Before you jump onto the bandwagon of a professional degree make sure you aren’t taken for a ride. Here are some tips that will help you decide on a course that works for you.
Your educational background
In the huge plethora of career options available today, picking the right choice will largely depend upon your educational background. First you need to be clear about your strengths and interest areas. This will help you narrow down a bit. Next look for a career that is high in demand, offers good pay packages promising a stable future and prospects of an international career.
Choose a sector with opportunity
Built environment is one such field that offers unprecedented growth and excellent career options. It comprises of real estate, construction and infrastructure. The pace at which this sector is growing is so fast that India will be the 3rd largest market in this field by 2020. Add to this the fact that it is currently facing 80% shortage of specialized professionals, which makes employers willing to pay handsomely to specifically qualified professionals.
One more point to bear in mind is that the employers today prefer specialists over generalists. If statistics are to be believed, as much as 66% employers in real estate and construction sector prefer a specialized BBA in construction management (CM) over a B.Tech in civil engineering. This is because a BBA in CM is equipped with techno-managerial skills while a civil engineer has just technical skills and no managerial skills.
Choose an institution with credibility
Once you decide the degree you wish to pursue, next comes the institute. The brand value of the institute will follow you from interviews to boardroom discussions and alter the course of your career significantly. Choose a name that is globally known amongst employers. RICS School of Built Environment (RICS SBE) is one such name. For those who aren’t aware, RICS is the world’s leading qualification and standard setting body in built environment since 147 years. It also accredits over 500 courses in built environment offered by reputed universities around the world. But this is the first instance that RICS along with Amity University is offering specialized BBA and MBA programs in built environment. One of the reason is there’s a sea of growth opportunities in this sector in India.
Choose a course with aptitude
So if you are aspiring for civil and mechanical engineering with an intent to make a career in construction sector you can consider opting for a BBA in CM, while others from non maths background can pursue a BBA in Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure (REUI).
For graduates considering a management career in finance or marketing, it makes much more sense to evaluate an MBA in Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure (REUI) or Infrastructure Management (IM) from RICS SBE. It will open avenues in investment banking, valuations, research and advisory, housing finance and mortgages, sales and leasing, capital markets, corporate finance, business development, transactions, facility management, strategic consultancy et al. You will work with International Property Consulting (IPCs) like JLL, Knight Frank; Banks and Financial service companies like HDFC, IDFC, Citibank; and Real estate firms like DLF, Unitech, Tata Housing etc.
This career path may differ if you possess some technical skills. A B.Tech or a B.Arch with a specialized MBA is one of the ‘most sought after’ in this industry. Here picking the right specialization will largely depend upon your inherent traits and talents.
If you have good communication and leadership skills and enjoy client facing roles then an MBA in Construction Project Management (CPM)/IM/REUI (marketing) will work for you. After an MBA in CPM you will be working as a project manager with Construction firms like Larsen & Turbo, Shapoorji Pallonji, Afcons Infrastructure, et al.
If you are a B.Tech/B.Arch with strong calculation and analytical skills and are comfortable doing desk jobs then an MBA in either Construction Economics & Quantity Surveying (CE & QS) or REUI (investment & banking) will be apt for you. The demand for an MBA in CE & QS is very high in this industry and will open career options such as quantity surveying, contracting, cost management, etc. in major IPCs or banks and financial institutions.
Armed with a specialized BBA/MBA you are bound to have an edge over others. The remuneration is a good indicator of this fact. The average salary of MBA graduates (with 1-4 years’ experience) is INR 3.7 lakhs p.a*. which diminishes in comparison to the average CTC of INR 6.7 lakhs p.a. offered to MBA graduates from RICS SBE during campus placement (Dec 2014).
It couldn’t get better than this - a specialized education by an industry led institute with certainty of a high paying job and a successful career. What more can one ask for?
*according to payscale.com (Dec 2014)