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Why is Distance MBA in India Worthwhile?

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Is Distance MBA in India Worthwhile

Why is Distance MBA in India Worthwhile? Is Distance MBA Worth it?

Is Distance MBA Worth it? Interesting Facts
Total enrollment in institutions of higher learning 12%
Institutions offer distance learning programmes 1 Central Open University, 1 State Open University, 13 State Open Universities, and 118 Dual Mode Universities
Female Enrollment 46%
Male Enrollment 54%
Distance education regulatory bodies in India UGC, AICTE, NAAC, Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, etc.
Enrollment of students in India in Distance Learning 10.20%
States involvement offering a distance MBA program Delhi 16.20%
Maharashtra 16.10%
Tamil Nadu 10.20%
Kerala 6.20%
Uttar Pradesh 5.20%
West Bengal 5.10%
Estimated users of online programs including Distance MBA by 2022 9.6 million
Popular distance MBAs in India IGNOU, Symbiosis, NMIMS, Welingker, Sikkim Manipal, etc. More here
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Distance learning MBA in India started in 1962 after the establishment of the School of Correspondence Courses and Continuing Education by the Delhi University.

After noticing the high demand for distance MBA, the government of India established Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) through an Act of Parliament (1985).

Distance MBA is one of the most popular distance programmes in the region. Its uptake has been accelerated by increased competition in the job market, which disadvantages people without postgraduate qualifications.

As such, pursuing a distance MBA will equip students with useful skills, such as data analysis tools, financial management, artificial intelligence, and decision making.

This research utilized potential distance MBA participants to research the relevance of the programme. It seeks to establish pre and post distance MBA situations for distance MBA participants/alumni.

Interestingly, more than 90% of the graduates were placed in top-notch institutions and earned better salaries after completing the programme. Read on for more findings.

Key Highlights of the Study

Post Distance MBA

  • The majority of graduates work in business-related and IT related fields
  • A majority of distance MBA students have a business, computer, or IT background
  • Most alumni live in urban centres (particularly near the institutions of study). There is a relationship between the area of study and place of residence.
  • IT Companies and Big 4 (PricewaterhouseCoopers, ‎KPMG, ‎Deloitte, and ‎Ernst & Young) topped the chart where distance MBA graduates are placed
  • The top 5 employers of distance MBA graduates include TATA Consultancy Services, Wipro Limited, Accenture, IBM, and HCL Technologies. Other leading ones include banks such as Deutsche Bank, YES Bank, ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, and State Bank of India and manufacturing companies such as UltraTech Cement Limited, JSW Steel Limited, Maruti Suzuki India Limited

Pre Distance MBA

  • A whopping majority of the candidates pursue a distance MBA program out of their personal interest. The primary reasons for choosing this program is to enhance career growth, improve business skills and find job opportunities
  • A high majority of potential candidates examine the college’s fee structure followed by the brand name of the college and placement opportunity before settling for their ideal distance MBA
  • A significant proportion of these graduates pursue distance MBA to start their businesses/startup, freelancing, or apply their acquired skills in furthering their family business

Facts About Distance Education in India

If you thought that distance education is a short-lived hype, then you’re in for a rude shock. The programme has increasingly become popular among students from all over the world.

In India, distance education constitutes approximately 12% of total enrollment in institutions of higher learning.

Several institutions offer distance learning programmes, including 1 Central Open University, 1 State Open University, 13 State Open Universities, and 118 Dual Mode Universities.

Out of the students admitted to distance programmes, approximately 46% are female and 54% are male.

Additionally, the country has a regulatory body meant to access the suitability of every distance programme offered by the universities.

The Distance Education Bureau (DEB) under the University Grants Commission (UGC) offers a list of all accredited institutions on its official website.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India allows international students to pursue a distance MBA programme in India.

According to the AISHE Report (2018-19), foreign students constitute a large student population, with the main countries being Nepal (26%), Afghanistan (9.8%), and Bangladesh (4.38%). Other countries include Sudan, Bhutan, and Nigeria.

Approximately 10.2% of all students in India enrolled in Distance Learning. Out of that, 59% of the institutions offering the programme are located in six states.

They include Delhi (16.2%), Maharashtra (16.1%), Tamil Nadu (10.2%), Kerala (6.2%), Uttar Pradesh (5.2%), and West Bengal (5.1%). They offer learning centres in major cities.

According to a report published by KPMG, the demand for distance MBA in India will continue to grow steadily. It is estimated that online programs, including distance MBA, will have 9.6 million users by 2022 and a valuation of USD 1.96 billion.

This is an astounding growth of approximately 500% when compared to 2016.

Purpose of the Study

This study will provide insights to distance MBA prospective students. It helps them to understand the dynamics of the programme, evaluate its employment prospects, understand the potential employers, and get tips on the most sought-after skills in the industry.

