More Americans Target European MBA Programs

Given the turmoil on Wall Street and the overall soft job market in the U.S., it’s not surprising that many international applicants have decided not to come to the U.S. to pursue an MBA this year. Even more interesting, however, is that apparently many Americans also also now considering earning their MBAs abroad.

An article in last week’s Wall Street Journal describes the trend of more and more Americans deciding to go abroad for their MBA programs. Not only do schools such as INSEAD and IMD provide Americans with an opportunity to broaden their international exposure, but they also offer a nice sort of career diversification in that they tend to attract a more diverse array of corporate recruiters than do American business schools.

According to the article, at some top European schools, only about 20% of the graduating class lands in finance, compared with up to 60% at some U.S. schools. While this has traditionally been a weakness for European schools in attracting top talent that wants to pursue high-paying jobs, in today’s climate it’s one reason why more American than ever have sought out these programs.

Another advantage that many European schools offer is that their programs are shorter than most American schools’ programs, which, among other things, means that they can be significantly less expensive. While we tend to discourage applicants from choosing based on costs alone, this often significant difference can be hard for someone to ignore when they’re still paying off old student loans and are about to leave their job to take on even more debt.

The European programs aren’t content to just let Americans beat a path to their doors — they’ve made a point of aggressively reaching out to U.S. students in order to capitalize on this trend. As a result of the macro trend and these recruiting efforts, schools such as Oxford’s Sa

One Response

  1. Kevin says:

    I am currently researching MBA programs to apply to in the fall. Based on what Ive found so far, while its difficult to make a direct comparison between the American schools and the ones abroad, the European programs seem to offer a much more worldly focused program. Its hard to argue that immersing oneself in classes as diverse as those at LBS, INSEAD, and others is very compelling compared to the low international representation at American schools. Im very seriously considering non-American programs as a way to better educate myself on integrated cultural environments, something that seems lacking at home, in America.

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