Things To Consider Before Applying for MBA in Abroad

Applying for MBA in Abroad- If you are wondering, if MBA is worth the efforts, time and money or not; then this article will definitely help you to make a decision. In addition get to know about few MBA programs that are definitely worth doing in terms of ROI – with 25 – 35 Lakhs (INR) budget, GPA 3.0 – 3.5 and 580 – 660 GMAT score. This article will deal with the most important things you should know before applying for MBA in Abroad

Applying for MBA in Abroad
Applying for MBA in Abroad

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An MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree can help you expand your career opportunities, increased pay package and job promotions. If you are in your early stage of career and looking for a career change, then an MBA can certainly be a handy accelerator. If you are looking for management or leadership roles, or you have got plans to start your own venture – then MBA is very much recommended. Know when an MBA is worth it.

Things To Consider Before Applying for MBA in Abroad:

MBA provides training in theory and practice of business management. It gives you the necessary skills and knowledge about managerial skills and running a business. You can also consider as a ticket for management positions in big firms; few top companies actually ask for MBA degree.

An MBA from a top tier B-School can cost you something between USD 100,000 to USD 150,000. Then you will be out of salary for 12 – 24 months (depending on the length of the program). Besides, the competition is also fierce. You need to have a GPA of 4.0 (or at least 3.5) along with a GMAT score of 720 – 730. Ideally those programs also ask for 3 – 6 years of work experience. Sameer Kamat, an MBA graduate from the University of Cambridge, throws light on What Top B-Schools ask from MBA applicants. Below is the table that will give you an idea about the top 20 B-Schools in the US – their ranks according to popular ranking websites and average GMAT of the class in the last 3 years.

B-School FT Ranking (World) Forbes Ranking (World) QS Ranking (Regional) Economist Ranking (World) Average GMAT (Forbes) Average GMAT (QS)
Harvard Business School 1 3 1 6 730 730
University of Pennsylvania: Wharton 2 4 3 11 720 725
Stanford Graduate School of Business 3 1 2 9 740 732
Columbia Business School 4 7 5 10 715 716
MIT: Sloan 5 12 7 12 710 713
University of Chicago: Booth 6 2 4 1 720 723
University of California at Berkely: Haas 7 14 12 7 715 714
Northwestern University: Kellogg 8 5 6 14 710 715
Yale School of Management 9 18 11 19 720 714
New York University: Stern 10 23 10 8 710 721
Duke University: Fuqua 11 8 13 25 695 634
Dartmouth College: Tuck 12 6 24 2 720 718
University of Michigan: Ross 13 10 8 20 710 701
UCLA: Anderson 14 13 9 13 710 707
Cornell University: Johnson 15 9 25 23 700 700
University of Virginia: Darden 16 15 37 3 710 706
Carnegie Mellon: Tepper 17 16 29 22 700 691
University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler 18 11 27 35 700 690
University of Texas at Austin: McCombs 19 21 19 32 700 690
Georgetown University: McDonough 20 33 30 42 680 688

Table: Top 20 B-Schools in USA

To be honest, unless you want to have your own start-up, or want to be in a top management or leadership role, an MBA might not be necessary. In fact, a top-notch $100K worth of MBA degree is going to be useless.

If you are a fresh graduate, you are not going to get an admit in a good school. In fact an MBA with little or no job experience can make it harder to find a decent job. For fresh graduates it is actually better to go for Masters in Finance, Management, Business Analytics or International Business. If you are from Engineering background, watch our video – What after Engineering – M.Tech./MS or MBA?

In case you are working professional, you need to consider if you can afford being without pay and bear the cost of MBA. You can rather consider a part-time MBA or an EMBA after working for 6 – 7 years, or when you are already in a managerial position. If your employer is going to sponsor your MBA, then you should definitely go for it. According to me, if you stay in your current job role for considerable time and if you have got a manager who can act as a supportive mentor rather than a mere boss – then you will certainly pick up the leadership and entrepreneurial skills. What you need is motivation, smartness and confidence. An MBA degree does not come with a guarantee of making you a top manager or founder.

