Jun 5, 2008

From software to management

A career question from a reader:

I have 6 + years of experience in .net technology and i am kinda getting bored of looking at requirements to designing them to coding and releasing.
i had a opportunity in dealing with solving people problems and i loved the job,
but felt its not safe as there is no technology involved in it.
am in the right job? question bugged me and i straight came back to technology again, though solving people problem gives me the outmost satisfaction, but the though that, am i going ahead in my professional carrier holds me back to join the HR stream line.

now that i have made up my mind to pursue MBA in distance learning (i know it may not add up, but i want to cash on the time saved in going to colleges to persue my other interests) will MBA in HR the in thing to do for the, people problem solving bug in me?
the following are the question that are arising in my head.
1) should i do MBA in distance learning
2) Or PMP certifications
3) Is it too early to do MBA at 6 yrs of experience in technology (i am still senior software engineer)
4) I like doing analysis from different view points, comparing data, understanding the emotional aspects of humans at work.The six sigma kind of attitude, what would suit me?
5) ICFAI or Symbosis?
6) Can i do research being in HR about human behaviour at work?

in case you get time, request you to please respond as this confused soul might get nirvana through your comments.
hope to hear from you.

My reply:

You need to first understand what your main interest is and where you would like your career to be headed.

If technology gives you a high then you can choose two paths:

  1. Project Management – This is where the PMP certification would be useful in looking at non-technology things like risk management, resource management to manage large and complex projects.
  2. You can specialise with a particular technology and become a subject matter expert in it. This has a certain amount of risk associated with it as the demand for a particular technology can rise and fall depending on external factors. And you’d have to spend on certifications for it.

Doing an MBA would expand your options. With 6 years of experience you are not ‘early’ to do it at all. Doing a full time MBA would be the most useful as it would assist you in the placement process. Between Symbiosis and ICFAI I would opt for Symbiosis for a full time MBA as placements are better and being in Pune it’s closer to the business hub of India, Mumbai.

Exposure to technology would help you to look at a lot of different disciplines and industries. Batchmates of mine who were software engineers before doing an MBA in HR are doing diverse things now. One is an Engagement Manager with a Marketing Analytics firm and one is Heading HR for an FMCG firm for south Asia. One actually became a HRIS consultant with an Indian IT firm and has moved to generic HR consulting with an MNC technology firm. So there are a lot of options.

Am not sure what you mean by ‘research about human behaviour at work’. Research would ideally be a part of an educational course like PhD. For that you first need to do a post-graduation degree/diploma.


  1. I agree that studying MBA at this stage isn't early; it's probably timely. It'd expose you to various other managerial disciplines, HR being one of them. As you grow as a professional, you may be forced to gravitate towards managerial roles and an MBA would help through that process as it would in understanding work processes and people dynamics while you continue to focus on technology.

    Based on my experience of a 2-year HRM with IMT/Ghaziabad under distance education, like to steer you away from that institute. Their course content is adequate but execution rather sad and unhelpful. I've heard disappointing things about both ICFAI/Symbiosis' distance education approach but if continuity in your job (and earning) is a necessity, then choose Symbiosis for their online exam/assignment features. Their course material is rather rudimentary though.

    Hope this helps along with Gautam's advice.


  2. Humm looks like my own case ,

    Questions is so much similar to my case , except I work on Oracle technology rather than .net.

    I have the same limitation - I can not leave my job as of today ,though very much interested in switching to HR related role.

    Anyway I enrolled for MBA online ( with U21global ) - Thought online is better version than distance !!.

    But frankly speaking the whole system is not matured or designed to groom you for corporate/consulting or managerial work. It is more like guided reading.

    Now I am seriously contemplating on joining a full time ,preferably executive program ,which will help me to turn to academics. ( By the way some of Indian schools has very good options available ).

    For example IIM calcutta or XLRI or even IIM Banglore has programs for which you need not have to leave your job. Please verify with programs with your requirement.