How Much Do Graduates of Indian B-Schools Earn?

Survey of graduates of India’s top 200 business schools places the Indian School of Business in the top spot, but the IIMs follow close behind

In India, as elsewhere, students graduating from business school are hoping for a job with a fat pay check that gives them a great return on their investment in school.

Tuition fees at Indian b-schools average around Rs 5 lakhs (£7,000) per year and are often funded by taking a big chunk out of the family savings.

With this in mind, market research firm Digital Mailers surveyed 18,390 graduates from 200 business schools across India on the cost of their education and their current earnings

The Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad ranked top, with salary at graduation averaging Rs 16 lakhs (£22,750). ISB, currently ranked twelfth globally according to the FT rankings, was followed by three of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs); Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta; providing salary packages around Rs 11.76 lakhs, Rs 11.25 lakhs and Rs 10.63 lakhs respectively.

Average salaries on graduation were estimated for the top 75 business schools in India. The lowest salary within this group was around Rs 3.07 lakhs (£4,350) for someone graduating from Badruka Institute of Foreign Trade in Hyderabad.

With the economic downturn affecting many countries across the world, a key question s whether job opportunities for b-school graduates in Indian are growing or shrinking.

VK Menon, Senior Director of Career Advancement Services and Admissions & Financial Aid at ISB thinks that the demand for premier management graduates in India is growing:

“Leading companies in various sectors showed an increased demand for talent, compared to last year. The prominent ones among them were technology, consulting and finance, with ‘Green Energy’ emerging as a new category.

“Other sectors which showed an increase in demand for talent included pharmaceuticals and healthcare, infrastructure, real estate, media and energy.”

“Many of the recruiters at premier campuses are MNC’s and large corporations,” he added. “Last year, we had 346 leading domestic and international companies participating in the placements process at ISB; we also witnessed an improvement in compensation levels over last year.”

But how easy is it to find a job right after you graduate from a top b-school? Does it nevertheless take several sleepless nights and considerable effort?

Sindhu Kakade who will graduate from ISB in 2011, wants to work within “green marketing” in a consumer goods or pharmaceuticals firm.

She doesn’t believe that ISB grads need to make a minimum number of applications. “It entirely depends upon the potential of the candidate and to some extent the present economic conditions… Mostly an ISB graduate will have multiple job offers when he or she graduates… 346 made job offers in my year.”

But while ISB graduates enjoy the highest salaries in India, they don’t get the highest return on their investment. According to the Digital Mailers survey, graduates of Sona School of Management in Tamil Nadu get the highest rate of return on their fees.

ISB and the IIMs do not make the top 25 for return on investment, though they are of course the schools with the most prestige.

Kakade does admit that some of her classmates have not found their dream jobs yet. She says there are two possible reasons for this.

“If the candidate is aspiring to an industry or role where she does not have work experience in, then because of the mismatch between her skills and the company’s needs, she may not get that job.

Secondly, such a job may not be available during campus recruitment. However, when tried off-campus through the network that ISB has built over the decade, there is a possibility of getting the job.”


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