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IIMs vs. ISB- Who Earns More?

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Shatakshi Sharma, Co-founder of Global Governance Initiative, Former Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Consultant, advisor for Tony Blaire Institute, Alumni of St Stephens College and Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad and LinkedIn Top Voice

Career insights by GGI is a new series by GGI sharing hacks and tips around management consulting, MBA, product management and public policy.

In this GGI career insight, we will be sharing insights into: the differences between IIMs and ISB in terms of fees, diversity and opportunities.


Have you ever wondered which amongst the MBA schools is the best fit for you?

To answer this question, we will divide this career insight into 5 sections.

1. Upfront Investment- Fees

Firstly, let's analyse the input cost to the institutions.

Currently, ISB costs around 33 Lakhs.

On the other hand, IIMs stand around 24 Lakhs. Of course, this is also a big investment.

Though, the notable point is that ISB has a one year programme. This, in my opinion, is its upside because you can quickly finish your degree and get back into the job market here.

The opportunity cost, in this case, is lower for ISB as you forgo only one year of your salary.

2. Diversity of Cohort

Coming to of your peer network.

ISB has more than 39% women and about 5-10% of international students. Comparatively, IIMs have almost negligible international representations and relatively lower female cohorts.

You may wonder why this diversity is so important.

The answer lies in the history of failed ventures and nations which were primarily caused due homogenisation of thoughts.

Diversity of thought facilitates different opinions, thereby enforcing innovation.

3. Teaching Model

Looking at the classroom teaching model.

Both these institutions have highly accredited academic professors.

In ISB, renowned professors from global institutions such as Wharton, Kellogg, Fletcher and akin fly in periodically to teach you. In fact, I had the privilege of attending a lecture from the mayor of New York on ethical leadership and responsibility.

This is where the magic happens.

The discussion and various opinions brought upon by the professors and students open your thought horizons.

At the end of the day, the MBA curriculum is supposed to question your mental model to generate holistic learning.

4. Job Pivotting by Sector

This brings us to one of our most important sections, which includes the new sectors MBA can help you discover.

ISB is largely known for its consulting and product management based employment. My classmates at ISB joined various unicorns and leading ventures in ed-tech and fin-tech. Whereas, IIMs generally have better marketing and finance related jobs over and above consulting.

Your next question is perhaps why this distinction occurs in the first place.

So, the average experience of an ISB student is 4.5 years and that of an IIM student is less than a year.

Many marketing firms typically look for freshers for their job profiles, so IIM become a an ideal source for them.

5. Average CTC

Diving straight into the most awaited section.

ISB reported an average of 32 lakhs per annum CTC.

While the CTC for IIMs was around 27 lakhs. The reason behind this distinction again lies in the average number of work experience per student.

To conclude, I am purposely not giving a very specific answer. Both institutions have their stronger points. Nevertheless, there are various alternatives to an MBA.

At Global Governance Initiative, we teach using a case study based model akin to that of ISB. We have an Impact MBA Scholars Programme for management consulting and product management aspirants. This is at just 1% of the cost of the usual MBA degrees. Moreover, the highest CTC offered by an employment partner at GGI has been 29 Lakhs. We aim to realise every human being's potential through quality education.


Author: Shatakshi Sharma, Co-CEO Global Governance Initiative, Ex-BCG Management Consultant, Former Policy Advisor, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

If you are interested in learning about GGI's MBA Scholar program, you can learn here.

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