MBA Dual Degree, Integrated MBA – Advantages and Disadvantages – Part 2

In a recent research published by the University of Phoenix Research Institute, USA one of the key skills required for future is multidisciplinary skills. To address and solve today’s multifaceted problems we require multidisciplinary solutions. While throughout the 20th century, ever-greater specialization was encouraged, it is expected that the next century will see multidisciplinary approaches take center stage. A combination of engineering, architecture or pharmacy along with management education would create a unique value for the individual which will provide long and sustained career path and utility for the industry and the society. Even an integrated BBA-MBA program would produce a more holistic manager as the student would soak in the principles and practices of management over a long period and thus absorb theoretical knowledge and practices of the profession with deeper understanding. If you like to know more about the importance of these programmes, read part one of the series of articles on this topic. If you want to directly know about the institutions offering MBA Dual Degrees and Integrated MBA programmes in India and Abroad, go to the third and final part of the articles.

The current undergraduate education in engineering and technology, architecture, and pharmacy primarily aim at imparting knowledge through classroom instructions, training and other modes of teaching. Normally after completing the course, the student will acquire adequate theoretical and practical knowledge in his/her branch of study. Further, he/she will be capable of applying the same for the solution of real life problems and strive to develop/ upgrade it further through higher/continuing education to reach the frontiers of knowledge in his/her field of specialization.

On the other hand, the 5-year Dual Degree Integrated programs in engineering and technology, architecture, and pharmacy aim at the consolidation of the undergraduate programs with inputs of Master’s level specialized courses and six months internship component in the industry in the form of a on-the-job training. Thus the Dual Degree Integrated programs offer higher value and are fast track programs through which a student can get both B. Tech. /B. Pharm. and MBA degrees with a specialization in the chosen function/sector in 5 years instead of 6 years required for the existing 4-year B. Tech./B. Pharm. and 2-year MBA programs.

The Dual-Degree Integrated programs in Engineering, Architecture and Pharmacy with MBA lay emphasis on academic and extra-curricular components designed for the integrated development of engineering/technical professionals possessing managerial skills, human values and ethics. Almost all students after graduation start their career in organizations where cooperative efforts and teamwork are a must for the success in their career progress. Ethics, human values and discipline are of paramount importance for meaningful cooperation and successful team efforts. The 5-year Dual Degree Integrated Undergraduate-Master’s Degree programs lay equal emphasis on building the theoretical foundations among the students along with industry relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes. Cross-disciplinary exchange of knowledge is essential for industry. In the dual degree integrated program in engineering and management, the curriculum at the undergraduate level would be so structured that it offers enough flexibility to the students to tailor their learning process as per their personal inclinations and the desired career objectives.

The Dual Degree Integrated program lays emphasis on excellence and encourages the students in the top talent pool of the country to opt for both Bachelor’s and Master’s education in engineering/technology and management at one stretch. Such programs aim at emphasizing the application of the basics fundamental to their discipline towards the solution of specific real world problems. This will accelerate the capacity building exercise of the country and bridge the gap between industry requirements and academic institutions.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dual Degree Integrated Programs

Advantages of a dual degree integrated program include:

1. Dual degree holders are credentialed in two disciplines.
2. Dual degree holders offer employers a range of management and training skills and a breadth of domain-specific knowledge that can position them as an attractive prospect and future leader in their profession.
3. Dual degree holders have higher visibility in a pool of job candidates.
4. A dual degree may boost leverage when it comes to negotiating salaries and promotions as it offers two specialties and two skill sets.
5. A dual degree offers short and long-term career flexibility.
6. Dual degree programs offer savings in time and expense.

Disadvantages of pursuing a dual degree integrated program include:

1. Students must have the passion in both disciplines to even consider taking on a dual degree program.
2. Dual programs are not always ranked equally for an institution. An MBA program may be stronger than the second program undertaken, and vice versa.
3. Internships for dual degree candidates can be difficult.
4. Dual degrees require additional time out of the work force, putting salary increases and professional advancement on hold.
5. Employers may not easily allow students to take a break to pursue a degree even if the institute offers flexibility.
6. Institutes have to acquire the expertise to place students with dual degrees as they are used to cater to single degree holders.

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