MBA in india vs MBA Abroad

MBA in India vs. MBA Abroad

Last updated on June 4th, 2020

Reading Time: 22 minutes

Disclaimer: The audience we have taken into consideration in this article are those who have either been born and brought up in India or have their roots in India. This article is to help them decide between pursuing an MBA in India or doing an MBA abroad. But, even if you’re not from India, you can still read the article and see if you’re interested in pursuing an MBA in the country!

Remember when you were younger and one of your oldest cousins traveled abroad to pursue an MBA? That was probably when you decided that you will grow up and travel to a foreign land to get the degree, right? Now that you’ve actually grown up, are you confused between doing an MBA in India and doing an MBA abroad?

Let’s be frank here – An MBA is a big investment, in terms of your money and your time, and we know that you can’t afford to make the wrong choice. Let’s just say we understand why it is super important for you to make the right decision about where you get your MBA from. And that is exactly the reason why we have come up with this article. 

Moreover, with the COVID-19 situation across the globe having an impact on everyone and everything, we are sure that you are worried about your MBA journey and your career more than anything.

So, if you’re someone looking to pursue an MBA right now or someone who will definitely apply for it in the near future, here’s all that you will get to know from this article about doing an MBA in India and abroad:

      1. What are the benefits of doing an MBA in India?

      2. What are the disadvantages of doing an MBA in India?

      3. What are the benefits of doing an MBA abroad?

      4. What are the disadvantages of doing an MBA abroad?

      5. How do you choose between MBA in India and MBA abroad?

      6. FAQs – MBA in India vs. MBA Abroad

By the time you get to the end of this article, we expect to have helped you make an informed decision on your MBA.

And if you still have any questions that are hindering your decision-making process, you can post them in the comments section below and we will try and answer them.

1. What are the benefits of doing an MBA in India?

So, before we discuss anything else, let us look at the benefits of doing an MBA in India when compared to doing an MBA abroad.

We are sure that a lot of you are wondering whether investing in an MBA degree in India is worth it when you can apply to so many top B-Schools abroad. And you must have definitely heard of the MBA experiences that your friends or colleagues would have had when they joined Harvard or Stanford or any other B-School abroad, right?

But let us burst that bubble for you and tell you about the obvious advantages that you will have if you do an MBA in India. Let us elaborate on a few of them from an MBA perspective:

i. MBA affordability and return on investment

ii. No VISA problems

iii. Familiar network and culture

i. MBA affordability and return on investment

To be honest, doing an MBA in India is going to be much cheaper for you than doing an MBA abroad. Even if you decide to exclude all the auxiliary expenses on flights, accommodation and cost of living, the tuition cost of an MBA from a foreign university can end up being very high.

One of the only ways you can escape high tuition costs abroad is if you do an MBA or MS in Germany. Most public universities in Germany don’t charge a tuition fee and that’s how you can reduce the expense.

Also read: Top Universities for Masters in Germany Taught in English

But almost everywhere else, the expenses involved in getting an MBA are really high

The important thing to note here is that, generally, the more expensive the program gets, the lower will be the return on your investment.

Unless you’re looking to apply and get selected into Harvard Business School or MIT or Wharton Business School, you might want to look very carefully at the expected program expense and the ROI you get from it. 

So, in our opinion, doing an MBA abroad only makes sense if you’re doing it from a top B-School. If not, you will gain a lot more and lose a lot less by doing an MBA in India.
 

ii. You don’t need a VISA to study in your country

This may sound unimportant but the amount of work you have to put into getting a VISA to do an MBA abroad is a lot, right?

Securing an MBA admission in a B-School abroad and then being denied a VISA, or being unable to get a VISA that allows you to work after the course can really put a dent in your MBA dream.

Whereas, if you are doing an MBA in India, well…you just don’t need a VISA! And nobody is going to ask you to leave your own country after you have graduated.

iii. You are the culture and your people will be your network

While you might be dreaming of all the new places you can visit and all the new people that you will get to meet if you do an MBA abroad, do not underestimate the power of working in a familiar environment. If you do your MBA in India, you can make use of all your ‘contacts’, if you know what we mean.

It’s easy to dismiss this before you realize the value of having a network. After a certain age, your next job won’t come from online job portals. It will come through your network in the form of recommendations and connections.

Remember:

“No CEO was ever appointed based on their resume.” You need strong connections to be selected for that role in a company.

We are not trying to discourage you from doing an MBA abroad, but just reminding you that you will have to start network-building from scratch. Doing this alongside rigorous study will not be a cakewalk.

However, it is not all sunshine and meadows to do your MBA in India. It comes with its fair share of disadvantages as well. That’s what we will discuss in the next section.

2. What are the disadvantages of doing an MBA in India?

By now, you might have been convinced that there is nothing better than doing an MBA in India. But, hold your horses right there.

