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ONLINE GD AT URPERCENTILE- "ENGINEERS ARE WASTING THEIR TIME IN MANAGEMENT STUDIES"

Rani, Trupti Indulkar, Tuhin, Jainisree, and Sharmistha Mallik clear this GD

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www.UrPercentile.com: The topic of GD is “Engineers are wasting their Time in Management Studies”.

Rani: Good evening friends. Topic given to us is “Engineers are wasting time in management study”. Every field requires management. Running a hospital or running an industry. Engineers are the ones who is going to invent new ways to do process or new technology. If they have studied management they would be in better position to utilize the technology or new process.

Jainisree: Management in real life has a very important role and there is need for everyone to be a good manager in both his personal and professional life and Management studies will make a person good manager in a systematic manner. “Engineers are wasting their Time in Management Studies” Definitely not. Engineer or a person in any other profession needs some managerial skills and in management studies they are taught in a systematic manner. Moreover an engineer with his technical knowledge cannot climb to the top of corporate ladder without management studies. He can almost go to a position of team/project leader but with management studies he can go to the extent of CEO of a company or can start his own company.

Tuhin: Well, this is a really introspective topic. With engineers forming more than half of the student body in most of the B-schools, there must be a rationale behind such a move. I think that engineers opt to do an MBA because they would like to expand their skill set. A job in the technical line may not offer them the fruition of all their career dreams because it tends to be a vertical plane of activity. Management offers engineers a fresh perspective in their careers in the sense that it offers more choices and challenges. However, again here the knowledge of one’s self comes in. If management is pursued with a proper goal in mind it will reap rich dividends and may not necessarily be a waste of time.

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Trupti Indulkar: Technology forms the crux of any economy today. Engineers with management degrees literally have the best of both worlds. A thorough knowledge of the shop floor plus the savoir-faire of a boardroom could make a very good manager.

A. Shah: In my opinion Engineers have good Analytical skills which are very important for a MBA. Engineers have very deep technical knowledge in their respective domains which helps them combine their technical knowledge how with management skills and thus emerge as a great manager. Thus they aren’t wasting their time in pursuing MBA.

Tuhin: I agree with Jainisree. The top of the corporate ladder entails crucial strategic decisions which necessitate knowledge of managerial disciplines. This may not be possible with a purely technical employee.

Rajesh Patra: In order to perform the functions of management and to assume multiple roles, managers must be skilled. Basically there are three managerial skills that are essential for successful management: technical, human, and conceptual. Technical skill involves process or technique knowledge and proficiency. Human skill involves the ability to interact effectively with people. Conceptual skill involves the formulation of ideas. Thus, technical skill deals with things, human skill concerns people, and conceptual skill has to do with ideas. So engineers need to be trained.

Jainisree: Management studies will give completeness to one's studies and for an engineer it adds the dimension of management and hones his leadership and managerial skills and helps him in his career. For an engineer who wants to go on research side, management studies may seem waste of time but management education from a reputed institute will increase one's level of thinking and his standards and his exposure and also industrial interaction.

Indrakala Jaiswar: In my views engineering course provides you a mental toughness, logical ability, time management - here one is constantly on his/her toes every time.

Tuhin: Let’s consider a person who’s worked in the technical line for a considerable period if time and now wants to start his own venture. Such an initiative does not only involve the technical aspect. Managing a firm involves bring in capital, proper advertising and also logistics. These intricacies can be taken care of by doing a course in management. Such an instance will not be a waste of time. However, if a technical person shifts to management just for the heck of it, it may backfire as he may lack the aptitude. So it depends on a person’s clarity in his goals.

Trupti Indulkar: It is often heard these days that engineers can manage engineers. There wont the great divide between engineering department and the management. MBAs with B.E. degrees could understand the problems faced by the organization better.

Sharmistha Mallik: I feel that the decision to pursue management studies is irrespective of the previous educational background. The current trend of engineers forming more than 50% is just cause of the higher levels of analytical skills developed over a period of time during the engineering courses!

