The first American Master of Business Administration program was founded at Tuck Business School at Dartmouth in 1900. America has been seen as the home Secretary-General of the European Schools of the MBA over the last century, indeed MBAs have only been offered in Europe since 1957. However, with 3 of the top 10 MBA programs now located in Europe, increasing numbers of students are applying to Business Schools in Europe, including students from America. The GMAC (Graduate Management Admissions Council) Geographic Trend Report for Europe states that: The number of GMAT score reports received by programs in the top 10 European countries increased 96 percent between TY 2005 and TY 2009, outpacing a worldwide increase of 41 percent over the same period.
So what is behind this huge increase? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons prospective MBA students are increasingly choosing to study at Business School in Europe. Typically, American institutions focus on finance and consulting, with graduates tending to specialize in these areas. However, due to the economic downturn, jobs in these areas are scarce and the advantages of studying a wider range of specialisms have never been so apparent. A Business School in Europe will typically cover the areas mentioned above, but will also offer courses in other areas such as management, marketing and entrepreneurship, meaning their graduates are more well-rounded and adaptable – a key quality in today’s job market.
Speaking of job markets, Europe is now known as a great place to make contacts and find job opportunities. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, European businesses tend to develop links and contacts more easily, as they are used to trading outside of their own country, and geographically are in a great position to do so with so many other countries on their doorstep. And again, as mentioned above, as a Business School in Europe will focus on a number of different areas, they tend to also make contacts with industry figures in these areas, meaning students are exposed to a wider variety of industries. Take Spain as an example: Barcelona is the eighth most popular city in the world for MBA studies, as it is in a convenient location for travel to many European countries, and is a base for Spanish industries such as the retail and financial sectors.
In the current economic climate, this increased diversity and adaptability can only be an advantage. In 2009, for example, GMAC reported that three quarters of Europeans who earned a business degree in 2009 got a job within a few months of graduating. Another important advantage to studying at a Business School in Europe is that costs tend to be a lower than at American institutions. Whilst an MBA in a top American school could cost you upwards of $150,000, a similar program at a European school costs around half that price! So the real question is, with so many advantages to studying at a Business School in Europe, why go anywhere else?