Recommended Reading: Is the MBA Worth the Time, Effort and Cost?

Of course if you end up at Harvard, Stanford or Wharton – then you can end up earning around USD 3,000,000 for the next 20 years. But, do not forget that those schools accept only the top talents. Hence, those MBA graduates could have earned USD 2,000,000 over the same time period had they attended Texas A&M or University of Iowa.  Read How Much Is An MBA Degree Really Worth and The MBA Degree: Is it Really Worth It? – both by John A. Byrne.

According to Poets & Quants and GMAC (the body that conducts the GMAT exam), among 21,000 MBA alumni from 132 B-Schools across the globe, 94% rate their MBA very high, 83% report high job satisfaction, and 79% say that their expectations on return on investment got exceeded. But, you have to understand that majority of those B-Schools are not elite and few are not even prestigious.

Bottom-line – MBA could be worth as it gives you a lot of exciting career tools like skills, knowledge and connections. But, that does not mean that you have to shell out 150K dollars. In fact, as Erika Anderson wrote on Forbes – Spending $150K on MBA Is Probably A Dumb Idea. Another point to consider is the demand-supply equation. A degree gets valued if it is scarce. Millions of students get their MBA degree every year. Hence MBA graduates are certainly not scarce.  So, think twice before enrolling for a glamorous and expensive MBA.

The Indian scenario is not at all different from the global scenario. There are numerous MBA institutes in India and several thousand MBA graduates created every year. If you do not have quality work experience and attend one of the top 20 (or 40) institutes (like IIMs or ISB), it is not going to do any big favour. You can go for correspondence or part-time courses. Emma Boyde also gave her thoughts on Is An MBA Worth The Cost?

Once you have reached the decision that the MBA degree is going to help your career at your current career stage, you need to start about GMAT preparation and arranging the finances. Most of the candidates from middle class background in India want to get a good MBA degree within 25 – 35 Lakhs. Due to commitments at work place and personal life, it is not always easy to score 720+ in GMAT. You can get a quality MBA within that budget and with a GMAT score between 580 and 660; and even with 3.0 – 3.3 GPA. The rest can be managed through Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose (SOP). Read here about the tricks and tips of writing an effective SOP. Another issue that quite a few Indian applicants face is to get good recommendations. Mostly they receive a generic and mediocre Letter of Recommendation (LOR) from HR or Professor – because they are too busy. Another case is where the applicants cannot dare to ask their Manager for a LOR because their Managers might ask them to leave immediately. You could do two things – be an achiever and improve your inter-personal skills to get a strong recommendation – that is exactly what the B-Schools are looking for. Alternatively, do mention on your SOP why you don’t providing a recommendation from your present employer. Below is the list of few decent MBA programs (in US, Europe and Canada) that can give your career a certain push with the average profile.

Few Top MBA programs in terms of Return on Investment (ROI) after reviewing articles and blogs of Forbes, FT, Poets & Quants etc.


  • University of Massachusetts (Boston College of Management)
  • University of Iowa
  • San Diego State University
  • University of Texas A&M
  • SUNY Buffalo
  • Georgetown University
  • Suffolk University (Boston)


  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Alberta
  • HEC Montreal
  • University of Ottawa
  • McMaster University


  • Lisbon MBA (Portugal)
  • TIAS (Netherlands)
  • ESMT Berlin (Germany)
  • Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
  • Warwick Business School (UK)
  • University College Dublin (Ireland)
  • Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden)
  • Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (Germany)
  • Aston Business School (UK)
  • Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)

The above list is not a comprehensive list. For more options do get connected with us through comments.

Just to conclude, do not go for MBA just for the sake of doing it. It would be really silly to do an MBA just to get cabin suite. If your career goals really demand the MBA, then of course go for it. Last but not the least, try to look beyond the ranking and reputation of the B-Schools.

Related Terms: MBA in Abroad, Is MBA Worth or Not, Top 20 MBA Programs in USA, Required GMAT Score for top MBA Programs in USA, Why and When to do MBA, Applying for MBA in Abroad