Rani: Like Tuhin said you can’t start your own company with just technical knowledge you need to know about lot of other stuffs too. You can not have commerce people as purchase manager who doesn’t know anything about the production processes of Pharmacy Company or industrial good manufacturing company. You need to have person who understands the manufacturing process there, a person with technical knowledge. Now engineering doesn’t include about various business laws and taxes and standard costing and all other things, knowledge of which is required by the purchase manager. So here you need person who knows both the things management and technical knowledge. So engineers are not wasting time while pursuing MBA degrees.

Tuhin: What can also be a possibility is that as happens with number jobs in the BPO sector especially, the job profile hits a plateau and there are no new challenges to be faced. It's the same story everyday. Such people can also opt for management as it will give their career path a much needed boost.

Trupti Indulkar: Rajesh in citing that technical and human skills are very essential. Especially in world like today. One can not hope to run a business with either of these skills independently. It is essential to have the "body" and "mind" in synchrony, Body being the machinery and mind being the people of an organization.

A. Shah: If a person with technical background wants to come in management of a company that is of the background in which he has pursued his technical studies (like if he wants to pursue MBA with IT as specialisation and he is a Computer Engg) then it will  be very fruitful for the person as it will help combine his IT knowledge with management principles an thus become a good manager

Sharmistha Mallik: The decision to pursue an MBA for an engineer who has spent 3+ years in a technical environment is more out of the desire for change.

Trupti Indulkar: Technical team will have more faith in the decisions of the management and will view them with less skepticism if not favorably if it came from "one of their own." It has been proven time and again that "technical guys" can run a company as well as they can fix a motor or write a code! Mr Narayanmurthy is proof enough.

Tuhin: I think, Miss Sharmistha, that what you've said is not exactly a symptom which is bothersome. It’s just that the engineers have the forethought of having the best of both worlds. Their analytical skills are just an add on which works in their favor.

Indrakala Jaiswar: I feel, Engineering overall provides you certain kind of qualities to learn. Its not just the case of any technical field, a person should have the capacity to withstand stress if he/she wants to go for managerial position.

Jainisree: Yeah, I agree with Tuhin. Once a person enters BPO sector the profile remains the same for years and there will not be any challenges to face. it will be just a routine

Sharmistha Mallik: A good engineer does not necessarily make a good manager!! Every real-life situation cannot be always analyzed and hence the analytical advantages of an engineer lose their edge in the real world!!

Rajesh Patra: Absolutely as said by Sharmisth, past education doesn't play a great role while pursuing MBA. Engineers during their 4 years study are more focused towards the technical aspects of a problem. But they are not so confident in managerial works to some extent. And by doing MBA they can refine their skills and achieve better height.

Trupti Indulkar: Management studies helps to enhance and hone the latent skills of an individual. So engineers might emerge with better solutions because of what they learnt in their B-School. It would add a new dimension to the approach to a problem. Factors such as cost of various kinds, which are not usually considered while solving technical issues, is better understood and implemented.

Tuhin: I agree with Miss Sharmishtha. Unless that engineer is clear about his goals and his long time perspective about his career is robust, he will not make a good manager.

A. Shah: Shamistha, That can be the case with anyone else also. He/She can be from Commerce background but May or may not be a good manager.

Rani: Trupti, exceptions are always there. You need not to have MBA degree to run a business well as well Karshanbhai patel of NIRMA and Dhirubhai Ambani have not done MBAs  but they are very good at handling your company. So exception is always there but if you want to go for your own company then study of management would definitely help you.

Indrakala Jaiswar: See, if we are talking about engineers instead of engineering courses then one can say that the management is person specific. If we are talking about the engineering degree then it provides you some components which other graduation degree may not

Sharmistha Mallik: Yes! But what I feel is that an engineer's technical skills are better put to use in a technical background!

Tuhin: I think analysis may not always be what LR in cat is. They require more of managerial tools like gap analysis and SWOT. This may not necessarily be the monopoly of engineers.

Jainisree: Yeah true, but how long in a technical background, there should be some completeness.

Tuhin: Many times another perspective comes up. Let’s assume that a person is in the telecomm line and has worked there for a long time. Now, his company gives him a position which needs managerial skills coupled with technical ones eg as that of a project manager. Such a person may gear up for the new challenge by doing an MBA in telecomm management such as the one offered in SITM of Symbiosis .That may equip him better for the new profile of his job. The only point is that the course must offer him assistance in this case and not necessarily a new perspective as he may not be looking at changing his job but only improving his present profile.

