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Should you do your MBA from India or Abroad?

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

Taking good decisions is one of the most important skills in life. At an age of 25, I was an anxious young professional who was struggling with such questions.

Understanding that we all come from varied backgrounds, the first thing to note is to create your personalized answers. I did this modeling myself 6 years ago. Sharing this with an honest hope that it helps someone out there.

Now, let's look into the 9 parameters, based on which you should decide whether to do your #MBA from India or Abroad-

1. Upfront Cost-

ISB costs 33 Lakhs while Harvard costs upward of 1 Crore (without a scholarship). Your affordability & willingness to take a debt is a critical decision-making factor. You should accordingly rank your target schools. (Eg- I had ranked ISB 3/3 on this parameter and LBS 2/3)

2. Employability-

Only 7% of MBA Students in India are employable. Post evaluating employment stats from Financial Times, you should rank your target schools.

3. RoI-

The time horizon considered for calculating RoI should be mid-long term rather than have a short-term career view. An MBA from ISB can be repaid in 3-5 years, however, an Ivy league MBA can take time but can have a significantly higher RoI.

4. Geography-

If you are keen to work in Bay Area or Europe, then don't rank Indian MBAs higher on this parameter.

5. Diversity of Cohort-

Indian MBAs stand behind Ivy League MBAs here. So, if the diversity of the cohort really matters to you, rank your target schools accordingly.

6. Goals-

First, define your post-MBA goals. If you want to get into PE/VC, Wharton is a great choice, and most Indian MBAs won't do a great #job here. However, if you want to pivot into consulting, rank ISB MBA higher.

7. Network-

People quit their 1st post-MBA job after 2 years. That's when both the quality and quantity of your school's network will come in handy. Rank schools higher that have more alums working in your dream job.

8. 1 Year MBA vs 2 Year MBA-

1 Year MBA is fast-paced but leads to a lower 'opportunity cost' of doing an MBA. On the other hand, 2 Years MBA provides a relaxing ecosystem. If you are looking for not just a job but also a career break, rank IIMA, and HBS higher instead.

9. CAT vs GMAT-

Pick the exam where you may have natural strength. I picked #GMAT over #CAT owing to my strengths and ranked schools higher that were affiliated with GMAT.

I would highly urge anyone reading this to build a small excel to come up with your answer.

Pursuing an MBA is not only a big financial decision but also an emotionally draining decision. And hence, you need to take better control over your career decisions rather than delegate it to internet influencers.

Hope this post not only teaches you whether you should do your 'MBA from India or Abroad' but also helps you make rational decisions in life :)

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


Author- Shatakshi Sharma, Cofounder Global Governance Initiative, Ex- BCG, Advisor, Tony Blair Institute

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