Recruiters are constantly on the lookout for future managers and leaders who can drive business growth and deliver exceptional results within their companies. An MBA degree from a reputed college or university opens doors to various such managerial job opportunities. The knowledge and skills that you acquire with an MBA is what helps you contribute to a firm’s growth and expansion, hence, you become a sought-after candidate by most recruiters. So, if you are wondering what the best MBA courses and programmes are and from where you should do them so that you find better jobs in the corporate world, then we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we have mentioned some of the top courses and programmes that you should opt for as well as some colleges from where you should pursue your MBA degree. Also, we have mentioned some key points that you should keep in mind while choosing a programme.
10 Best MBA Courses to Pursue
When selecting an MBA it is important to select the right course or specialization that matters most for your career progression. Here is a list of the best MBA courses you can opt for:
- MBA in Marketing
An MBA in marketing focuses primarily on marketing principles and strategy. For those interested in analysing a market for a product, running marketing campaigns, carrying out feasibility studies of services or products and would like to bring out their creative self in the corporate world, this course will help achieve all those objectives.
To pursue an MBA in Marketing, it is essential to have experience in a marketing role. Most MBA in the marketing programmes taught at top business schools abroad mandate a minimum GMAT score of 650 with a balance between quant and verbal scores. Top recruiters who look for students with an MBA in marketing hail from industries such as advertising agencies, tech, FMCG companies, marketing consulting firms, sports companies and media houses.
- MBA in Accounting and Finance
If you’re passionate about making a career in investments, banking, auditing or financial markets, then an MBA in accounting and finance is the right fit for you. However, an MBA in accounting and finance is quite demanding when compared to other MBA courses. Business schools strictly demand work experience of about 3 years or more in an investment or finance-oriented role.
Furthermore, the GMAT or GRE score requirement to gain admission into a top-ranking business school is ideally above the 85th percentile with excellent scores in quantitative reasoning. Students with an MBA in finance and accounting also see some of the highest pay packages in the job market when compared to their peers.
- MBA in Supply Chain
Supply chain as an industry gained pivotal importance in 2020, particularly after the outbreak of COVID-19. MBA in supply chain management helps overcome transportation and logistics hurdles to ensure goods and services reach the market in time. If you’re someone who’d like to work as a warehouse manager or demand planner for a manufacturing company, then an MBA in supply chain management will help you do just that.
- MBA in Business Analytics
With data becoming the new oil, the demand for professionals who analyse big data and interpret the information to develop an analysis from a commercial perspective has been very high. An MBA in business analytics focuses on statistics and data analysis using modern tools such as Python and tableau.
The career progressions in the field of business analytics are data scientists and business intelligence analysts. An MBA in business analytics also requires a GMAT or GRE score in the upper 85th percentile with excellent scores in quantitative and verbal reasoning. However, the integrated reasoning section of the GMAT also plays a pivotal role in deciding how you would perform in an MBA course that specialises in business analytics.
- MBA in International Business
While MBA in supply chain management focuses on the movement of products and services across borders, international business strategy, on the other hand, focuses on the business’s entry into a new market. Analysing the benefits and costs of establishing business units in a new geographical region is the central theme of an MBA in the international business strategy curriculum.
Having a strong and well-balanced GMAT or GRE score, coupled with experience in a mid-level managerial role improves your chances of gaining admission into a top business school that offers an MBA in IBS. MNCs in FMCG, automotive brands, pharmaceuticals and energy companies are some of the top recruiters of students with an MBA in international business.
- MBA in Human Resources
Every organization requires an HR to represent the company and set up the overall organizational policy. The HR department of an organization plays a pivotal role in sourcing the right talent to help drive business growth and hence, it is quintessential to hire the best individuals fit for the role of a human resource specialist.
An MBA in human resources prepares you to become a recruitment specialist or talent acquisition head. Admissions into a top-ranking MBA in human resources programmes requires two years of full-time work experience and satisfactory GMAT scores. Although it is not mandatory to have work experience in the HR function, having some experience related to recruitment or employee engagement does help strengthen your profile.
- MBA in Business Innovation/Entrepreneurship
If one of your goals to pursue an MBA is to start your own company, then an MBA in business innovation and planning is the specialisation you should opt for. Alternatively titled as MBA in Entrepreneurship, the course focuses on developing a business plan and pitching it to real investors. You will be graded based on your project and how you convince the panel about the functionality of your product or service.
- MBA in Tech Management
With the rise in the number of startups that have turned out to be unicorns, the demand for talent in both tech and business has been high. Every startup looks for essential skills such as project management, business strategy and marketing, in addition to essential tech skills for developers to develop the right product keeping end-users in mind. Hence, an MBA in tech management provides the necessary skills that most engineers will benefit from.
- MBA in Strategy
Top-level managers who drive the company’s direction towards the organization’s goals are specialists in strategic decision making. Business strategy revolves around looking within the company and analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. Often top management consulting firms hire talent from high-ranking business schools for strategy consulting roles. An MBA in strategy demands a high level of critical thinking; hence, consulting firms hire such talent from the top business schools. Therefore, if you’re planning for a career in business strategy, getting into a top business school with a GMAT score of over 720 is crucial. Furthermore, your work experience also plays a crucial role when applying to business schools offering an MBA in strategy.
- MBA in Healthcare Management
With the rise in demand for healthcare professionals, MBA in healthcare management has emerged as a top industry specialisation that focuses on the management of medical institutions. While this specialisation will benefit those with a bachelor’s in medicine, it is open for all kinds of professionals to apply. Furthermore, with the outbreak of COVID-19, the demand for professionals in the healthcare industry with strong administration skills has also risen significantly. However, the amount of experience needed to pursue an MBA in healthcare can be quite high when compared to any other specialization.
