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Why Indian Students Continue to Make a Beeline for the American MBA?

Why Indian Students Continue to Make a Beeline for the American MBA?

By Swati Srivastava

Edited by Michelle Cherian, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist

Brothers Ambani, Ratan Tata, Aditya Mittal, and Vinod Khosla – these Indian business tycoons have one thing in common. Yes, it is their American MBA degree. World’s top ranking B-Schools like Wharton, Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business have several Indian alumni; Vinod Khosla and MukeshAmbani (Stanford),Rahul Bajaj, Anand Mahindra and Ratan Tata (Harvard),Sachin Pilot, Aditya Mittal and Anil Ambani (Wharton).

Why American MBA?

Considered as a global ticket to your career, American MBA graduates generally earn an average starting basic salary of approximately $130,000. The international exposure and attractive salary allures many Indians to go through the same mill.

The United States has always been a hot destination among international students. Stanford Business School has set a high qualification benchmark with an average GMAT score of 729 out of 800. Moreover, out of the 16 B-Schools that accept an average score of more than 700, 14 schools are American.International students in the US contribute about $24 billion to its economy, while Indian students alone contribute 12 per cent of the international student group.

Each year, thousands of Indian students go to the US for pursuing an MBA degree. However, the important question is, “whether you should go for the American MBA or the Indian MBA?”


Before taking the final decision, several important factors need to be considered such as course, location, duration, and cost.

The key problem area is the cost of the coveted MBA degree from the US.The expenses of books, tuition, and housingadd up to around $120,000 for two years.

The high tuition fee of over 100K for any top ranking MBA collegeis a hitch to any aspiring MBA student. Wharton is one of the leading B-schools whose two-year MBA tuition fee comes to be approximately $130,000.

The important question that popsup in frontof the international students is that whether they can afford the high cost of American MBA or is it wise to settle down with an MBA degree from any other B-School in India.


If International exposure is the prime focus for students then foreign varsities naturally becomes their first choice.In this scenario, financing the American MBA is one of the most crucial factors that every prospective international student must consider.

Nowadays, several organizations and universities support higher education for international students and offer scholarships to the eligible candidates. For instance, the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai MBA Fellowship Programoffers scholarships to Indian students willing to study MBA at Stanford Business School. Each year around five Indian students are offered the full scholarship amount aftercompletion of an application of student’s commitment of working for minimum two years for an organization in India, after graduation.

Minority MBA students interested in pursuing MBA in Finance may apply for fellowships from the Robert A. Toigo Foundation. Moreover, international female students in the U.S. can also apply for financial aid from the American Association of University Women.

Apart from these financial aids and scholarships, top ranking B-School such asHarvard Business School (HBS) easily raises money to support curricular innovation, globalization, and research and student financial aid. In this context, HBS plans to raise $1 billion and has already raised $600 million for the cause.

With the availability of such financial aids by reputed organizations and Universities, the problem of high tuition cost has a possible solution. All an aspiring candidate needs to do is search about such options on the Internet and scan the university prospectus for details.

Beyond Foreign Varsities

One question remains in the mind of most of the Indian students that whether they should opt for the American degree or choose an MBA program in India. International exposure and job placement abroad definitely gives bonus points to the first option of studying abroad. However, those who plan to study MBA in India still have reasons to rejoice.

 These include:

B-Schools in India are going global

Many Indian business schools like IIMs and Indian School of Business (ISB Hyderabad) have witnessed the rising trend of going global. In the last two decades, the education scenario in the country has undergone a positive transition.

As per the MBA Global Ranking 2014 list by Financial Times, while Harvard Business School ranks first, Indian B-Schools are not behind in the race.

Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2014 Featuring Indian B-Schools

India’s top MBA Institutes such as IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, and ISB Hyderabad are included in the global top 100 MBA list. These Indian management institutes have successfully made their presence felt in the global competition.Studying in such reputed business colleges in India takes away all the apprehensions of the students,which might be related to excellent job offers.

Foreign Placements

Placements in the top ranking multinational companies are also offered by premier business schools in India, therefore offering an opportunity to work abroad and gain international exposure. The placement season at IIM Bangalore 2014 batch witnessed an increase in overseas job offers. Nowadays, more foreign companies flock to Indian B-Schools to hire the talented graduates.

Moreover, the average salary package at IIM B this year wasRs 19.5 lakh.IIM-B graduates received over 41 overseas offers from reputed companies like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America for global destinations including Hong Kong, New York and London.

Student Exchange Programs

Indian B-Schools are increasingly entering into tie-ups with premier MBA colleges abroad to offer student exchange programs. While studying in India, one can experience international teaching methodology through student exchange programs, wherein two universities based in different countries allow their eligible students to study in another university for a specific duration of the course.

Some of the successful tie-ups include Virginia Tech with SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Cambridge College with Management Development Institute, and Fairleigh Dickinson University with the Institute of Management and Technology.

So it is totally up to students whether they wish to pursue an American MBA by applying for scholarships or graduate from the reputed Business schools in India that also offer excellent job placements across the globe.

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