Being in the workforce for five years or more means that you have established yourself to a certain extent in the corporate world. Leaving the security of a job at hand and planning to go back to academics to refine your skill sets or fill in the knowledge gap is surely a courageous decision. You sure have lost touch with academics and the classroom environment by now and hence coping with the pressure that studies bring with themselves may unnerve you. The sooner you get into the shoes of a student the better it is for you. Discipline in study routine is another crucial area that people with more experience face difficulty with. Adapting quickly to the classroom environment and putting your organizational skills to use would ease any discomfort you may encounter during your stint as a student.
Now that you have decided that you want to go back to the books, you must consider if this is the right time in your career to do so. And if you get a positive response from within and after evaluating the pros and cons of the proposal you should start worrying if the program you are looking for is apt for you. Fresh graduates or professionals early in their career do not face as much hesitation as those with higher work experience. So giving your decision enough thought and understanding what you want out of the academic experience is imperative. Remember the decision is difficult and tricky; however, the idea of polishing yourself for a career progression is the best opportunity you could gift yourself.
So what options can someone with 5+ years of experience look at? What comes to our minds immediately is pursuing an Executive MBA program. Yes, this is a perfect choice. Such programs are designed for professionals with higher work experience only. Without taking a break from your professional commitments, you could earn a degree that would help you work your way up the career ladder. Anybody at a middle management position can look at an Executive MBA. However, a word of caution would be that you look at the average class credentials. On keenly analyzing you would realize that the average work experience for such programs is 8 to 10 years. Would waiting, in that case, be suitable for you? Consider the investment you are making in the program not just with respect to money but time as well and then decide if it looks feasible for you.
Some companies provide sponsorship to employees who aspire to study alongside work. This, of course, comes with an agreement with the firm to return to work and be loyal for a “x” number of years post completion of the program. Evaluate if the deal holds you in good stead!
There are also some good one year MBA programs that you may consider opting for. A comprehensive and power packed program that expects you to take a complete break from your professional commitments is offered by a lot of business schools, especially in India. These programs provide value for money and give you immense credibility. Studying in a class of ambitious professionals would help you rub shoulders with some great talent and garner a network that would last lifelong. We thought sharing a list of some outstanding programs in India would make things easy for you. Take a look:
- ISB – PGP Pro
- IIM Ahmedabad – PGPX
- IIM Bangalore – EPGP
- IIM Calcutta – PGPEX
- IIM Calcutta – PGPEX – VLM
- IIM Indore – EPGP
- IIM Shillong – PGPEx
- IIM Lucknow – IPMX
- IIM Udaipur – PGPX
- XLRI – PGDM (General Management), previously known as GMP
- Great Lakes Institute of Management – PGPM
- MDI Gurgaon – NMP
- SPJIMR – PGPM
Addressing the mid-life career crisis at an opportune time with the right program is the best way to go about it. If you agree with this notion, start applying today.