Is an International MBA Right for You?

An increased number of U.S. applicants are interested in earning their MBA degrees abroad, according to GMAC’s 2012 World Geographic Trend Report. International institutions such as London Business School, INSEAD, IE Spain and others offer excellent MBA programs that can enhance a professional’s learning experience and long-term career potential. The following insight into the attributes of an International MBA education may help applicants make more informed decisions about their future plans.

Cost is an important factor in obtaining an MBA degree. International schools often have lower tuition costs, reducing the financial pressure of an extended education. At the same time, students receive a quality education comparable to top business schools in the U.S. Another advantage of an International MBA program is that it can often be completed within one year of study as compared to the traditional two-year programs offered by their American counterparts (although top business schools such as Kellogg and Cornell do offer a one-year option). As such, studying abroad enables students to complete a quality MBA degree program in less time for a lower cost.

London Business School, for example, offers a 15-month MBA program with tuition of approximately $96,000. In comparison, the total tuition for a two-year MBA program at Harvard Business School would amount to approximately $112,000. Even more significant is the six-figure incremental income that graduates of one-year MBA programs can start earning after graduation while their two-year counterparts are still taking classes.

Job placement is another aspect to consider when choosing a business school. An MBA from a U.S. business school will enhance career prospects in the U.S. market whereas an International MBA offers greater opportunities to finding employment in the international sector worldwide. In 2012, graduates of INSEAD, a top business school based in France, received employment offers from companies located in over 64 countries; 41% of these grads obtained jobs in Western Europe and 25% landed positions in Asia. In contrast, only 20% of MBA graduates from Harvard Business School took employment options abroad for the same year.

Furthermore, international institutions offer greater diversity in both student population and global perspective – an added plus to international employers. In comparing 2013 class profile statistics from INSEAD and Harvard Business School (HBS), INSEAD had a much higher percentage of international students (85%) than HBS (35%). Cultural diversity introduces new concepts and challenges into the MBA curriculum, prompting students to gain a broader perspective and professional network that will better prepare them for success in today’s global marketplace.

At The MBA Exchange, we offer personal assistance in exploring the value of earning an MBA abroad. Our admissions consulting team – including top business school graduates of top international business schools who live in Europe, Asia and the U.S. – has extensive knowledge and expertise in the area of international studies. We would be more than happy to provide a free evaluation of your candidacy for international MBA programs and to help you find the school that best meets your individual needs and goals.