Post-pandemic, B-schools see spurt in self-sponsored MDP candidates

Topics B-schools | IIM

The Covid-19 pandemic has led not only to 'The Great Resignation' trend, but has also made professionals increasingly aware of the need for upskilling. This has created an interesting trend across management development programmes (MDPs) in executive education among business schools (B-schools). Compared to the pre-pandemic trend, in which it was largely the corporates that sponsored their low, medium and senior management for MDPs, in the post-pandemic scenario, B-schools have seen a healthy rise in candidates taking it upon themselves to pursue learning and development and self.....
The Covid-19 pandemic has led not only to 'The Great Resignation' trend, but has also made professionals increasingly aware of the need for upskilling. This has created an interesting trend across management development programmes (MDPs) in executive education among business schools (B-schools).

Compared to the pre-pandemic trend, in which it was largely the corporates that sponsored their low, medium and senior management for MDPs, in the post-pandemic scenario, B-schools have seen a healthy rise in candidates taking it upon themselves to pursue learning and development and self-sponsoring their endeavours.

For instance, according to Sunil Sharma, Chairperson, Executive Education at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, the premier B-school has seen a 12-15 per cent increase in the number of self-sponsored candidates during the past one year.

IIM Kozhikode has seen a 20 per cent rise in self-sponsored candidates for its MDPs, with director Debashis Chatterjee adding that the need for upskilling among working professionals was definitely a noticeable trend post the pandemic.

Leading B-schools such as SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) and IIM Indore too have seen a significant rise in such numbers, with the former posting a 60 per cent jump in the same. "There has been a definite increase in self sponsored candidates. A lot of mid and senior level managers are opting to upskill themselves due to the increasing need to stay relevant. We have seen an increase of more than 60 per cent," said Saadia Lobo, Vice President-External Relations at Bhavan's SPJIMR.

While B-schools and their faculty have had to shift to almost entirely virtual mode for training, the subject areas for MDPs have also evolved with changing times, attracting even self-sponsored candidates to upskill themselves.

"The post-Covid scenario is a blessing in disguise for us. Learning and Management Development Programs (LMDPs) for MICA during Covid times were an opportunity to provide specific interventions contextualizing the business problem clients face in technology-enabled platforms. In addition, the sudden push of virtual learning and online education meant more convenience in terms of logistics, time management, costing, and planning," said Falguni Vasavada Oza and Subrat Sarangi, Co-Chairs of Learning and Management Development Programs (LMDPs) at MICA.

According to SPJIMR's Lobo, the B-school has seen a trend of individuals and organisations adding to general management and leadership programmes to niche domain areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning, supply chain management, project management, digital transformation, sales management and brand management, among others, thereby reflecting the current market needs.

As a result, compared to a marginal drop in revenue from 2019-2020 to 2020-2021, SPJIMR has seen the revenue increase in 2021-2022 by around 60 per cent.

"There had been considerable pent-up demand in the market over the last year, wherein many organizations had not conducted the scheduled MDPs due to the unavailability of residential programmes. Since June 2021, these organizations have been wanting to conduct residential MDPs aggressively. There is a significant number of training programmes that had also been kept on hold during the pandemic which are also being scheduled in the Q3 and Q4 of the current FY. This is a clear indication of a positive trend in the context of customized programmes," said Sudhir of IIM Indore.

At MICA, in the post-Covid scenario, there has been more demand in digital marketing, new media formats and new-age marketing, among others.



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