Before you take a final call on your MBA plan, let us tell you what you will lose out on if you do an MBA in India and not abroad.

You might already know these disadvantages that you might have to face, but let us just be sure that we are on the same page here.

You will have three main disadvantages if you do your MBA in India:

i. Less benefit if you settle abroad

ii. No/Limited international exposure

i. Less benefit if you move abroad

So, this depends entirely on your career and life plan. If you dream of going abroad and working in the US or Europe, an MBA degree from India might not give you the edge over your competitors.

Here’s the thing: If you want to work in the US or anywhere abroad, you will have to compete with young professionals who have earned their MBAs in that country. If you do your MBA abroad, you will be able to specialize in the field that you are looking to build your career in.

The specializations offered abroad are very specific to skill sets. So, people who have done their MBAs from there might be preferred over you when it comes to getting hired for a position.

So, we would suggest you to do an MBA in the field of your choice abroad, if you plan to settle down there later.

ii. No/Limited international exposure

Coming to the second disadvantage of getting an MBA from India, you will rarely get to study with an international perspective.

While you may get to study a semester abroad if you get selected for certain courses, the outlook of the program in India is focused on the way things work in the country. The chances of you getting to study global problems will be fairly low.

This may end up limiting your perspective and may even hamper your progress beyond the Indian market and sometimes even when you aspire for higher positions in multinational companies in India.

Moreover, if you are in India, you will be in your comfort zone and will not push yourself enough. You will miss out on a lot of opportunities because of this reason.

Now that we have outlined the good and the bad parts of getting an MBA from India, we’d like to inform you of the benefits of doing an MBA abroad.

3. What are the benefits of doing an MBA abroad?

What are the images that pop-up in your head when you think of, let’s say, the United States of America or London?

It must probably be of those lit-up cities, busy roads and those well-dressed men and women heading to their skyscraper-sized offices right?

Well… these are in fact the kind of images that we have seen in movies or on the internet.

And, if you are someone who wishes to move to such a place and find your way to the top, let us help you keep your spirits high.

So, here we list down specific benefits of doing an MBA abroad:

i. See more and learn more

ii. Practical knowledge matters the most

iii. Wider networking opportunities

i. See more and learn more

The most important benefit of doing an MBA abroad is getting global exposure. Let us be really candid here: You won’t get this if you study in India.

But, what exactly do we mean when we say “global exposure”? 

When we say global exposure, we are referring to global networking and opportunities to handle global issues.

Let us talk about global networking first. “Global networking” is not a commonly used phrase, but by studying abroad, you will inevitably be sitting in a classroom along with representatives from multiple countries across the world. This will help you gain insights into the way things work in various countries around the world. Besides, your network will, at some point, become your net worth. At that point in time, having a global network will certainly play to your advantage.

Doing an MBA abroad will give you knowledge and experience in handling global issues. With this, you will be in a position to help any company manoeuvre its way not only through domestic markets but also in the international arena (Only a company’s dream employee has these qualities). And this will add a lot of weight to your profile.

By this, you must have understood that you will not be able to quantify the advantage of getting an MBA abroad, but that you will benefit in ways that will help you very much in the long run as well. The benefits do not get exhausted immediately.

ii. Practical knowledge matters the most

MBAs all over the world follow a completely different education pattern when compared to other courses.

B-Schools outside India generally use a host of tools and techniques to enhance your learning experience. The process of learning is very interactive and experiential.

With a lot of internships and interesting projects, you will get hands-on experience in your field. And this is something you can show when you go for a job interview. Your work will speak for you.

iii. Wider networking opportunities

You will be open to learning more and acquiring new skills. One of the benefits that come by default with studying abroad is that you are forced to grow beyond your comfort zone.

Studying abroad will expand your horizons like nothing else. When exposed to hitherto unknown cultures and faced with new kinds of challenges, you will end up learning new skills and cope with the situations.

You will be able to expand your network to people from different countries and backgrounds. And you will have something to learn from everyone.

And always remember, you never know when someone is going to be in a position to help you out. Or maybe you will even find someone to share your business ideas with. Who knows!

Well… you might actually be confused now – “Should I do an MBA in India or should I do it abroad?” Don’t worry. We will not ditch you halfway. We are yet to list down the cons of getting an MBA from a foreign country. Keep reading.

4. What are the disadvantages of doing an MBA abroad?

Everything in life has its good parts as well as bad ones. 

So, no matter how rosy the picture of studying abroad seemed to you when you were reading the previous section, it has some shortfalls you should consider. It is more like a price (literally and metaphorically) you have to pay for all the good it gives you. 

