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Scope of Studying MBA in Malaysia

This article examines the MBA offered by institutions in Malaysia, its scope and how they differ from an Indian MBA.

Mahesh Ramani

On an average, an MBA degree in Malaysia will cost a student about RM 25,000 (Rs 5 lakhs) a year. Whereas an MBA in any of India’s premier B-schools would cost a student at least Rs 9 lakhs a year.

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The last decade has seen massive economic growth in the South East Asia - especially Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Singapore has been steadily climbing the charts of education-rankings and following in the illustrious footsteps of its neighbour; the Malaysian government has planned a series of activities to make Malaysia the region’s academic power-house.
 

The EduCity Project:

 
EduCity Iskandar Malaysia is a fully integrated education hub recognized as an Entry Point Project (EPP) under the National Key Economic Area (NKEA), which will play an integral part in the success of Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme.
 
Leading international institutions have been invited to set up a campus here and a number of institutions have set up a campus or in the process of developing their campuses here. In partnership with its education partners from around the globe, EduCity will create a vibrant learning environment to groom future generations of leaders in Malaysia, Asia and the world.
 

MBA in Malaysia:

 
This gives students an opportunity to study an MBA from an international institution like Cardiff Metropolitan University, the University of Nottingham or the University of Strathclyde in Malaysia itself. The course-content is on par with the UK and is taught by qualified academics and there is regular training from visiting professors from the UK as well. In addition to these options there are institutions based out of Malaysia offering their own MBAs.
 
Some popular Malaysian institutions offering an MBA are:
  • Universiti Utara Malaysia
  • Universiti Kebangsan Malaysia
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia 
  • Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation 
  • Institute of Graduate Studies (University of Malaya)
 

Money Matters:

 
On an average an MBA degree in Malaysia will cost a student about RM 25,000 a year (tuition fees) this translates to roughly about INR 5 lakhs a year. So for a two-year course students are likely to spend nearly INR 15 lakhs to cover fees, food, accommodation and living costs. Twinning programmes, which allow students to spend a year studying in the UK or Australia cost more.
 
Let’s compare this with an MBA in India; an MBA in any of India’s premier B-schools - would cost the student between Rs 18 to Rs 20 lakhs - overall. So is an MBA in Malaysia all that useful?
 
To answer this question we need to consider quite a few factors:
 
1 - A foreign degree - Ensure that the MBA degree being offered by the institution is duly accredited and recognised across the world. No point in spending lakhs and getting a degree that is not accredited! Look at the awarding university; an MBA awarded by the University of Nottingham may find more favour with a recruiter of an American company than an MBA awarded by a small Malaysian institution.
 
2 - Competition in Malaysia - The level of competition is very high in Malaysia and securing a good-paying job straight after completing your MBA will be quite tough. Malaysian labour laws are designed to favour the locals; so finding your dream managerial job in Malaysia is going to be tough. The situation holds true for Singapore and Thailand as well.
 
3 - Saving money on an international MBA - The biggest advantage of studying in Malaysia is the money that one serves on travelling and the course fees when compared to a similar full-time MBA in the UK or the USA. In the years to come as the popularity of Malaysian institutions grows an MBA from a Malaysian institution will also gain more recognition.
 

Average Salaries in Malaysia

 
This table is sourced from the Malaysia Employers Federation (MEF) Salary Survey for Executives 2012. This shows the average monthly salary across different job-roles.
 

Executive Position

RM

US$

Min

Max

Min

Max

General Manager

13,700

24,844

4,394

7,982

General Manager - Sales & Marketing/ Business Development

12,038

19,292

3,868

6,199

Plant/Factory Manager/General Manager

11,147

16,615

3,581

5,338

Financial Controller/Director

12,992

23,349

4,174

7,502

Senior Operations Manager

8,618

14,325

2,769

4,603

Human Resource Manager

6,052

10,896

1,945

3,501

Quality Assurance/Control Manager

5,714

10,955

1,836

3,520

IT Manager

6,085

11,041

1,955

3,547

Logistics/Purchasing/Shipping/
Warehouse Manager

5,977

10,394

1,920

3,340

Production/Manufacturing Manager

5,622

8,978

1,806

2,885

Administration/HR/Finance Manager ( Combination)

6,440

10,881

2,069

3,496

Chief Engineering/ Engineering Manager

8,927

16,492

2,868

5,299

Sales Marketing Manager

5,889

9,979

1,892

3,206

 
The salaries when compared to similar designations in the manufacturing industry are proportionately higher. A person securing an MBA and then getting a job in a Malaysian company is likely to get an annual raise of 500 to 800 RM to the existing pay-band. Another point to note is that previous relevant job-experience is sure to help a person get a better salary.
 

The Final Cut - An MBA how does it help?

 
MBA programmes were originally designed to help engineers to fit into a managerial position. Things have changed a lot now with practically everyone who has an undergraduate degree attempting to study for an MBA and improve one’s job-prospects. This has created a scenario wherein the value of an MBA is decreasing as the quality of MBAs graduating is not up to the mark. This holds true for the engineering stream as well. 
 
Employability surveys show that only 5 in 100 graduates in India are ready to hit the job directly without any training. This is reiterated by the time and effort spent by leading companies which run dedicated training programmes for all ‘campus-recruits’ who are hired. These recruits undergo intensive training and only then start regular full-time work. 
 
An MBA in essence then just helps one present a set of additional skill-sets to one’s prospective employers. In some cases it sparks an entrepreneurial spirit, which helps individuals start businesses which may succeed or fail!

Team Hotcourses' Take:

An MBA is not a one-step sure shot formula for success, fame and money. The MBA is worth it if you know what you can gain out of the degree. Hard work, good communication skills, perseverance and a bit of good luck are needed for success; above all what detective Hercule Poirot refers to as ‘little grey cells’ - your intellect and quick thinking will help you achieve your dreams.
 
 
Image Credit - www.vbico.com

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