MBA in USA vs MBA in Europe

Being the country that invented the MBA about 100 years ago, the United States leads the world in terms of cutting-edge and well-designed MBA programs. In the latest Financial Times global rankings for MBA programs, 7 out of the top 10 are US based business schools. While Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, and University of Pennsylvania: Wharton and Columbia Business School have been constant features, European business schools LBS, INSEAD, HEC are catching up. 

Admission Requirements

Common admission requirements for an MBA in American business schools are:

·        A four-year Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or its international equivalent

·        A minimum of two to three years of work experience, depending on your responsibilities

·        Resume

·        Personal Statement

·        Two letters of professional recommendation

·        Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL is most common required –
minimum scores: paper-based: 550 – 600 and computer-based 213 – 250)

·        GMAT score over 600 (probably the most important). 

The main admission requirements for an MBA in a European business school are:

·        Minimum 3 years of full-time experience

·        A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent

·        GMAT, GRE or pass an admissions test

·        International study or work experience

·        TOEFL – IBT: 89 – 94 / paper-based: 577 – 587

·        IELTS – 6.0 or 6.5

·        Cambridge Advanced – 142 to 210

·        Pearson Test – between 59 and 63

European business schools tend to be more flexible in terms of entry requirements, but on the other hand, the admission process may be considered less transparent. In the case of some universities/business schools, successful professional accomplishments will be considered more valuable than the actual length of your work experience.

Duration of program: Your reason for returning to school

Most people aspire for an MBA to advance or change careers. You could make a switch in either Europe or North America, however, European programs tend to last one year, whereas full-time American MBA programs are usually two years. This is significant because if you want to change careers completely, you need experience in the new field. A two-year program allows for more relevant coursework and an internship to enhance your resume or CV. But with that comes the opportunity cost of staying out of work for one additional work. So if you feel that you are experienced enough, probably one-year European MBA programs would top your list.

Expenses (Fees & Living Expenses)

An average tuition fee for studying MBA in the USA ranges between USD $15,000 and $60,000 per year. Living expenses are quite high in the USA and completely depends on the lifestyle and the place where the school is, but an average living expense in the US can be estimated at $8,000 to $15,000 per year. The American MBA programs are among the most expensive ones, and the total expenses could be around INR 1.5 Crore.

On the other hand, average tuition fees in Europe will cost about EUR 10,000 to around EUR 60,000 for the  entire one year course duration. Living expenses depend on the place where the person lives. On average, it costs about €600 to €800 per month. You will graduate and start earning through a full time job a year in advance.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

There are many financial aids offered by the universities in both the regions to provide financial support to the student. Bank loans, University funding, scholarships & Grants are a few ways to provide financial assistance to the international students in the US.

Job Opportunities

The US boasts of top 100 fortune companies in the world which shows high chances of getting into these companies. Additionally, if you graduate from a top American Business School, the remuneration could be very lucrative. Average Salary for an MBA graduate from a top business school in the US is about $100k-$120k per year. Europe is also a great place to work at. There are very good opportunities for finance and business students in Europe with an average annual salary of EUR 78,000.

Work Permit and Immigration

A temporary work permit (OPT) will be issued to the student for practical experience for a time period of 12 months because general MBA programs do not qualify for STEM classification. Immigration is one of the slowest and complicated processes in the US. Green Card can be obtained by a person only after his successive presence of 7 – 10 years in the US on H1B, which in turn is granted not on merit but fortune.

Visa process in Europe is a little tedious and time taking process. For a student getting a Visa is not that tough but getting a PR takes nearly 2 months after submitting the application to an embassy. It takes nearly 5 – 7 years for a foreign national to apply for PR in Europe.

International Exposure, Faculty and Method of Instruction

The number of international students in MBA programs in Europe are higher than the number in US MBA programs. For students looking to gain more international exposure, Europe is generally considered the better choice. European business schools are more classroom-oriented because their teaching style is more of the tutoring type. MBA programs in the US are well known for going beyond the classroom to ensure their students have an edge in the national as well as global stage. In addition to usual lectures by esteemed professors, there are guest lectures by respected people in the field as well as seminars. Tremendous emphasis is placed on experiential learning opportunities like case studies, field trips so that students get a better idea on how to deal with real-world problems. 

Individualized business school culture- Finding the right fit

US business schools produce MBA graduates who ride high on competitive spirit, full of energy to take on the challenge of competing for the top-notch jobs available in the market. Sometimes they embark on an entrepreneurial path and do wonders to bring about a change with startups and social investing. However, the European schools take in personalities that are of all types and produce graduates who eventually become consultants.








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