Studying MBA Abroad: Expense Or Investment


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Jun 07, 2022 11:43 AM IST

Studying MBA Abroad is a dream come true for many Indians. However, the cost associated with the degree can be high and ROI, low. This degree is widely acknowledged around the world. It provides a well-rounded view of managerial skills and can be utilized in different regions. Let us analyse the merits and demerits of an MBA Abroad. 

Studying MBA Abroad: Expense Or Investment

MBA is regarded as the most sought-after course in the world due to its numerous advantages, such asthe development of new skills and building a global professional network.But where do you pursue an MBA? Should you study MBA in India or abroad? Well, most students face the dilemma of choosing between an MBA from India or abroad primarily because of the higher tuition fees that a foreign MBA degree may charge.

However, when you look at pursuing MBA abroad in a broader sense, most B-Schools abroad offer programs that are focused onbrand recognition, international exposure, and diversity.Aside from having strong industry connections, one of the biggest advantages of studying MBA abroad is that MBA students come from diverse backgrounds.

Moreover, students with international experience and cross-cultural communication skills often stand out from other job candidates, both at home and abroad. This eventually leads to faster career advancement.Let us now further explore and find out if studying MBA abroad is actually an expense or an investment.

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Studying MBA Abroad vs Studying MBA in India

Indian students can choose to study in various fields such as finance, marketing, film, and poetry. Aside from these, they also get to interact with different cultures. Also, apart from getting exposed to various cultures, MBA abroad allows students to critically analyse and make effective decisions in an uncertain environment. As for the debate between Indian and foreign MBA students, studying abroad can give you an edge in terms of global exposure. Let us now see the differences between pursuing MBA in India and MBA abroad.


MBA in India

MBA Abroad

Average Fees

INR 7.5 lakh -INR25 lakh

INR20 lakh INR70 lakh

Entrance Exams



Work Experience required

No work experience is necessary

2-3 years

Average Annual Salary Package

INR 18-19 lakh

INR 45 lakh

Benefits of Studying MBA Abroad

An MBA is a specialised degree that prepares students to navigate through the world of finance and business. It provides them with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions in a wide variety of industries. The ideal candidate for this course has a compelling analytical mind and the ability to generate financial backing. Let us see how a student can benefit from pursuing MBA abroad:

Flexibility to Engage with Any Part of the World

An MBA from abroad allows students to connect with people from various walks of life, as it prepares them to work seamlessly across various academic disciplines. Through an MBA, students can also connect with people from various industries such as law, medicine, engineering, and technology. However, doing business with foreigners can be very challenging, so you must develop the skills necessary to manage people.

International Working Experience

An MBA can take you places. Learning a new language and interacting with native people is a great way to get exposed to different cultures. An international MBA programme lets you take on an unknown language and interact with native people. While it allows for versatility, an MBA abroadalso makes you a more confident business person.

Learning Diverse Ways of Business

No two countries have the same set of business practices and deal-making styles. Having international experience makes you adaptable and able to make the best of both worlds. Even though the exact deal-making and business practices are different in different countries, having international experience makes you more flexible and comprehensible.

Emerging Market Experience

Some of the skills that an MBA candidate can learn only by visiting a foreign country are deal-making skills, international business etiquette, and leadership. If the country you arestudying is developing into an emerging economy, you willbe able to improve these skills and get a huge pay boost.

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Scholarships for Studying MBA Abroad

Unfortunately, there are a lot of students who cannotafford an MBA abroad due tohightuition fees. But, there is a solution. With good academic record, you can get MBA scholarships abroad. Students can also apply for these programs at different universities. Here are the top MBA scholarships abroad for Indian students:

Oxford Pershing Square Scholarship by Pershing Square Foundation

The Oxford Pershing Square scholarship is for international students who are interested in postgraduate studies at Oxford University. It provides support for both the Master's and the MBA programmes. The scholarship is awarded to sixselected scholars. It provides for the full tuition fee, as well as living expenses for the duration of the study.

Global Study Awards

The Global Study Awards is a scholarship that aims to help students pursue their MBA abroad dreams. It isoffered in association with ISIC, Study Portals, and British Council. For the program to work, candidates must demonstrate a solid commitment to developing their careers. The maximum individual award is GBP 10,000. The scholarship is awarded to the student who plans on pursuing his or her MBA at a university or another institution. If the scholarship amount is less than the maximum, the remaining funds will be allocated towards their living expenses for a maximum of 52 weeks.

