For potential MBAs choosing a destination is a major decision. The implications will affect everything from the topics they will cover, to networking opportunities and their careers post-graduation. Making the right decision is paramount.
So, which countries are the most popular for students this year? Our MBA Applicant and Aspirations Report 2018 is based on the findings of the TopMBA.com Applicant and has found the 10 most highly coveted destinations for prospective business students this year.
1. United States
The US is top of the list once again. The nation originated the degree, and boasts many of the world’s most highly-ranked business schools, with alumni as significant as former US presidents.
MBAs in the country typically run for two years and include an internship during the summer months. This has the added benefit of providing students with real experience and the opportunity to explore a specific company. The length of the course also gives students more time to explore their career opportunities and build networks – with many courses including residential stays abroad.
2. United Kingdom
Second on the list is the United Kingdom. London is currently ranked by the Global Financial Centres Index as the world’s most competitive financial center, and it’s this edge that makes the nation so attractive to prospective students.
Many of the country’s top-performing institutions (London Business School, the London School of Economics, UCL etc.) are based in the capital, providing students with experience and connections in the financial heart of Europe.
However, as the UK heads closer to the European exit door, it remains to be seen if it will remain just as attractive to potential MBA students in the future.
In third place is another North American country – Canada. Canada remains a popular destination for potential MBAs thanks to the quality of its business schools and the employment opportunities available post-graduation. In fact, six of the top 100 business schools in the QS Global MBA Rankings 2018 are located in the country.
Canada has remained a major choice for prospective MBAs over the years. However, there has been a suggestion that international applications to the country may be on the increase, a result of the so-called Trump effect.
Next in our top 10 is another English-speaking destination – this time the ‘Land Down Under’. Australia’s position as a top MBA destination has been cemented in recent years, boasting a number of highly-ranked business schools, a strong entrepreneurial mindset and an enviable lifestyle.
Its positioning close to the growing financial and business meccas in Southeast Asia means that students in the country have a plethora of learning and exchange opportunities available to them.
Germany is a nation known to be driven by innovation and technology. It is one of the world’s strongest economies and a leader in both the automotive and electrical industries. Business school students in the country benefit from the academic success of many of the business schools. They also experience many networking opportunities provided by a country which is home to businesses including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Siemens, Deutsche Bank and Bosch.
France is sixth in this year’s top 10, with 19.4% of respondent suggesting they’d be interested in France as a destination for their MBA. The country was the first in Europe to offer the MBA, and it still offers one of the most competitive business educations available. In fact, in the QS Global MBA Rankings 2018, two of the top three programs are based in France.
Those studying in the country benefit from the financial and business hub of Paris, close links to many of Europe’s other major political and economic cities, and the ability to learn one of the world’s most important languages.
While Spain remains a popular MBA destination for students all around the world, it’s particularly favored by students hailing from Latin America. Or indeed by students wishing to work within a Spanish speaking nation or region after graduation.
Many of Spain’s cities are significant financial hubs, including Barcelona, currently the largest port in the Mediterranean Sea. Aside from this, the rich culture on offer is a draw in itself, with many artists, musicians and athletes hailing from the country.
In eighth place is the first Asian country on the list. Singapore is one of the world’s most important business locations, so it’s no wonder that the city-state features in the top 10 this year. The country ranks in 7th place in the Global Innovation Index 2017 and is home to companies including DBS Bank and Singapore Airlines.Of the respondents to our survey, 14.3% suggested they would consider studying an MBA in Singapore.
Next up is the world’s most famous banking nation, Switzerland. Ninth on our list, with 14.1% of respondents seeing Switzerland as an option for their studies.
Switzerland is known globally as a financial institution, with both Zurich and Geneva among the world’s top 20 centers for finance according to the Global Financial Centres Index. It also houses the headquarters for many of the most powerful companies in the world, including Nestle, the Zurich Insurance Group and Credit Suisse.
10. The Netherlands
The Dutch are famed for their openness and hospitality. When coupled with the prestige of their institutions, it’s not difficult to understand why the nation is a top 10 destination for potential MBAs this year.
The country is a hub for business, being home to companies including Unilever, Shell and KLM and the continents largest port, the Port of Rotterdam. Additionally, the Netherlands is a particularly entrepreneurial nation, with one of the highest percentages of startups in Europe.