And you thought an MBA degree is so exclusive?

Imagine how many young men and women think enrolling for an MBA degree in some university or college means they have arrived in life; they are now part of an exclusive club.

The data from the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) by the Department of Higher Education busts that myth. Getting into an MBA is no more as exclusive as it is thought out to be.

In 2010-11, the latest year for which all enrollment data is available, as much as 5.6 lakh students enrolled for MBA programs—that is 22% of all enrollments in post graduate degree programs. It is next only to the widely available Master of Arts (MA) program, which accounted for 35% of all enrollments. With just 2.3 lakh enrollments M. Sc is a distant third.

In short, the educational institutions imparting MBA education have leveraged the myth that an MBA education is a sureshot way to land in with a lucrative job.

Ironically, MBA is the only male bastion that remains among top degree programs. Out of the top five degrees (MA, MBA, MSc, MCA and MCom), it is only in MBA that males completely dominate. While in M.Sc, women account for slightly less than half (49.8%) of all enrollments, in all other three degrees they outnumber men.

Apart from degree (MBA, M.Sc, MA…)-based classification, the AISHE data also gives discipline wise classification of PG enrollments and Ph. D enrollments, which throws some light on where the interests are.  Of course, social science and management topped, with as much as 46.5% of all enrollments being in these two disciplines. The analysis of data throws some interesting facts.

  • The ratio of PhD enrollments to post graduate enrollments is the highest (as much as 89%) in Marine Science/Oceanography, followed by 34% in Gandhian studies. In most other disciplines, the figure is less than 20%. While the ratio per se  is not exactly meaningful, as the number of Ph. D enrollment in a year can more meaningfully be related to PG enrollments a few years back, it nevertheless is an indicator of where things are going.
  • The sex ratio in PhD programs is more than one only in three areas, where female enrollments outnumbered male enrollments. Two of them throw no surprise: Home Science and Women Studies. Linguistics is the only  other area where females outnumbered males in Ph. D enrollments.
  • While social sciences and management lead in number of PG enrollments, it is Science (29.3%) and Engineering & Technology (19.7%) that led in Ph. D enrollments.

Here are the top disciplines when it comes to PG enrollments.

PG enrollments

And here are the top disciplines in terms of Ph. D enrollments


The datasets used for this analysis were taken from, India’s open data portal.


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