Central Sector Scheme of National Overseas Scholarship

The government of India provides scholarships for students who are planning on pursuing Master's degree programs in different universities or colleges abroad. The scholarship is available to all candidates who are planning on pursuing an MBA. The scholarship provides 100 students with the opportunity to pursue an MBA for one academic year. The maximum funding amount per student is USD 33,800.

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler MBA

This fellowship is provided by the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School. It supports students pursuing MBA in North Carolina. Aside from tuition, they also offer various scholarships and student loan programs. However, you should have at least an undergraduate degree from an approved US university or institution.

The Financial Sumo Educational Scholarship Programme

The scholarship is provided by Sumo Financial and aims to help students with their college fees. It is applicable to all candidates who are planning on pursuing an MBA in Germany. The scholarship provides one scholarship candidate with a maximum of USD 1,000 for the academic year.

University of Sussex 2022 MBA Scholarships

The University of Sussex offers a scholarship that allows students from various countries such as India, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to study at the UK without paying full fees. The scholarship is available for the 2022 academic year.

Harvard University MBA Scholarship

The Harvard Business School is one of America's most prestigious schools. Students can apply for the scholarship in 2022 for a complete study. The Boustany MBA Scholarship is granted every two years for a two-year program at Harvard Business School. The scholarship is available to candidates from the Boustany Foundation. The scholarship is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated the potential to make a difference in the lives of others. To qualify, the candidates must submit an offer letter from a Harvard MBA program.

Top Career Opportunities and Future Prospects After MBA Abroad

MBA abroad is well-suited to meet the needs of various sectors in an economy. With its versatility, it can accommodate candidates with varying levels of experience and expertise in various industries. A survey conducted by the GMAC recruiters revealed that 90% of firms plan to hire MBA graduates in 2021. For many young professionals, an international MBA can allow them to expand their horizons and experience a different culture.

Developing nations have become more attractive to work in, as they now make up half of the global economy. Those from developing nations are more likely to find work than those from other countries due to the abundance of opportunities available in these regions. Aside from having the necessary skills and brains, cross-cultural competency is also a top requirement for employers. This is because it can prevent many aspiring MBAs from falling into cultural traps.

Consulting Sector

The Consulting firms are the top recruiters of MBA graduates. They provide guidance and support to the students as they embark on their journey in consulting. Consulting firms are service providers that help clients solve their problems. They deliver various services such as strategy, planning and finance.

Depending on the type of firm that they work for, they will require candidates with diverse skill sets. If they are a generalist consulting firm or a specialist consultancy firm, they will require candidates with specialized skills. In a year at McKinsey, almost half of their consultants have an MBA. At Bain & Company, about 2/3rd of their consultants have an MBA.

IT Industry

Due to the widespread adoption of technology, our daily lives have become more technologically advanced. The ability to work seamlessly with various devices has become possible even in times of pandemics. The rise of tech-based businesses has necessitated the hiring of individuals with managerial acumen and a technological bent.

Most MBA graduates are now working in Product Management roles at large tech firms. They also pursue careers in various other industries such as Sales, Marketing, and HR. Top companies that hire the best candidates are usually tech firms such as Google, Facebook, Intel, and IBM.

Finance and Allied Services Sector

Due to the impeccable pay packages that MBAs get, many of them aspire to work in this field. In addition, this discipline is a sought-after speciality in schools across the globe. According to the GMAC, around 35% of MBA graduates wish to work in this field. Most of them go on to work in banks, insurance companies, asset management firms, and tax consultants.

Unless they have a passion for finance, many graduates tend to veer away from this field due to the endless hours and challenges of working in the financial industry. Some of the prominent names that target finance graduates are Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan & Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.

Health Care Sector

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about the need for more healthcare industry professionals. With a focus on biotechnology and pharmaceutical management, MBA graduates from abroad are in demand. According to financial experts and hedge fund managers, the value of healthcare companies has increased by 73% in 2021. Since healthcare is an industry, graduates of this concentration can work in various roles such as administrative management, product management, and healthcare analytics.

FMCG and Retail Industry

The fast-moving consumer goods market is expected to reach USD 15 billion by 2025. This is largely due to the presence of various players in the industry such as grocery stores, household goods retailers, and clothing brands.

The supply chain of consumer goods companies plays a vital role in the success of their businesses. In order to manage this, various MBA graduates are required to focus on various aspects of their organizations. The fast-growing consumer goods industry is home to some of the biggest companies in the world. With such huge companies, MBA students are bound to excel in this field.

