Friday, October 12, 2007

And what about distance learning?

Pure distance learning is like trying to review a restaurant by merely looking at its menu. Despite best intention and sincere effort, you will lose out on the actual experience.

Much of the learnings in an MBA come from student-teacher and peer to peer interaction. You get none of that when you simply order course material and pore over it alone.

Much of the value of an MBA comes from its selection process. While full time MBA admissions are highly competitive and grueling, and even good part time programs apply some selectivity, distance learning course dispatch their courseware to anyone who’ll fork out the cash for it.

The two most popular distance learning programs (apart from IGNOU, which most discount) are offered by Symbiosis Centre of Distance Learning (SCDL) and ICFAI. Students are quite happy with the quality of courseware from both institutes. They’re not happy with its lack of effect on their careers.

Delhi based Jaspreet Chandhok is pursuing a PGDBA (Marketing) from SCDL. A BCA from IP University, he joined BPO Convergys soon after his final sem exams. “Fortunately, I got chances to excel and kept learning lessons of the "Work /Job World", and hence am still sticking in the same organization, “ says Jaspreet. Hungry for a post-grad qualification, he joined SCDL (“considering the hype of Symbiosis”).

He now feels, however, that the course is of absolutely no use. “I did gain knowledge but much of it was pretty basic. One doesn't need to go though books and "online exams" to prove his skills in these areas.”

He’s seen no gains in his career linked to distance learning – and isn’t about it even in the near future. It’s much the same story with Harikrishnan J, an Infosys engineer who completed his “Online MBA” from SCDL 6 months ago.

“The courseware is very good, lucid and manageable for a working person. It has given me good understanding of business concepts”. But job prospects wise - no gains. “ None of my technical work (I work as a Software Engg @ Infosys since 2003) deals with management and hence it hasn't helped me in this regard. And since my company doesn't accept this kind of MBA this course doesn’t help me climb up the coporate ladder yet.”

Try shifting? You can get a higher paying technical job but not a functional role. “Most openings, when advertised, give a disclaimer that Part-Time / Distance MBAs are not considered”. Of course Harikrishnan believes many full time MBAs (leave out IIMs and ISB) are in a similar boat. “I know a guy here who did his MBA from Cardiff Business School UK and came back to Infosys . He is working as a software tester”.

The verdict: Keep a distance from distance learning, from the point of view of impact on earning. Of course, there’s no harm – if you really just want to learn.

first published in March 2007 in Businessworld's Mega Indian Bschool Guide.

also read: The Part time MBA puzzle


  1. The other day, I read your earlier posts on Part time MBA and now this one. I am surely convinced not take these up for sure, specially with the intention of being paid more!!

    Another point on distance learning, it is like completing MCom thru distance education from Mumbai University and of course, your employer does not value it, in any way!! Have learnt it the hard way!!

  2. I have a feeling that people who opt in for distance learning programs mostly look for adding a post graduation to their resumes, and they work side by side and use the knowledge from these courses practically in the respective jobs, at that time, or a later point of time. Agreed, they can not match the exposure regular students get, but it does make sense to go in for a distance learning masters degree while working.
    When we try and compare these degrees to A class institutes, yes there is no comparison, but they are certainly a competition to the "next door colleges" which have become functional these days in punjab and haryana, I am sure about other states though. Working and studying together is, I feel, a much better option that opting in for a regular degree from just any other institute.

  3. I do agree with Sam relan, but not full in agreement with Rashmi.Ofcousrse the other 2 methods do have a uppper hand when compared to distance learning.

    Personally I feel, MBA is just a mere addition to your qualifications, to illustrate this, we can the cases of Mr.Bill Gates and Mr.Dhirubhai Ambani.

    So guys no harm in taking up Distance Learning if you have no other option & distance learning from a reputed institution,like Welingars or Symbi etc is any time better then a regular MBA from a D grade college...

  4. liked analogy of looking @ menu part .. in the same vein 'executive' MBAs will be like ordering home-delivery/take outs
    Where you wont be able to enjoy the ambience of the restaurant and dont exactly get the best personal attention ... but still get to eat food !

    Would love to see an article about these 'executive' MBA programmes( weekend/evening classes) also from you.

    Was able to relate to the examples you had cited as i had also worked in the software industry (Infy) before embarking on 'full-time' MBA.
    I know a lot of ppl (including the one mentioned in ur article )who were doing their MBA from Symbi and IGNOU ...
    Many of them gave up in between to concentrate on other certifications in technical line as they percieved them to be of more value add in moving up in life.
    A Few others chose to take up executive courses like the software management course conducted @ IIM B (excecutive one) while continuing to work.
    With increasing no: of working professionals looking at higher education , many of them looking at upgrading their skill set without giving up their current job , executive MBAs should really pick-up rather than correspondence ones.

