“I am open to any country and just want to get into a ‘good’ B-school”. I hear this a lot from my clients.

My approach to answering this would be to help them define “good”.

If you have followed me in this 21-day series, by now you have listed down the reasons you want to do an MBA, you have identified your career goals and also, narrowed down programs you want to consider.

For example, you wish to become a product manager for a Big Tech firm and are considering a Specialized MBA like Tech MBA. Or you want 1-year GEMBA programs.

Now, let’s go one step further and consider the choices in the countries.

As seen from the graphic above (Data Source: FT Global MBA Ranking 2021), the USA tops the list with the maximum number of B-Schools. Typically, these programs are for 2 years with an internship thrown in the summer. With promising employment opportunities and so much variety & innovation in program offerings, the USA is no doubt a highly popular destination.

Programs in Europe are popular too as they are 1-year programs and have truly international cohorts. Ranked #1, the 10-month program at INSEAD has students from 88 countries. With three schools in the top 20 (LBS, Cambridge Judge & Oxford Said), UK comes next. Germany, France, Spain with their competitive business education and with significant financial hubs like Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, etc. are top choices as well. Next up are Switzerland, known for its banking prowess (check out the unique IMD MBA program), and the Netherlands, famed for its focus on entrepreneurship (Rotterdam School of Management). Italy has SDA Bocconi and Denmark, Sweden and Finland also have a few great options.

Sometimes the choice for a program may be due to the fact that you wish to relocate to another country. Canada (Check out Schulich) & Australia (see Melbourne Business School) are great choices with the shortest times to getting permanent residency. In Asia, Singapore is a popular choice for Indians with some of the best B-Schools (see NUS and INSEAD has a campus here).

Here are some questions to answer when you are deciding on your country.

  • How does life look like after MBA? Are you planning to stay in the country or move elsewhere? If you need to come back, will the degree and brand name give you an edge over the others?
  • For career growth, what are potential opportunities? How long will it take for you to become a CEO or even start your own company in that country?
  • How easy is it to get a work permit, permanent resident status, or citizenship?
  • Does it fit your criteria for quality of life? Will you have the support system you need? Are you happy with the way society functions and the policies there?
  • Can you afford to move there?

There are many more such factors. Until next time, keep exploring.

For your MBA, which country do you plan to choose?

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