MBA in UK or MBA in USA: Which is Better?

Subhashri Roy
Updated on Feb 07, 2023 06:21 PM IST

MBA from the UK or the US do seem similar. But, are they really? Find out the key differences between an MBA in the UK and an MBA in the US to figure out which country to get an MBA from.

MBA in UK or MBA in USA: Which is Better?

It can be overwhelming to be on the hunt for the ideal MBA destination for you. After an initial online search, you quickly discover that the US or the UK are the top contenders when it comes to pursuing an MBA.

Given how both countries have amazing MBA records, be it in terms of academic standards, ROI or post-study work opportunities, choosing between the UK and USA could be a taxing task.

You can even be tempted to think that whether you do an MBA from the US or UK, it would eventually not really make any difference. But, that is not the case and you are about to learn the differences along with the varying advantages of studying MBA in the US and the UK.

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Key Differences Between MBA in UK and MBA in USA

Turns out, MBA in the UK and MBA in the US are quite different. Let us find out how the countries compare when it comes to pursuing an MBA:

Point of Difference

MBA in the UK

MBA in the USA

World Rank

According to FT Global MBA Rankings 2022,  nearly 50% of the top 100 schools are based in the US, including 8 of 20 at the top.

Eligibility

3-4 years of undergrad education from an accredited institution

2.75 to 3.6 GPA in Bachelors

2-4 years of work experience

3-4 years of undergrad education from an accredited institution

2.75 to 3.6 GPA in Bachelors

3-6 years of work experience

Curriculum

Based on a classical curriculum with a higher focus on theory than practical experience.

Gives you enough space to pick from an array of subjects.

An MBA in the US allows you to gain hands-on, practical experience.

You will be offered the flexibility to explore other subjects such as the liberal arts, history, etc.

US B-schools provide you with enough scope for research and collaboration.

You can also engage in guest lectures and seminars

Duration

12-21 months (usually 12 months/one year)

2-3 years

Cost of Living

USD 10,000 to USD 15,000 per year

GBP 1,500 to GBP 5,000 per year

Admission Requirements

GMAT - 680-700

GRE -160 (quantitative) and 160 (verbal)

TOEFL, IELTS or  PTE Academic scores

GMAT: 650-730

GRE: 165 (quantitative) and 170 (verbal)

TOEFL/IELTS

Scholarships

Most UK scholarships are offered by universities, based on merit, financial need or ethnicity.

Some of these are The London Business School Fund Scholarship, Cambridge Judge Business School Scholarship, Oxford Sad Business School Scholarships, etc.

Comparatively better in terms of the availability of scholarships

Top US MBA scholarships include Fullbright Foreign Student Program, Harvard University Scholarships, Wharton Emerging Economy Fellowships, among others.

Tuition Fees

USD 10,000 to USD 15,000 per year

GBP 70,000 to GBP 75,000 per year

Work-Study Opportunities

Relatively fewer on- or off-campus part-time job opportunities

A wide range of part-time jobs is available for international MBA students in the US.

Post-Study Opportunities/Work Permit

2 years work permit upon graduation, through the new Graduate Route

F-1 visa holders can engage in OPT upto 12 months after graduation.

H-1B visa - During your OPT, you can apply for an H-1B visa, which is a US work visa for high-skilled migrants.

STEM-certified MBAs have an additional advantage - the 24-month extension of OPT means that you have two more years to apply for an H-1B.

Top Recruiting Companies

Iceland, Building Society, American Express, Zurich, Legal & General and AXA

McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte, Amazon, Google, Goldman Sachs

Average Salary

GBP 116,000 per year

GBP 109,000 per year

ROI

Many UK MBAs have lower costs and better ROIs than US programs.

An added advantage is one year less of studies meaning one year less of tuition.

Schools like the London Business School offer a salary of 107%, as per QS.

North America offers the best salary uplift in the US, with an average of 74%. In conclusion, MBAs from US schools pay back their tuition costs in an average of 55 months, as per QS.

Upper Age Limit

In the UK, the average age for MBA programs is 28-35.

The average age for MBA programs ranges between 25 and 28

Why Get an MBA from the UK?

While we all know that UK B-Schools fare well in all global MBA rankings, you must know some of the best advantages of doing an MBA in UK.

Duration: The duration of an MBA program in the UK is shorter than that in the US. It usually lasts for a year, which if compared to MBA programs in the UK, is substantially shorter.

Course Offerings: the UK offers a variety of courses and specializations to opt for. You can certainly expect a diverse range of subjects, ensuring that you are on par with the latest changes made to the global job market. To give you an idea, the core management subjects in the UK would include Human Resources, Information Systems, Accounting, Economics, Finance, and Marketing along with a number of other electives.

Strong Research Platform: 46% of university research in the UK is considered internationally excellent and 30% is world-leading, according to studies done by the Research Excellence Framework. Overall, the country offers a strong infrastructure for research with students.

Career Guidance Services: Almost all B-schools in the UK have active career services for both international and domestic students. They not just help you get ready for your professional journey through CV building and tapping your full potential, but they also push you towards starting your own business.

Affordable Cost of Living: Given that the duration of an MBA in the UK is shorter, your total tuition fees get inevitably lower. In addition, if you compare it with the US, the cost of living and other living expenses are usually lower and quite economical. On average, the tuition fees for an MBA plus the cost of living in the UK would amount to around 20,000.

Why Get an MBA from the USA?

Well, the reputation of US b-schools is not news. Let us see how you best benefit from an MBA from the US:

Networking Opportunities: No country does it like the US. When it comes to making connections, top US business schools have the most-established connections and networks with global businesses across the world. These connections will always help you post-graduation or when you are looking for an internship during your study.

Quality of Business Schools: While rankings should not be the only thing when deciding where to get an MBA from, they are a good benchmark to help you figure out the quality of the school. US b-schools are widely popular for always being featured at the top of global MBA rankings. These rankings are a good indicator in terms of ROI, salary levels, employment rate and so on.

Be at the Top of the Corporate Ladder: Getting an MBA from the US can land you senior leadership positions at renowned companies. It will increase your employability, expand your horizons and ensure competitive salaries. According to U.S. News & World Report research, 2021 graduates from top-ranked MBA programs in the U.S. reported an overall average base salary plus a bonus of more than USD 145,000.

Higher ROI: Compared to MBA costs in the US, the estimated return on investment for most programs remains high across the board, according to a survey of career outcomes by U.S. News & World Report. It further found that top-ranked institutions boasted seven times higher average MBA salaries than the estimated cost of the programs.

Both the UK and US are incredibly great to get an MBA from. However, when it comes to deciding between two equally good options, you should always consider what your career goals, needs and priorities are. At the end of the day, it is you who is going to benefit the most from an MBA degree, be it from the US or the UK.

We have study abroad experts on board, with years of experience and knowledge about MBA candidacy. Have them assess your MBA potential and give you a judgement, as to which among the US and the UK is ideal for you to get an MBA.

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