Rani: Sharmistha yes they are put in better use in technical field if person wants to stick with that field. Many chemical engineers dont wanna remain in that field coz it involves night shift then it also involves working with hazardous chemical. If you do management it would be easy for you to change your field.

Sharmistha Mallik: An engineer ends up beginning all over again in the pursuit of management studies!! His 4+ years of technical knowledge basically provides him with absolutely no advantage.

Trupti Indulkar: There was no need for an MBA in the yesteryears. Illiterates could run companies very well and many companies have succeeded with such leaders. There is no hard and fast rule or a 100% successful formula for a successful manager. But what we learn in 4 yrs of technical education comes in handy and also supplements what we learn in a B-School.

Indrakala Jaiswar: It’s incorrect to say, if we see the top management colleges worldwide they ask for the work ex before joining management school.

A. Shah: We can take example from leaders of Corporate world .Many of these is from Technical background .Most of the IT major CEOs/Chairman has good technical background. Be it Bill Gates or Narayan Murthy.

Tuhin: This again will not be a waste of time. However, I will keep reiterating the fact that a lot of introspection must go in the decision to do an MBA. Only if it is adding value to the career graph must be it studied not just to add another degree to your name.

Rani: Shrmistha, I would like to differ, your experience helps you a lot. It helps you in understanding theory better. You can relate theory with practical situations. That’s why people go for MBA after few years of experience. Before you go for MBA, it is always of advantage if you know how industry works. That gives you better understanding.

Indrakala Jaiswar: well, from my experience, I would say: After say 10 yrs you need to have management skills to manage people, resources

Sharmistha Mallik: Rani, but management is not all about seeking changes!! Even in the technical field, one can look for different opportunities!! If stagnation is the only reason for pursuing an MBA then it is possible that even after an MBA degree, a few years down the line one might reach a block, what then?

Rajesh Patra: Tuhin Absolutely. Let us consider the trend of foreign university. They take people with 3+ yrs of exp. This is because by that time the man has known the problems. & people take up MBA to give a boost to their career.

Trupti Indulkar: Put yourself in a situation where there is a technical snag and try as you might to explain the difficulty to your boss (who is a technical-layman), he will find it hard to understand! You lose precious time and money in the process. Decision making and problem solving can be a lot more efficient with a B.E. -M.B.A manager.

Jainisree: Thats not correct to say 4+ yrs of technical knowledge is mere waste, we have management studies in technical fields also and recently IIMB has started PGSEM for IT sector professionals.

Tuhin: I think what Trupti has said is applicable only where after MBA you're working in a technical field. A person joining an investment bank after working in TCS for example will not be using that knowledge.

Rani: Sharmistha I m not saying that it is the only reason but it could be one of the reasons why engineers are going for MBA study.

Sharmistha Mallik: Everybody, I think we all agree about experience being helpful but the point here is that engineers with or without experience pursuing management studies amounts to a wastage of talent!!

Tuhin: I would not agree with Miss Sharmishtha there. Fresher are not always a waste in b-schools. They may provide a new point of view and bring in out of the box thinking to the scene. This may lead to a totally new way of doing business or innovation.

Rani: Sharmistha how come its wastage of talent, Its just enhancement of skills, you are not unlearning what you learned during your engineering study.

Jainisree: Its not wastage of skills definitely but adding one more dimension of management to already what you have

A. Shah: As I said earlier that if a Computer Engineer joins and IT company as a Manager then he will be more productive and using his knowledge than joining a FMCG major

Rajesh Patra: Sharmisth absolute not. Engineers are not good at the management skills such as market survey, product analysis, and other such skills. By pursuing MBA they can gain these skills and in turn become a good manager or entrepreneur.

Sharmistha Mallik: Yes, you cannot unlearn but you also do not develop on it!! If all engineers went in for management, then we would only have managers but nobody to manage!! We wouldn’t have inventions, because there wouldn’t be any inventors left!!