And now, we will state the three disadvantages that you will have if you choose to do your MBA abroad:

i. Your MBA comes at a cost

ii. You will have to start doing everything from scratch

iii. You will have to struggle for a while

i. Your MBA comes at a cost

The most obvious and a nearly needless thing to say in this regard is that getting an MBA abroad can cost you a lot. Literally.

This is the thing right! You pay more for the MBA program and you end up feeling that your gain is not proportional to your expenses.

You can opt for one year MBA programs in the US or across Europe to help slash the expenses, but you’ll need to carefully evaluate the returns you can expect before you pick the right program for yourself.

Also read: A Guide to Choosing the Right MBA Program

Irrespective of the duration of the course, an MBA abroad is going to be much more expensive than getting an MBA in India.

ii. You will have to start doing everything from scratch

Having grown up in your home country, you are likely to have a sizable network of people from different walks of life. 

This network will not exist when you go abroad and moreover, you will no longer benefit from this.

In effect, you will have to start building a fresh network of connections from scratch. And it is going to take a while for you to figure out who to connect and build relationships with. This will require a lot of investment from you – time, effort, research and understanding.

iii. You have to struggle for a while

Last but not the least, you need to take into consideration the fact that failure is not an option if you go abroad.

You will have to figure out a way to make the most of your college time. And also understand how you can put all that knowledge into use to create a better future for yourself.

You may have to struggle for a while. But, everyone has to do that at some point in life, right?

Given how much of a challenge it is to fund your MBA abroad, you simply cannot afford to make mistakes, especially if you plan to take bank loans or any other financial aids other than scholarships.

      COVID-19 Crisis: Pandemic-specific problems for MBA aspirants trying to go abroad

      i. Travel lockdown across countries – Students will not be able to fly to many of the countries

      ii. VISA issues – Getting a VISA was already hard enough. It is even worse now

      iii. Begin MBA classes online – Will have to start your MBA program online

      iv. Rising unemployment rates – Reduces the ROI of an MBA abroad

Now let’s get to business. Let’s make a decision on your MBA, shall we?

5. How do you choose between MBA in India and MBA abroad?

When you are trying to figure out where to do your MBA, keep in mind that you should not be following a herd but focussing on yourself as a person.

Don’t go abroad simply because your friends are doing that, and don’t stay in India because everyone recommends it, either.

Your choice of an MBA and B-School will define how the next 30-40 years of your life will turn out. This is a decision you must make on your own terms.

There are two things we’d like you to take into account before making a decision:

i. Your background

ii. Your aspirations

i. Your Background

This is inclusive of everything about you – your academic background, your upbringing, what part of the country you come from – literally, everything.

Why your academic background matters is fairly obvious, but let us tell you a quick fact: even though most MBA students in India as well as abroad are from an engineering background, being an engineer will significantly affect your chances of getting an admit.

This is because the competition amongst these applicants will be very high. Moreover, MBA programs try to focus on getting as much diversity in the class as possible.

Now, you may be wondering how your upbringing and place of residence matter. Here’s how.

If you come from a rather traditional and conservative background, going abroad can prove to be an overwhelming culture shock. It can distract you from your main goal, which is to get your MBA.

And as for the place of residence – if you’re used to urban life, it will be easier for you to find your feet in a new city anywhere in the world. Another reason this is important is that it forms the baseline for how much of a change in weather you can handle.

These factors are far from being trivial.

ii. Your Aspirations

There’s no point in getting admitted into an MBA program that doesn’t offer the specialization you want to build a career in, right?

Especially when it comes to prestigious universities, you might get tempted to just apply there because it’ll be good to have that name on your CV. But we would recommend you against this.

What you should do is to consider where you see yourself in a few years after the MBA very carefully and then apply to the B-Schools that can get you there.

If you see yourself working abroad, whether at a higher level or otherwise, it makes sense to start by getting your MBA abroad. At the end of the day, it all comes back to you and what you want from life.

No matter where you consider to apply, your MBA application essay questions will make you seriously think about these factors anyway. So, take some time to know yourself before you choose your B-School and your MBA destination.

We really hope that this article helped you to make an informed decision about your MBA. You can watch the recording of the webinar we conducted on the same topic here:

6. FAQs – MBA in India vs. MBA Abroad

 

  • Should I do an MBA in India or abroad?

Ideally, you should do an MBA abroad if you wish to settle down there. If not, an MBA in India will suffice.

  • Is doing an MBA abroad expensive?

Yes. Doing an MBA abroad can be much more expensive than doing an MBA in India.

  • What is the duration of an MBA abroad?

There are one year and two-year MBA programs abroad.

  • Is GMAT necessary to apply for an MBA abroad?

Yes, it is. You can click here to join our Live at Home Mastery Program and prepare for the GMAT.

If you still have questions or doubts pertaining to GMAT preparation or MBA, reach out to our application experts to schedule a call. They will help you figure things out!