The economies of Germany and France remain sluggish, though major companies are active. In March 2007, Graham Hastie of London Business School observed: "The MBA job market in Europe has transformed since 2004. We expect most students to have at least one offer, and in many cases, several offers at graduation. The prospects are outstanding for next year's class." Western European recruiters currently report salaries of US$91,400-slightly higher even than the US average.
In our recent Applicant's Survey, Western European countries held six of the top ten most popular MBA study destinations. The UK, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Italy (with The Netherlands close behind in 11th) strongly showed that the world's business leaders of the future are strongly considering the variety of MBA courses Western Europe has to offer and the variety of lifestyle and languages that can be experienced there.
In Britain for example, according to The Advanced Institute of Management Research, "before 1965 there were no business schools in British universities; by the beginning of the 21st century there were approximately 120. By 2004 the business and management subject area accounted for one in seven of all students in British universities and one in five postgraduates."
Source: TopMBA Applicant's Survey 2007
Since the creation of the continent's first business schools, Europe has advanced greatly to reach this present strong position.
The US clearly dominates the market, especially for those wishing to undertake a two-year MBA, as is the case with most Asian and North American respondents to the survey. Also Harvard, whose endowment of $26 billion (£13.8 billion) exceeds total annual funding for all British universities, still tops the table. However, European schools have forged their own models, their own identities and are now competing with the top US schools as well as amongst each other for the world's top business talent.
Most European programs are only one year in length - enabling students to complete an MBA program in a much shorter period than they would a traditionally two-year American MBA, saving on both time and expense. Less time out of the workplace ensures MBA graduates retain a stronger market value. The international profile of top European schools is also significant: many remain committed to the concept of highly international MBA programs. Schools such as IMD and INSEAD have over 90% of their class from outside their domestic market.
Although Europe once lagged well behind the USA in terms of formal business education, the continent is now home to scores of major schools, including two of the world's most high profile players - London Business School and INSEAD. Since its inception in 1954, INSEAD has operated one of the most global approaches to business education of any school in the world. Today 95% of students are from outside France and over 80% of its faculty is non-French. London Business School has long been the intellectual home of financial thinking in Europe. The huge success of its Masters in Finance program has reinforced this position, ensuring that it remains the first school of choice for many of Europe's banks.
In both the Times Higher Education Supplement and the FT rankings, there are nine European business schools in the top 20, a strong indication that the continent's schools are improving their education. London Business School, Cambridge, Oxford, INSEAD in Paris, Spain's Instituto de Empresa and IMD in Switzerland are all names that make regular appearances in whichever rankings you value the most. Check out www.topmba.com/scorecard to rank these schools according to your own criteria.
In the past two years, many new schools in Europe have emerged as strong players. Schools featured in the top 40 in the topmba.com research came from a diverse range of countries including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
For the complete table and research go to www.topmba.com
With MBAs gaining such popularity, programs are being further developed and enhanced to offer students greater diversity. The significant trend towards entrepreneurship in today's business climate, has lead to this featuring strongly in many European MBA programs.
Rotterdam School of Management's recent move to new high-tech facilities on the Erasmus University Campus has enabled the establishment of a real-time dealing room. The school prides itself on leading innovation in business education. At Cass Business School in the UK, a fundamental element of its investment in entrepreneurship is their incubator floor. Furthermore, the business school employs two leading Executives in Residence from industry to advise students on strategy.
Many European business schools make the most of the richness and variety of the European heritage by teaching their MBAs in two languages. This language component can be a strong attraction for both candidates and recruiting companies. HEC in France offers a 16-month intensive full-time MBA program, taught in both English and French. The HEC foundation is made up of 40 multinationals who provide the backbone for their MBA hiring.
At IESE in Spain, the program is taught in English and Spanish while the bilingual MBA offered by SDA Bocconi has grown out of Italy's most prestigious university in economics.
In addition to the market leader, London Business School, other UK business schools are doing well. Having made the MBA their own, many are highly regarded for quality and teaching as well as career prospects after study. Manchester Business School, one of the longest established of all European MBA programs, has distinguished itself with a course that is made up of student teams working on real life business consultancy cases, ensuring practical experience. This makes the MBA popular with recruiting companies. Further south, Cranfield School of Management, based in Bedfordshire has also established itself as one of the UK's premier schools.
European business schools are at the forefront of the MBA revolution by providing programs with real relevance in a changing market-place. One thing is for sure: there is no lack of choice for candidates wishing to take their MBA in Europe.
Source : QSTOPMBA
If the world of international business appeals, then considering an MBA at one of the top 10 business schools outside of the US could be the best move you make. QS, the organisers of the World MBA Tour, which visits Boston on Thursday 26 February, investigates.
The trend towards specialist MBAs – programmes designed for specific groups of professional people, and usually one year in length - appears to be thriving in Europe and the USA.
You may have thought age discrimination was a thing of the past but unfortunately you could be underestimating the extent to which your age can affect the direction of your career.