  5. your "verdict" on the distance learning program sounds general where as it actually is only in reference to MBA.

    MBA or BE definitely is not useful as distance learnt degree because they are more about practicality and hands on approach. But, economicas of phychology would not be equally useles as a degree earnt through similar distance learning course. Ofcourse even in that case classroom course is better, but that may not be always feasible.

  6. You are always just right at the point in analyzing topics..

  7. Gee....that's me in the post :-)
    And btw I have now left the job & joined one of top 10 univs in US after fretting for a year abt. my "part time degree"....maybe others should follow suit.

    Harikrishnan J

  8. hello i like youre blog

  9. "Pure distance learning is like trying to review a restaurant by merely looking at its menu".......

    That line is very apt....but some restaurants can be reviewed by looking at the menu. Similarly distance learning is a good option for some degrees but not for some example, MBA where class participation and networking play a big role

  10. I dont know about MBA but distance learning definitely helped me in "earning" well after I completed a Diploma in Instructional Design from SCDL. The courseware, no doubt, was fantastic. And we had projects to complete which helped us to interact with our peers. Now-a-days a lot of emphasis is laid on full-time MBA and the institute from where one graduates eliminating the emphasis on other skill-sets.

  11. hey nice blog
    wrote some lines about them on my blogs
    do chek it out
    Thank You

  12. Woohoo..!! That sounds like me..! :P Thanks for bringing my view out to the whole world. Hope this brings some lights to the others mindset.
    I'm still climbing up the ladder in my organization, practically much without the help or name of this PGDBA in my resume'.
    Thanks again, and take care.!

    One of your many fans,
    Jaspreet. (",)

  13. Nice going here... good articles.... this one is especially good.. i mean the MBA post... will check the freq... adios

  14. I have seen people get enthusiastic about distance education MBA. they do not focus on it from then onwards and the whole money ends up being wasted.

    I strongly believe that a person who wants to do a thorough MBA should do it full time from a reputed institution.


  15. nice article again frm rashmi. valid views , totally agreed. however would like to bring to notice abt steps taken by icfai to bridge this gap among "can do" and "cant do guys" .

    firstly icfai degree doesnt mention distance learning ! thy get the same degree as we fulltime students do. so tht does help in career process though its use is debatable as it may(is) misused.

    secondly with icfai its not really distance learning - u attend weekend classes, online interface is thr too.

    thirdly like a regular mba even distance learning chaps can opt for a summer internship ! yeah thts right

    and laslty like the regular candidates these chaps too can avail of placements services with a assured placement of min 20k

    so u see the icfai mba is priced double of Symbi...smbi is just giving u books n a certificate.its actually not of much use in the corporate world. as rightly said even icici bank recruitment form mentions to tick if ur degree is classroom or correspondence.

    so the icfai degree isnt correspondence per se...its a mix provided one utilises it..

    p.s - this no promotion of icfai, just thought to bring to attention how icfai has been somewht successful in helping the distance learning chaps get a decent proposition

  16. hi
    this is relay good info

  17. Anonymous6:51 PM

    Hi nice blog .I need to post resumes .can anybody send links of that sites.
    Thank you.........

