Germany is, by and far, the economic powerhouse of Europe. This should make Germany an ideal choice for applicants planning to graduate with an MBA from a European institution. However, the German schools do not have the same brand recognition as that of INSEAD in France or LBS in UK. This does not mean that the MBA programs in Germany are no good. Schools such as ESMT (disclaimer: ESMT is my alma mater) & Mannheim are constantly moving up in rankings, quality of learning & career opportunities. Studying for an MBA in Germany has several advantages – most of the MBA programs in Germany are of 1 year duration & the average salary levels that you can expect are between € 60,000 to € 90,000. One may want to consider the following criteria while deciding on target schools & MBA programs:
- Salary Levels: The average salary levels at German MBA programs are € 60K to € 90K as compare to US schools where the average salaries offered are between $100K to $130K. One must also consider the cost of living between the two countries. In US, it vary vastly depending upon which part of country & which city one is living in.
- Tuition: It is important to note that the average tuition cost at US schools would be in the range of $110K to $140K while that in German schools are in the range of € 20K to € 40K. So if one is considering an education loan, one should consider how much education loan one could manage & how much debt one is willing to take on.
- Program Length: Most German programs are of 1 year duration so the opportunity cost of losing on one’s current salary would be lower as compared to US programs but the differential in post & pre MBA salary is higher in US so in the long run (considering higher tuition) should make up for the opportunity cost.
- Class profile: Most of MBA programs in Germany have less than 50 students in their batch while in US programs, the class size in most cases will vary from 100 to 800. Smaller class sizes facilitate better interaction, whilst larger batches allow for more networking. One would find a higher percentage of International students in German MBA programs as compared to US. Hence, any batch would be comparatively more diverse, International & rich in learning experience. Additionally, one would also require a higher GMAT score to get into good US MBA programs, while the average GMAT at German programs would be in between 600–650
- Career targets: German business schools will have better connections with companies based in Germany & one will have far greater opportunity to work/intern in Germany after completing MBA from Germany. Same applies for US business schools.
- Language: Knowing German language would be a big positive but it will not be deal breaker if one is graduating from a top German MBA program.
MBA could be a potential path to higher earnings. However, no one can tell for certain what one might me able to earn. Students from the same school emerge with staggering difference in their starting salaries.
As a reader of this blog, your framework of thinking should be directed at where will you get the most learning outcome because when your are going to sit in a job interview that is what is going to be handy.