Additionally, the study will offer crucial information on what one should consider when selecting a distance MBA college. Overall, the research findings offer a comprehensive guide on what to do and what to avoid before and when pursuing a distance MBA.

Research Details

This research was divided into two sections: Post Distance MBA and Pre Distance MBA. In the Post Distance MBA, the study evaluated data from Linkedin to determine the graduates’ success with the program.

It evaluates the area of residence, current employer, their academic specializations, and their overall life quality. Additionally, graduates without a Linkedin profile, including housewives and businessmen, were interviewed independently to gather their views.

In the Pre Distance MBA section, the study utilized a personal survey approach where participants were presented with targeted questions in July 2020. It engaged approximately 500 prospective distance MBA candidates. The primary aim was to find out why they desire to undertake a distance MBA, what they would consider when selecting a college, and how they learned about the programme

Deep Dive – Pre Distance MBA Analysis

Why Distance MBA?

Undertaking a residential MBA programme would require that the participant takes a break from their daily schedules. This would be impossible!

Consequently, the distance MBA programme comes in handy to allow professionals to further their studies while continuing with their work duties.

But how reliable is a distance MBA in India? Are there job opportunities after completion of the programme? This section will analyze statistics to show whether distance MBA is relevant in India.

Potential distance MBA students were asked about the reasons behind their urge to pursue the programme. Here is a graphical representation of the responses they gave.

Reasons for Pursuing Distance MBA - MBAGlue.com

61.1% of the potential candidates wanted to pursue this program for better career growth while 45.5% voted for skills enhancement.

Some 38.2% mentioned that one of their prime reasons for getting a distance MBA degree is to find a job opportunity in this cut-throat market.


This research called out participants to select multiple answers questions on each research element, which means that the total aggregate percentage sum will be more than 100%.

Criteria for selecting a college

Having looked at the benefits you’re likely to accrue from a distance MBA, it’s paramount that you choose the right college to get a fulfilling experience.

The institution you choose should offer services such as learning centres, placement, and facilities that will make the learning process easier.

Research that included more than 600 potential distance MBA participants was conducted to evaluate the top factors that they consider when selecting an institution. Here is the graphical representation of their responses:

Criteria for Selecting a College - MBAGlue

A majority of all the participants (approximately 57%) would consider fee structure before settling for their ideal distance MBA institution.

Additionally, 46.90% would consider the brand name and an estimated 40.40% would prefer an institution that offers placement services to students.

Interestingly, only an estimated 18.30% and 16.80% would consider scholarship and loan facility respectively. Also, 30% of the participants would consider the course curriculum (its inclusivity, flexibility, and relevance).

This shows that the participants were more interested in programme quality as opposed to financial aid.

Approximately 11% of the participants would consider other factors, including support system, flexibility, pedagogical approaches, and reliability.


This research called out participants to select multiple answers questions on each research element, which means that the total aggregate percentage sum will be more than 100%.

Avenues of Learning about Distance MBA

The participants that showed interest in distance MBA were asked on the avenue through which they learnt about the programme. Here is a graphical representation of their responses:

How You Learned about Distance MBA - MBAGlue

Out of the 600 responses, 30.8% had a personal interest to pursue the programme. This could be due to work-related benefits, prestige, or the nature of their undergraduate certification.

Also, a significant number (30.5%) learnt about the programme after extensive online searches on various education options.

Overall, it is evident that distance MBA is a popular programme in society. More than 15.8% of the respondents had heard about it through family and friends while 11% heard about it through someone pursuing it already.

Post Distance MBA Analysis

This section analyzes the life of distance MBA alumni to determine their success and give insights on what to expect after graduating from the programme. The data is primarily derived from LInkedin of respective distance MBA institutions.

Some of the top-ranked institutions that offer distance MBA include IGNOU, Symbiosis Center for Distance Learning, NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing, and Sikkim Manipal University – Distance Education. Here is a synopsis of the features of the alumni from these colleges to help you make an informed decision.

1. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

This institution has its headquarters in New Delhi, Delhi. It is the distance MBA pioneer institution and it started offering distance learning programmes in 1985.

Here is an analysis of its graduates and alumni, which will help you gain useful insights on the relevance of the programme offered by the institution:

The institution has had approximately 246,691 students over the past 5 years. Approximately 91% of the alumni live in India, 2.3% in the United States, and 1.9% in the United Arab Emirates.

Another 5% are employed in other parts of the world.

Out of the alumni students that live in India, a majority of them live in New Delhi (comprising 31%). This shows a strong link between the location of the institution of study and area of residence.

Besides New Delhi, other 5 cities of residence that complete the top 3 include Bengaluru (6%), Kolkata (4.3%) and Mumbai (4.1%). Other predominant areas of residence include Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Kalyan, and Jaipur.

