manage to land a job within six months of graduating. There are so many MBAs in the market that BBA degree has lost its value and not more than 1% BBA graduates manage to get a job before enrolling for MBA studies. A shockingly large number of students enroll into MBA program right after graduating and usually in the same institution, not realizing that they are hampering their own growth by staying in the same institution for so long.
There is an urgent need to correct our academic institutions where it should be made mandatory to have one to two years of post degree work experience to qualify for MBA program (something that both LUMS and IBA implemented for quality control), remove completely irrelevant subjects, design complete tracks with evolving electives, restrict student intake for quality control and allow students to amalgamate their business education with other fields like Social Sciences, Political Sciences, Economics, Law or Computers to fully develop their field of expertise. Unless we modernize our curriculum and forego filler subjects that bear no positive results, we may remain stuck with the current market situation that is steadily getting worse. [Unquote]
Some highly pertinent points have been raised in this article. Imparting business education is big business, just like education itself which is a multi-billion rupees industry. The unfortunate fact is that most institutions are throwing out MBA degrees which are worth no more than the piece of paper they are printed on, after charging hundreds of thousands of rupees from students. The hiring companies are routinely putting MBA as the basic hiring criteria, but they also add the words ‘from a reputable institution’.
We shall talk more on this subject in the next post, InshaAllah.
To be continued……
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