However, some students are also taking up teaching, as they feel that it is an equally lucrative profession as the corporate sector.
At the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow (IIM-L), around 20 students have opted for PhDs. "Students are showing greater interest in teaching and the sentiment is quite positive," said a student from IIM-L.
Even at the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad, there is a similar trend. The institute has both part-time and full-time PhD programmes and the number of students in the former have increased. "We see that the number of students working and pursuing their PhD has gone up substantially," said Anwar Ali, director, IMT Ghaziabad and Nagpur.
However, this is not the case everywhere. None at IIM Kozhikode (IIM-K) have opted for PhD, but there are a handful of students who have expressed their desire in creating a career for themselves in academia.
"Since most students have done their MBA course by taking a bank loan, repaying the loan is of utmost priority. Given this requirement, people have opted to work in the corporate world for a while before joining academics. There are a few students acting as visiting faculty in some local colleges," said a student from IIM-K.
The institute has a Fellowship Programme in Management (FPM), a doctoral study programme in various areas of management that grooms future scholars and teachers. Currently, the course is in its second year and has 11 students in both the batches who are pursuing this course.
"The FPM of IIM-K aims at developing top quality researchers and faculty resources for academic institutions, including IIMs, and it envisages itself as a leading source of top quality management experts and thinkers for business organisations, government and society in India and abroad," added another student.
Similarly at Delhi's Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), no student wants to take up a career in teaching right now. All students have been placed in different companies and feel that teaching can be done even after 10 years, after settling in the corporate world first.
However, there is cause for concern, because it is only change in the economic environment that has changed the students' mindsets.
"Not only are we encouraging them, but the students are also showing interest in teaching. Our PhD programmes are getting better response, but the problem here is that the students have made this choice because of the downturn. If the economic environment becomes positive, their mood will also change and then, the students might not opt for teaching," said a concerned Devi Singh, Director of IIM-L. "We feel that it is partly because of the slowdown that students' interest has gone up," corroborated Ali.