Approximately 369 work in EY, 305 in Genpact, 254 in Accenture, 251 in TATA Consultancy Services. Other leading employers include Wipro Ltd, Cognizant, ICICI Bank, Amazon, Infosys, Fiverr, KPMG India, IBM, Deloitte, and Tech Mahindra.

When we consider the category of employment, you’ll find that a majority of the alumni work in the Business Development field (approximately 6000 graduates).

Other key sectors include Operations, Engineering, IT, Sales, Accounting, Administration, Finance, Media & Communication, Human Resources, Marketing, Art & Design, Research, and Consulting.

Additionally, you should note that all the alumni have different educational backgrounds. A majority possess business-related qualifications.

Other education backgrounds represented include Computer Science, Economics, Administration & Finance, Accounting, Mathematics, Information Technology, Marketing, and Human Resource Management.

IGNOU Post Distance MBA Analysis

IGNOU Post Distance MBA Analysis Part 2


2. NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing Education

This institution has gained popularity tremendously over the past two years (2019-20). Within this period, it has registered approximately 2500 students with business backgrounds. NMIMS Global Access is located in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Most of the alumni work in the Business Development sector. Other popular employment sectors include Operations, Sales, Human Resource, Marketing, Information Technology, Education, Engineering, and Consulting.

A majority of the alumni live in Mumbai (which is the location of the institution). Other four commonest areas of residence include New Delhi, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, and Kalyan.

Also, Accenture and Genpact are the primary employers of distance MBA graduates with each having 20 employees. Other key recruiters include Axis Bank, Tata Consultancy, and Wipro Limited.

NMIMS Post Distance MBA Analysis

NMIMS Post Distance MBA Analysis Part 2


3. Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning

This leading distance MBA institution is located in Pune, Maharashtra. It started in 2001 and has since grown tremendously. It currently has students from approximately 48 countries, including India, UK, US, Russia, the Middle East, Japan, Germany, and Singapore.

Additionally, this institution has partnered with both local and international organizations to offer placement to distance MBA students.

Some of the leading institutions include Infosys, Ranbaxy, Wipro, IBM, Vodafone, Cognizant, Wall-Mart, Bharti Retail Pvt. Ltd, Cipla, Collabera, and Aditya Birla.

In the institution’s Linkedin account, the school has approximately 6000 alumni, with a majority of them living in India (approximately 95%).

Other regions that host distance MBA graduates include the United States and the United Arab Emirates. Out of the 95% that live in India, a majority of them live in New Delhi, followed by Bengaluru and Mumbai.

The participants of distance MBA have different educational backgrounds, with the majority having done Business, Human Resource, Finance, Marketing, Information Technology, Computer Science, and Accounting in their undergraduate studies.

They currently work in operations, human resource, marketing, sales, banking, manufacturing, consultancy, among many other sectors. Some of the key employers include Infosys, Tata Consultancy, Cognizant, Accenture, Genpact, EY, and Wipro Ltd.

4. Sikkim Manipal University – Distance Education

This institution has approximately 31,000 alumni. It is located in Gangtok, India. It is particularly popular with Information Technology.

A majority of alumni work in IT-related organizations and have an IT undergraduate background. Other work sectors include Sales, Marketing, Consultancy, Finance, and Human Resource Management.

More than 90% of the alumni live in India. The top 5 popular cities include New Delhi (19%), Bengaluru (10%), Mumbai (8%), Kolkata (5%), and Gurgaon (4%).

Other areas of residence include the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Sikkim Manipal Post Distance MBA Analysis

Sikkim Manipal Post Distance MBA Analysis Part 2

Future Prediction in Distance MBA

According to Harvard Business Review Publication (2020), the demand for virtual learning has grown significantly with changes in various learning and business environments.

The job market has become highly competitive, thus necessitating employees to acquire new skills to stay relevant.

The Covid-19 pandemic (2020) exposed the inadequacies that exist in the education systems all over the world. Most institutions have closed down and learning has been interrupted significantly.

Consequently, students have been forced to defer their studies for a year or find alternative study methods.

However, it is not all gloom!

On the flipside, the pandemic has helped institutions to develop formidable virtual infrastructure systems that enable students to study remotely.

The infrastructure forms the basis for a revolution in the education sector. More individuals have faith in distance learning more than ever before, which will boost the marketability of the programme.

Distance MBA Research – The Bottom Line

From the findings of this research, it is evident that distance MBA gives an added advantage to employees and job seekers.

The post-analysis results (based on alumni data from Linkedin) show that a majority of distance MBA graduates work with reputable institutions and earn better salaries.

Distance MBA equips students with useful skills that they can utilize in different sectors. Some of the key skills include data analysis, case study analysis, decision making, and human resource management.

With this knowledge, they get managerial positions or start their businesses with ease.

Additionally, it is evident that the majority of graduates live in urban areas, particularly those located nearer their institution of study.

This way, the students enjoy the brand name and goodwill of the specific university to get opportunities.

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