Difference Between MBA in India and MBA Abroad?

MBA Study Abroad

Are you in a dilemma about whether to pursue an MBA in India or MBA abroad? If this is a case, then it is worth figuring out the pros and cons involved in each case so that you can make an informed decision. 

On the other hand, you have all the comfort of living and studying in your home country. On the contrary, there is an equally good attraction for a foreign degree, global exposure, and excellent research opportunities. As we can see that each one has advantages and disadvantages, a comparison between the two will, therefore, help you make the right decision. In this case, the relevant factors that should be weighed are the cost of education, quality of education, job market, cost of living, etc.

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Following are the important factors and a comprehensive comparison between the two:

1) The Cost of Education

The educational cost is the most significant factor that many students find. A two-year residential program in India’s top B schools will cost 10-20 Lakhs while MBA programs abroad can start at Rs 30-40 Lakhs for one-year programs and go up to 75-80 Lakhs for top US MBA programmes. Added to this, the cost of living of an MBA abroad is quiet expensive than MBA in India.

2) The Prerequisites for your admission

CAT is India’s most popular entrance exam for MBA. There are also other exams such as XAT, SNAP, NMAT, IIFT, etc. The written exams follow group discussion and personal interview round. In India, the top MBA institutes are IIMs. Going into an MBA in a foreign country such as the US or UK is more robust because it needs a decent GRE score and GMAT score along with an excellent academic record. A 2-3 year work experience is imperative for the top universities abroad to be eligible for MBA.

3) Differences in the entry requirements in Abroad versus India for MBA

Typically, the traditional 2-year Indian MBA programs take fresh graduates without any work experience. The key requirement in the entrance tests is a good score. The CAT score is commonly used, but other test scores such as CMAT, XAT, MAT, etc. Group discussion rounds and personal interviews follow that.

For international programs, particularly the top ones, the entry criteria are more complex and competitive (because applicants from other countries are competing for the same seat).

The GMAT score or GRE score is just one component, but the overall profile of the candidate, that include your work experience, academics, your career goals and the extracurricular involvement, does have a lot of focus.

The applicant must produce essays and recommendations of high quality, along with a high GMAT score. Shortlisted candidates typically need to go through a round of interviews.

4) Comparing the MBA fees and salary in India versus Abroad

Then, we come to the most critical decision factor-the payments for the plan. This can often be the deciding or limiting factor.

The cost of Indian MBA programs differs from MBA abroad for two years would vary from a few lakhs to 21 lakhs for the most sought-after IIM Ahmedabad. 

The ROI (Return on Investment) can be fantastic with an average wage range of 20-22 lakhs for the top-ranked IIM programmes.

The standard tuition fees for the one year executive MBA programs (ISB and IIMs) would be in the range of 20-25 lakhs. However, we need to add to this figure the taxes, accommodation fees, meal costs, books and course material and other related costs that would take the total cost close to 30 lakhs or even higher depend on the program you choose. The average salary would be in the 21-28 lakhs range.

International programs come in costly, especially the good ones. Together, the cost of living, transportation and associated expenses make it an expensive option.

The tuition fees for two-year US-based programs may vary from about $90,000 to $1,40,000 depending on the university to which you apply. The one-year plans will range from $55,000 to $80,000 a little less. For this, you have to add the cost of living, health insurance, books, and travel.

For the one year plans, the cost of living would be higher. Those expenses would also vary according to the area you’re living in. The average post-MBA salary for most of the world’s top 100 programs will range from $85,000-$1,20,000.

5) The Work Experience Criteria for MBA in India versus Abroad

Good work experience for MBA can have a significant impact on MBA applications abroad as opposed to Indian MBA applications. The applicants could leverage their prior work experience to produce stellar MBA essays or also obtain high-quality recommendations from colleagues or bosses during MBA admissions, which play a major role in the decision making process.

Those applying for the MBA study abroad have an average of around 3-5 years of pre-MBA work experience while candidates using for the UK and Europe-based programs have an average of 5-6 years of work experience.

6) Career Benefits and the Global Outlook

When you’re studying abroad; your exposure to a new culture and lifestyle would make you a better practitioner as you’d be able to look at things from different perspectives. You get an international view and exposure to an MBA abroad. An MBA from a prestigious institution such as the Kellogg University School or Harvard Business School is a great advantage compared to an Indian Institute MBA. Furthermore, studying an MBA abroad will also provide students with an opportunity for securing a good job in a foreign country relevant job in that country if they are interested in settling outside.

7) The Quality of Education in India versus Abroad

Education quality plays a significant role in advancing one’s career. Premier Indian institutions such as the IITs and IIMs offer excellent courses on a par with the international B-Schools. The level of competition in India is tremendous, and you can consider getting into a relatively good B-School abroad if you can’t get admission into a top Indian B-Schools. The MBA abroad is more realistic, with a focus on developing your skills.

8) The Mid-level colleges in Abroad versus Colleges in India

That is an entirely different premise. And the answer is simple–if you can afford, a mid-level university abroad would be better than an MBA from India’s private institutes. Put, better return on investment. You are offered much cheaper options by some universities abroad. For example, an MBA from Germany would cost you relatively less, and would also give you the added benefit of studying abroad. The same is true of many Western European nations. Estonia and other Baltic states, for example, offer you an MBA at nearly the same cost.

Maybe a bit higher but the fact remains you will find a place in Estonia’s top university. Similar is the case with many German state universities.

So, though determining whether to do an MBA or not is an important aspect, what is extremely important is to remember that what would determine your future is where to do your MBA. So, before you register for any of the exams, we urge you to look at different universities in abroad, and compare them with what they are offering to the Indian counterparts, and if possible aim for universities abroad.

9) GMAT versus CAT

Let’s continue with the fundamental difference point, that of the MBA aptitude test. If you’re targeting universities abroad, you’d most likely be required to write the GMAT. On the other side, if you’re targeting the country’s top universities… CAT is the chosen test. (Note: many high Indian MBA schools accept a GMAT score, too!). Both the exams have both their positive and negative results. A GMAT over CAT’s most significant benefit is that it’s widely accepted throughout. Besides, it is much more flexible. For example, you can write up to 5 times a year on your GMAT, and you can improve your score.

On the other hand, both of the examinations are standardized and offer a similar level of difficulty. However, the CAT is much cheaper than in the GMAT exam. It also opens up all the avenues for Indian Universities whereas GMAT is only acceptable to India’s very top schools. Bearing in mind both the examinations and which examination is more acceptable to you becomes your first point of decision making.

Concluding Thoughts

To sum up, you need to list your career plan, budget, the country where you want to stay, etc. objectives first and make them prioritized but contacting overseas consultancy is also the right choice. After you do that, it would be easier to decide whether to do an MBA abroad or India. There is a difference between the quality of education in India’s leading institutes and reputable international institutes. At the same time, it is quite expensive and also difficult to get into. Hence, to make the informed decision, you must weigh the pros and cons depending on those factors.

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