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Top Job Profiles After MBA Abroad

Most B-school students abroad come with at least twoyears of work experience. This is because the world is their oyster once they have left their B-school. Most MBA job seekers will get placed in the mid-levels of any company abroad, while some will start their own firms. Some career switchers might start from the base positions and median designations in order to gain a deeper understanding of the industry.

Most companies have roles that are related to the base level, such as analysts and associates. These roles can then be shifted to mid-level positions, such as managers and consultants. The upper ranges of an organization's hierarchy will typically consist of senior managerial and supervisory roles. Many of the common roles that most candidates with MBA will find themselves in are those related to the CEO or the COO.

General Management:Depending on your previous experience, you may be eligible for various executive roles. Some of these include deputy manager, general manager, or consultant.

Global Business Management:Your education and experience will also play a huge role in the job roles that you can pursue. Some of these include regional manager, country manager, and vice president of international relations.

Strategic Management:Being a specialist in a specific field could also lead to the selection of roles such as strategy director, directions manager, or consultant.

Finance and Accounting:MBA in finance candidates can also work in various roles in the financial domain. Some of these include the role of an accounting head, the chief financial analyst, the finance director, and the financial consultant.

Marketing:This MBA in marketing is also popular across the globe. There are various roles such as marketing specialist, marketing director, growth & partnerships director, product manager, and brand manager.

Supply Chain and Logistics:This specialization is also popular in the manufacturing industry. There are various roles such as the director of production, the director of supply chain, the vice president of logistics, and the chief operating officer.

Human Resources:Since this field is specialized, candidates may also pursue various roles in different industries. Some of these include HR generalist, HR director, HR manager, and the chief human resources officer.

IT Management:This field is highly favoured by large tech companies. Usually, these roles include the chief information officer, the chief technology officer, and the project manager.

What is the MBA Abroad ROI?

Although money is noteverything, it certainly is a major factor when it comes to choosing a career path and understanding if an MBA abroad is an expense or an investment.Doing an MBA abroadcan give you the tools to improve and advance in your career. Here, wewill analyse the cost and return on investment of an MBA abroad. It will then ask how much money you will end up with in the future, i.e., ROI (Return on Investment).

Generally, studying in a foreign land can provide you with numerous advantages, such as gaining a better understanding of a different culture and a wider network.

Each school has its unique circumstances, but Forbes and the Economist regularly rank business schools based on the return on investment of alumni. For instance, the 2015 list from Forbes placed Stanford University at the top.

The various surveys that are conducted for these rankings often vary depending on the perspective of the respondents. As a result, you must not base your ROI on the pre-MBA earnings and goals. To measure the return on investment of your course, first determine how much it costs you to study and how much of your salary you will be sacrificing to live in the country that you choose.


It is widely believed that an MBA in a foreign country is more expensive than one in India. However, many countries allow students to work while studying. In most countries, students can work while they're studying, which could make the overall cost of their course lower.

Pre and Post MBA Salaries

If you are thinking of going back to India after getting an MBA abroad, then you are probably going to have a great ROI. While India's wages are among the lowest in the world, they are likely to be higher than most developed countries' median salaries. Assuming you leave India and pursue a job abroad, you areguaranteed to have an even higherROI. According to the QS World University Rankings: Global MBA Rankings 2019, MBA abroad graduates can expect anaverage salary increase of 77%. Further, it states that top countries for MBA offer an annual salary package of around USD 94,100 to graduates.


If you cannotafford the upfront payment for MBA abroad, there are a number of options offered by MBA universities abroad. You can get a great deal with foreign banks and avoid paying back the loan in a few years. After completing an MBA abroad, many people end up with a significantly lower ROI in India than they originally thought.

Even if you have the best salary in India, you may still struggle to pay back student loans.

Opportunity Cost

Even though it isstill an option for many students, many of them are opting to take up work experience before they start their MBA course abroad. This ensures that they willbe able to improve their skills and reach the career ladder. In most cases, going into MBA after graduating is still an option for many students. However, many of them are opting to take on work experience first.

However, if you arenot able to work in India due to the country's lowsalaries, going foran MBA program abroad may be a better option.

Also, if you have a great job right now and have scope for moving up the career ladder faster, going foran MBA abroad may be a better choice for you. The return on investment of an MBA course abroad is likely to be quick and good, clearly pointing toward it being an investment rather than an expense.

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