  18. Anonymous8:03 AM

    明星代言 明星经纪公司
    制动单元 铝壳电阻
    modern abstract art sofa manufacturer
    净水器 开水器 净水机 净水 软水机 软水 直饮机 家用净水 家用净水器 家用净水机 中央净水 中央净水器 水家装 水家电 水卫士 混合机
    过滤机 DHL快递 俄罗斯签证 回转支承 Laser marking
    保险箱 法兰 法兰标准
    polycarbonate sheet 回流焊 波峰焊
    压球机 注册上海公司 儿童摄影
    牛皮癣 皮肤病 制氮机
    食堂售餐机 校园一卡通
    学校一卡通 ic卡售饭机
    食堂售饭机 深圳一卡通
    广东售饭机 机电设备安装
    北京发票 代开发票
    餐饮发票 住宿发票
    网络电话 免费网络电话
    假发 补发
    织发 植发
    压滤机 板框压滤机
    蒸馏水机 纯蒸气发生器
    上海搬家公司 上海搬场公司
    大众搬家 大众搬场
    张家界旅游 香港旅游
    深圳旅行社 打包机
    收缩机 对讲机 电源模块
    售饭机 水控机 水控器
    萎缩性胃炎 neoprene laptop bags
    SEO优化 计量泵
    胃炎 胃病
    冷水机 冰水机
    北京特价机票 北京打折计票 北京国际机票
    北京机票预定 北京飞机票
    北京订机票 北京机票查询 饮料机械
    银杏 水培花卉 企业宣传片 空分设备
    化工泵 离心机
    电话交换机 程控交换机 集团电话 集装袋
    混合机 混合机
    混合机捏合机 捏合机
    捏合机导热油炉 导热油炉
    导热油炉 反应釜 反应釜
    反应釜 spherical roller bearing
    搬运车 搬运车 电动搬运车 油桶搬运车 堆高车 电动堆高车 半电动堆高车 堆垛车
    高空作业平台车 电动叉车 平衡重叉车 前移叉车 电瓶叉车
    韩国饰品批发 模块电源
    X架 超薄灯箱> 易拉宝 展柜制作
    代理服务器 游戏加速器 网络加速器
    网通加速器 电信加速器 电信网通转换器
    电信网通加速器 网通电信互转
    网通电信互通 网络游戏加速器
    美国VPN代理 美国独享VPN 美国独享IP
    pvc ceiling panel Spherical roller bearings
    安全鞋 劳保鞋 防砸鞋 电绝缘鞋 上海安全鞋 上海劳保鞋 江苏劳保鞋
    服装软件 服装管理软件 进销存软件
    进销存管理软件 服装管理系统 服装进销存软件
    进销存系统 进销存管理系统 免费进销存软件
    吉林中医 东北特产
    阳痿 阴茎短小 阴茎增大
    早泄 前列腺炎 阴茎增粗 阴茎延长
    国际机票 上海国际机票
    国际特价机票 国际打折机票
    砂磨机 砂磨机
    砂磨机 卧式砂磨机
    卧式砂磨机 卧式砂磨机
    三辊研磨机 三辊研磨机
    三辊研磨机 混合机 混合机
    混合机 锥形混合机 锥形混合机 锥形混合机 行星动力混合机 行星动力混合机 行星动力混合机 无重力混合机 无重力混合机 无重力混合机
    干粉砂浆设备 干粉砂浆设备
    干粉砂浆设备 捏合机 捏合机 捏合机 导热油炉 导热油炉 导热油炉 反应釜 反应釜 反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜
    乳化机 涂料设备 干混砂浆设备 无重力混合机 胶体磨 涂料成套设备 双螺旋混合机
    北京婚庆 北京婚庆公司
    办证 呼吸机 制氧机
    亚都 亚都加湿器 亚都净化器
    饰品批发 小饰品批发 韩国饰品 韩国饰品批发 premature ejaculation penis enlargement
    安利产品 马来西亚留学
    网站优化 网站推广
    论文代写 代写论文
    拖链 防护罩 排屑机 塑料拖链 钢铝拖链
    深圳装饰 深圳装饰公司 深圳装修公司
    特价机票 打折机票 国际机票
    新风换气机 换气机 立式新风换气机 风机箱 新风系统 能量回收机
    搅拌机 混合机 乳化机
    毛刷 毛刷辊 工业毛刷 刷子 钢丝刷
    涂层测厚仪 硬度计
    兆欧表 激光测距仪
    测振仪 转速表
    温湿度计 风速仪
    噪音计 红外测温仪
    硬度计 万用表
    美容院 美容加盟
    澳洲留学 澳大利亚留学
    酒店预定 北京酒店预定 北京酒店
    nail equipment nail products nail product nail uv lamp nail uv lamp nail uv lamps uv nail lamp nail brush
    nail file nail tool nail tip nail gel curing uv lamps lights
    万用表 风速仪
    红外测温仪 噪音计
    苗木价格 苗木信息 标牌制作 深圳标牌 北京儿童摄影 防静电鞋 淘宝刷信誉
    威海凤凰湖 威海海景房 大庆密封件
    打标机 淘宝刷信誉 TESOL/TEFL国际英语教师证书 英语教师进修及培训 北京快递公司 北京国际快递

  19. Anonymous7:11 PM


    套国际会议同传服务,深圳翻译公司,专业深圳英语翻译 深圳日语翻译深圳法语翻译

  20. Anonymous7:51 PM


    套国际会议同传服务,深圳翻译公司,专业深圳英语翻译 深圳日语翻译深圳法语翻译


Disqus for Youth Curry - Insight on Indian Youth