MBA program at universities around the world have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of Indian students applicants over the last few years. In many courses Indian students dominate the international component of the class. One would then wonder the reason for the sudden interest in an international MBA and whether it is a good idea after all.
While it may appear to be a new trend Indian students have been pursuing international programs for several years now. Although the country has some excellent programs and world class schools there are not enough seats to satisfy the massive demand due to which exodus to Europe, US, Canada and Australia.
A unique experience
Despite high costs the rewards of an international MBA can be quite attractive. MBA graduates command higher starting salaries in just about every career category and the opportunity to live and learn in a new culture provides such experiences that a domestic university cannot offer. Several non academic issues about studying abroad often contribute to the greatest learning opportunities. Living in a foreign city, experiencing the local culture and traveling both within and outside the country of study, offer unique possibilities that domestic MBA programs cannot. And with institutes across the world priding them in offering a diverse student body to add different perspectives in the classroom, applicants these days stand a high chance of acquiring an admission into a foreign B school. Apparently you can best know the economic conditions in a city like Mumbai or Mexico only from someone who has spent the last five years working there. Books and research tell part of the story experience fills in the rest.
For well educated graduates the job market across the world is beginning to show signs of recovery. Companies are once again hiring graduates in cities like New York London and Toronto. This renewed market justifies the cost of an international MBA. For those interested in working abroad for a period of time, it is almost mandatory that they study in the region they went to work in. recruiters target top MBA schools for their annual hiring needs and you have to be there to get noticed. Sure there is always a chance that your domestic employer will send you abroad, but the greater certainty lays in interviewing with companies on their home turf.
An international work experience also assists in attracting offers should you wish to return home at some point in time. In a global economy experience in different markets, the ability to communicate in different languages and a cultural comfort level all contribute to your marketability.
But there are drawbacks of pursuing a management program overseas a well. An international MBA is expensive both in terms of tuition and living costs. Though some might argue that the high cost may be compensated by the higher salaries on graduates there is no guarantee that an MBA degree will results in a job. Add to this challenges one has to face while pursuing his /her MBA. In many countries international students can work for a certain number of hours to help offset the cost, but the programs are demanding and there is often precious little time for part time work.
The decision to pursue an international MBA is also complicated by the different visa requirements of the host countries. While most nations recognize international students as legitimate applicants the time to secure a visa can pose challenges for those who usually have to be admitted to a program before they can obtain a study permit.
While there are important issues to consider, most foreign students are positive about their experiences abroad. It can provide tm like minded individuals as well as the opportunity to learn form internationally recognized professors. The unique nature of a foreign experience not only means up the mind of an individual but a wide range of opportunities as well. That is the essence of an international MBA experience and in today’s global economy management graduates with a foreign work experience are undoubtedly one step ahead of their domestic counterparts.