Indrakala Jaiswar: The summer project helps fresher in many ways to understand ground realities... on the other hand if you are a experienced(in industry) then things becomes much easy for you.

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Tuhin: Miss Sharmishtha how can we assume that all inventions are done by technicians and specialists in technology?

Sharmistha Mallik: If all our scientists and researchers decided to put their 'analytical skills' into managing rather than into innovating and discovery, where would be progress then??

Rajesh Patra: Sharmistha, Engineers do develop. I'm a Mech. Engineer. I have set up a AC manufacturing unit. & I want to do MBA to expand my biz. So I’m not leaving my tech skills, but enhancing them.

Jainisree: We are not saying that every engineer must land up in management at the end of the day, but just saying that management studies will add to your career in proceeding further

Tuhin: We were talking about engineers and not researchers

Rani: But you really want to develop those skills. See, hardly 5 % of engineers go for M. Tech. It is like you know the basic necessary technical knowledge and you don’t want to go ahead in that field and pursue the career in same field but with different dimensions. Person who is interested in only technical stuff will always go for M tech rather than MBA. So its more about personal choice where you want to go and what you want to do.

A. Shah: Not all Engineers go for MBA .Majority of them spends their entire career in Technical background. So it is wrong to say that if all engineers go for MBA.

Indrakala Jaiswar: Sharmishta, here we can take example of Mr. Kalam our president or Mr. Kasturirangan of ISRO. All were good scientist but at one level even they had to manage the people , resources, project.

A. Shah: Rani, I think many of them still pursue MS or want to pursue MS from their dream University (if they can get admission into). And many of them go for jobs.

Jainisree: Doing MBA will not stop anyone from doing research or inventing anything new.

Tuhin: I agree with Mr.Abhishek. Many also opt to do an MS and have no liking for MBAs. Such people go into technical research and add value to innovations there.

Rajesh Patra: Yes. One can do well without pursuing MBA. But it’s an added advantage & can achieve the goal within a shorter span.

Sharmistha Mallik: Yes, I agree that at one stage we all end up managing other people or resources but Dr. Kalam's example just proves my point!

Indrakala Jaiswar: I don't agree with Mr. Shah, in my view people opt for MS because its easy to get a job abroad.

Rani: Shah, I am not saying all engineers go for MBA, I m just saying that it depends on your interest and career goals. People who only want to excel in technical field will go for MS or M.Tech. But who are interested in techno commercial field will go for MBA. It changes person to person.

Sharmistha Mallik: If instead of pursuing his career in the technical stream of his choice he had taken up management would he and our nation have been where we are today!

Tuhin: Mr.Kalam is president only for a few years. Is there any guarantee that he won't revert to the technical field after his tenure?

Indrakala Jaiswar: Whereas in India we have immense competition for good things like IIT, IIM or any good colleges.

www.UrPercentile.com: Requests everyone to give a concluding statement.

Rani: I would like to conclude that engineers are not wasting their time pursuing management study but they need to be clear about what they want to do in life. What are their goals and how doing MBA is going to help them achieve it.

Rajesh Patra: So it’s absolutely not a waste to pursue MBA after engineering. Rather it’s an added advantage. Engineers through MBA can handle their job more efficiently and effectively.

Sharmistha Mallik: Well in conclusion, I would like to say that i feel that engineers pursuing management studies though not a waste of time because it is a matter personal choice it surely does mean their technical skills not being properly utilized!

A. Shah: A engineer while working in a technical company will be promoted to next step of the stair in the corporate ladder. So he will have to manage people at one stage (like when he will become project Manger then he will have 5-10 or may be more engineers down him).So its good for engineers to have management skills.

Indrakala Jaiswar: I conclude that, its not the waste but it gives you other dimension to understand ground realities.

Tuhin: I think that an MBA if done with a purpose in mind to add value to one's career is not a waste of time. A couple of examples I gave earlier make a clear picture of people wanting to progress. In such scenarios, they will do well because their goal is clear. An MBA will boost their prospects. But if it's done with a view of just being in vogue, it may not help much.

Jainisree: I would like to summaries by saying Management studies by an Engineer is not just waste of time, it will hone his skills, help in climbing his career ladder and increases one's scope and exposure ..

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