As business careers become increasingly global in nature, prospective students are more concerned than ever about the extent to which their graduate business degree will provide them with opportunities to develop international exposure and experience. A European MBA allows students to obtain an international education and a get a leg up in the global workplace.
European Business Schools’ geographical locations, diverse student bodies, and alternative approaches to teaching technical and professional skills offer some advantages over their US counterparts. As a continent, Europe is inherently multicultural, representing a vibrant mixture of nationalities, customs, and languages. In their 2015 European Business Schools Report, The Financial Times found that over 100 different countries are represented at European Business Schools. They also reported that out of all the programs offered at European Business Schools, MBA programs prove to be the "most international, bringing in 70% non-European students." Why is diversity important in the MBA classroom? It creates an atmosphere of peer-to-peer learning, in which students can teach their classmates and learn from their cohort. Diversity enriches the MBA experiences and sheds light on the global business world.
Most European MBA programs have smaller class sizes allowing for individualized attention and enhanced group interaction. Tight-knit classes and short time frames translate to quick turnaround projects designed to mimic the actual workforce. Classroom participation is also highly encouraged in smaller environments, helping students to become more comfortable with the material and conduct in-depth classroom conversations with professors and peers.
European MBAs are also typically shorter than the two-year model offered by most US business schools. Graduating in just 11-18 months minimizes the opportunity cost of pursuing an MBA and allows MBAs to return to the work force sooner. In today’s economy, this structure is very beneficial for candidates who want to minimize risk associated with leaving a job to invest in a full-time graduate business program.
There's no doubt that pursuing your MBA, in any country, is a hefty investment. However, a European MBA has become increasingly more affordable for those looking to miminize cost. In 2013, US News and World Reports found that a two year full-time MBA program at one of the top 10 US Business Schools would run you an average of $111,418. The shorter time frame of most European programs means candidates are away from the workplace for a smaller amount of time with a reduced period of tuition costs. Along with these factors, and the currency exchange rate between the Euro and the dollar becoming more favorable, European Business School tuition is appealing to international students.
JOB PLACEMENT & SALARY
One of the most important factors when considering pursuing your MBA is the employment opportunities you will find post-graduation. In 2015, Bloomberg surveyed 2,388 full-time MBA alumni (class of 2007, 2008, 2009) from 19 European Business Schools. The survey results showed (as demonstrated in the graph below) an increase in the average compensation at each stage of the MBA: pre-MBA salary was $60,000, first job post-MBA was $105,000, and 6-8 years post-MBA was $175,000. Out of the students surveyed, 86.5% reported job placement three months post graduation.
Source: Bloomberg, 2015
In an increasingly interconnected global market, companies often must do business beyond their borders in order to maintain a dominant presence. Multinational companies recruit heavily on European MBA campuses, recognizing the need for their future global business managers to have a real awareness and understanding of multicultural issues. If you are energized by a diverse, globalized world and have a passion for learning about different ways of life and business practices, you may be the ideal candidate to pursue an MBA in Europe.