Is IPM worth pursuing? Why is the IPM program a game-changer for Indian students?
The Integrated Program in Management, or IPM, has become a popular conduit for students to take their first steps towards a management career after the 12th standard. Through the IPM program, students study for a 3-year BA degree in a prestigious IIM followed by two years of regular MBA education. Using this pathway, students aren’t just exposed to a holistic, grounded education spread across various domains and get a kickstart to their management career. It’s no wonder that apart from IIM Indore, the institution that originally started the IPM program in 2011, several other colleges have also taken up this initiative. Today, students can pursue an IPM course from IIM Indore, IIM Bodhgaya, IIM Rohtak, IIM Ranchi, IIM Jammu, IIFT, NALSAR, NICMAR, TAPMI, Nirma University and Krea University.
But a few questions still puzzle most aspirants – Should they take up IPM at a good college or go down the traditional path of completing an unrelated bachelor’s degree and working for a couple of years before doing an MBA?
Is the IPM program better than the traditional approach? If yes, why?
In this blog, our mentors will answer all these questions and more.
Who is the IPM program for?
The IPM program is ideally suited for students who are sure of pursuing a career in management down the line. Many candidates prefer working in other domains before pivoting to management to further their careers.
While the IPM program does give students the flexibility to quit after their three-year bachelor’s course with a simple BBA or BA degree, it is not a step our mentors advise. The BBA degree in itself, despite being from an IIM, holds little value. That’s why it’s imperative for students to be sure of their career path before taking the plunge.
IPM vs the traditional ‘bachelor’s+work ex+MBA’ approach
The IPM program has been designed to not just produce managers with good business sense but also well-rounded individuals with a deep understanding of communication, psychology, and industry. It should, in no way, be considered inferior to the traditional MBA approach.
The traditional approach typically has students getting a bachelor’s degree, working for a couple of years, and then taking the CAT exam to pursue their MBA. This approach works perfectly for people who are not sure if they want to have a career in management. Moreover, some specialised tech roles, such as product managers, require students to have a technical degree apart from their MBA.
Many students who clear the IPMAT exam and gain admission to one of the many colleges offering this program also go on to take the CAT after completing their three-year bachelor’s degree to switch to a better MBA college.
The final decision should be based on the student’s career goals.
Do you want to pursue a technical degree? What kind of job role do you want to have in the future? What career progression are you looking at? Do you want to work before you go for your MBA? The answer to these questions will tell you whether the IPM program is right for you.
Advantages of the IPM program
Everything aside, the value of the IPM program is unimpeachable. There are many advantages that make IPM a sought-after course for so many young high school graduates. The coveted IIM brand, the comprehensive bachelor’s education, guaranteed pathway to an MBA, and excellent placement opportunities make IPM worth pursuing.
The IIM brand
The IIM brand is synonymous with quality education, competitive peer groups, and eye-popping placements. In fact, the IIM tag goes much beyond just jobs. Even down the line, IIM graduates tend to get better roles, faster promotions, and more responsibilities. Additionally, IIM grads who pivot to entrepreneurship also end up with better opportunities. The IIM tag holds immense value, and more so if it is IIM Indore, the ‘I’ of the famed acronym ‘BLACKI’, used to collectively group the oldest and best IIMs.
The purported ROI of IPM
While the fees of the 5-year program can seem a bit on the higher side, when compared to government colleges, the future ROI more than makes up for it. Playing with pure numbers, the RoI of IIM Indore can be calculated as – median placements / Fees for the total program – Rs. 27 lakh/ Rs. 35 lakh = 0.78. But when you add the quality of the degree, future earnings projections, and growth potential to the equation, the ROI increases exponentially.
The fees for the IPM program enable students to access a world-class campus, outstanding professors, a like-minded peer group, exposure to global opportunities, and accelerated personality development that no other college can match.
The course structure
The unique course structure of the IPM program makes it so attractive to future employers looking for quality candidates with leadership potential. Just take a look at the syllabus for the first two years below:
Math – Calculus, Probability and Statistics, and Numerical Methods are covered in depth
Economics – Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics
Humanities and Information Systems – Sociology & Philosophy, plus Coding 101
In addition, the third year will offer electives that cover subjects like accounting and marketing. The three-year BBA program is designed to cover a variety of topics to prepare students for the rigours of an MBA degree. It is more compatible with the MBA coursework than an engineering or arts degree.
This is where things get interesting. Just because you take admission into the IPM program doesn’t mean you can’t leave should better opportunities arise. Students can quit the program after the three-year BBA is done. Many students choose to do this, especially when attending the IPM programs of IIM Bodhgaya, IIM Jammu, and IIM Rohtak.
Many students take the CAT exam and leave for a better college. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that just the BBA degree from an IIM will not hold much value without the subsequent MBA.
Now, we come to the point that all students want to talk about – placements, salaries, and job roles. First things first, graduates from the IPM program are considered at par with the traditional MBA grads for placements. They compete for the same opportunities, and there is no discrimination between them.
While separate placement data for IPM grads is not available, a look at the placement data for all the top colleges offering the IPM program does paint an encouraging picture (According to their websites):
|Average placement (In lakhs)
|Highest placement (In lakhs)
Thousands of students sit for the IPMAT exam yearly and compete for just a few hundred seats. With such intense competition, preparing for the IPMAT exam has to be a priority. IMS offers comprehensive programs that rigorously train you for exams, such as IPMAT Indore, IPMAT Rohtak, JIPMAT, NPAT, SET, and other BBA programs. The IPMAT Indore Live Online Coaching program comes with 60 concept classes, 22 masterclasses, 80 topic-wise tests, 15 IPMAT Indore mocks with detailed solutions, and 2 one-on-one mentoring and strategy sessions. On the other hand, the IPMAT Classroom program 600+ hours of learning, 5000+ practice questions, 300+ tests, and 6 one-on-one mentoring sessions. Both programs are intuitively designed to help you build conceptual clarity and application ability to do well.