Now that we have mentioned to you the best MBA courses, let us look at a few highly-ranked business schools that you can apply to. However, before we begin, let’s understand some of the key points that you need to keep in mind when taking up an MBA course or programme.
- Time duration of the course – 12, 15, 18, or 24 months
- Flexibility – Part/Full-time
- Suitability – Executive Programme, Specialization or Generalist MBA programme
- Mode of delivery – Online or campus-based
- Fee structure
- Specializations – Particularly focussing on the ranking of the university for the subject of your interest
- Internship opportunities
- Career fairs and drives
Best Business Schools Offering Top MBA Programmes
Below are some of the best MBA programmes in demand and their eligibility requirements, rankings and tuition fee:
- Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad – PGP
The Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad is ranked 62nd on Financial Times’ Global MBA Ranking 2022. Its Postgraduate Programme (PGP) course is one of the most sought-after MBA courses in India and costs INR. 30 lakhs. The eligibility criteria is as follows:
- Domestic students – CAT score, two years of full-time work experience and a bachelor’s degree with over 50% from a recognised university.
- International students are also eligible to apply using their GMAT scores.
- Indian School of Business – PGP in Management
The Indian School of Business has two branches in India: Mohali and Hyderabad. Ranked 1st in India and 32nd on the Financial Times Work MBA Ranking 2022, the ISB PGP programme costs INR. 40 Lakhs. The eligibility criteria for the MBA programme at ISB is as follows:
- GMAT score of 720+
- Minimum 2 years of full-time work experience
- Bachelors’ degree from a recognised university
- Hong Kong University Business School – Global MBA
The HKU Business School’s MBA programme is ranked 29th on the Global Financial Times Ranking and is one of the best MBA courses to take up if you aim to gain experience in the Chinese and Asia-Pacific markets. The overall tuition fee at HKU is around HK$ 588,000, which is about INR. 56 Lakhs. In order to apply to the programme, students must submit GMAT/GRE scores, language test scores, and have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience.
- NSU Business School – MBA
The NUS Business School is currently ranked as the best business school in Asia by the QS World University Rankings, and its MBA programme is considered to be one of the best in the world. Located in Singapore, a global financial and logistics hub, the course offers great employment opportunities following graduation. The mandatory admission criteria includes GMAT scores of 670+, 2 years of work experience and language test scores.
- INSEAD – MBA
INSEAD has three campuses strategically located in Paris, Dubai and Singapore. The school is popular for its 12-month MBA programme designed for experienced and mid-level managers. Besides, the INSEAD MBA is ranked 1st on the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking. It is also a leading choice amongst top consulting companies for recruiting future consultants. With a total cost of $135,000, INSEAD MBA is also one of the most expensive programmes in the world. The eligibility criteria of the course are as follows:
- GMAT score of over 680
- Work experience that demonstrates leadership skills and business knowledge
- Language test scores
- London Business School – MBA
If you have searched the internet for the best MBA courses in the UK, then you are sure to come across LBS. The MBA programme offered by LBS is famous for the international exposure it provides to its students. Situated in the heart of a global financial hub, the London Business School MBA is an ideal destination for those looking to embark on a career in finance and consulting. The tuition alone costs £97,500 for the 15–21-month MBA programme.
As the MBA offered by the school is one of the best MBA courses in demand, it does pay off once you land a job at a boutique investment bank or the big three consulting firms (McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company) after graduating from the institution. The eligibility requirements of the MBA programme include:
- 5 years of work experience
- Strong GMAT or GRE score
- Language test scores
- Harvard Business School
The Harvard MBA is one of the most popular MBA programmes because it consistently ranks first on all major global MBA rankings. However, with an acceptance rate of 9%, getting into Harvard is quite tough. Besides, having a GMAT score of 740+ and over three years of work experience is essential, Harvard Business School admits applicants with an extremely strong sense of purpose and uniqueness to their profile. The Harvard MBA costs $73,440 in tuition fees and offers several scholarships for international students to fund their education.
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
Situated on the west coast of the USA, the Stanford Graduate School of Business is also a member of the Ivy League like its counterpart Harvard Business School. Consistently ranked in the top 5 positions on all major global rankings, the Stanford MBA programme has several famous alumni. With a tuition fee of $55,200, the Stanford MBA is one of those campuses where tech giants source talent to fill in leadership and managerial positions. In addition to tech giants, Stanford also plays a crucial role in helping its students make a career in investment banking and management consulting.
We have tried our best to list some of the best MBA courses/programmes and the top institutions that offer these courses for both working professionals and full-time students. However, you can always do your background research and look for more such courses that suit your needs.
All the best!
1) Should I opt for an MBA immediately after my Bachelor’s or gain work experience first?
While some universities and business schools offer admissions to MBA programmes without having any prior work experience, most business schools consider it mandatory and an essential part of the admissions requirements. Hence, it is better to enrol in an MBA programme after gaining sufficient work experience. However, you can take advantage of deferred MBA programmes wherein you are assured of admission to a respectable business school and hence, can begin your studies after you have acquired the needed work experience.
2) How to evaluate an MBA programme?
To evaluate an MBA programme, it is essential that you scrutinize the curriculum (subjects and electives) offered by the programme, and the internship opportunities that the business school offers. In addition to this, you should also take into consideration the overall geographical location and cost of studying in the country. A good MBA programme is not one that necessarily stands 1st on every ranking, rather, a good programme is one that is ranked well, offers employment opportunities and financial assistance.
3) Should I choose a part-time programme or a full-time one?
Choosing between part-time and full-time programmes depends on your ability to balance and commit to the programme. If you are a working professional, then a part-time programme is more advantageous. However, if you are an international student, a full-time option helps commit to the programme better.