MBA in Germany: 3 Business Schools to Consider

Although Germany is a small country with a population of just 82 million, it is one of the largest economies in the world. Technological innovation was one of the prime drivers for the rise of Germany. Many of the leading German brands like BMW, Bosch and Siemens are now household names. Recently, professionals from different nationalities have been drawn to Germany due to high wages, strong social service support and resilient economy.

German education maintains high standards with individual attention that has been fulfilled with a small class size. In addition to that, a strong export economy has attracted high potential MBA students to Business Schools all around Germany. The average MBA salary in Germany last year was estimated to be around $80,000. Further, labor laws that required preference given to German nationals have been scrapped, making this EU powerhouse an attractive place to earn a business degree.

Here are the top four MBAs in Germany. Though these courses are taught in English, German classes are suggested for a holistic integration with the culture and people in Germany.

1) Mannheim Business School

The Mannheim Business School is located in Mannheim, a multicultural and cosmopolitan city in the Southwest of Germany, close to business centers in Stuttgart and Frankfurt. Contrary to expectations, the class profile is exceptionally diverse, representing as many as 25 nations. Just 34% is German, with more than 50% from outside the EU. The faculty is highly regarded and well published, with adjunct faculty drawn from the industries around Mannheim. They include Prof. Dr. Norbert Pfitzer, Director Board Member, Ernst & Young GmbH and Dr. Carsten Linz, Senior Vice President- Global Head, SAP. The teaching methodology is a mix of case studies and lectures, with the former dominating. Team building with team-based activities is given prime importance. In 2010, the average base salary offered was Euro 65,000, and 100% of the class was employed within three months.

The Mannheim MBA is a 1-year MBA program that can be taken up in any of four tracks, depending on how much country exposure is desired. The German track has all four quarters in Germany.

The Eurasian Track has 3 quarters in Germany, with one quarter in Asia, at Asian partner schools - Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China and National University of Singapore.

For the Transatlantic Track, students spend three quarters in Germany and one across the Atlantic – at Queen's, Canada, Thunderbird, USA, or Stern, USA.

There also is the European Track where two quarters are in Germany and two others at any two of the three European partner schools – EADA, Spain, ESSEC, France and Warwick, UK. Finally, there is the Global Track where one quarter is at one of the European partner schools, one at either a transatlantic or Asian partner school, and the remaining two in Germany. The final quarter is always in Germany, where, student teams act as real-life consultants for an international company or develop their own business plan.

2) European School of Management and Technology in Berlin (ESMT)

ESMT is located in the heart of Berlin, a cosmopolitan metropolis rich in cultural, entertainment and business opportunities. Twenty-Five multinational companies and institutions came together to form the school with the aim of nurturing global leaders and entrepreneurs. The MBA program develops business heads who integrate people, leading them with ethical, visionary and radical leadership skills. The class is both small and diverse. In 2012, there were only 41 students from 24 countries. Only 10% of the class was from Germany. The faculty has experience in other top institutions. Examples include Zoltán Antal-Mokos, PhD from London Business School, Victor Araman, PhD from Stanford University and Sumitro Banerjee, PhD from INSEAD. The teaching methodology is centered on the case method. Of the class of 2011, the average base salary was € 73,563. 90% of graduates received job offers within three months of graduation, with 60% receiving the offers in Germany.

ESMT’s MBA is a 1-year program designed to give students the choice of two tracks - Management of Innovation & Technology and Global Sustainable Business. The entire curriculum is divided into two parts.

First is Mastering Management, where management basics are covered, ending with an international field project. This helps students master a global business scenario, with previous projects held in countries like India, USA, Russia, Mexico and China.

The second part is taking the Lead, built around governance, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship. At the end of this half, students participate in a 7-week project at one ESMT's partner corporate organizations.

With the 70-session Leadership Competence Development program, students are trained to develop their integrative leadership qualities. There is also a 10-day International Field Seminar, the 2012 version of which will be held in Turkey/Russia and Silicon Valley. To promote entrepreneurship, the ESMT Entrepreneurs Club facilitates business networking to foster entrepreneurial ideas among the student body.

3) WHU - Otto Beisheim GSM

The WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management pioneered management education in Germany, offering the first ever degree in business administration. The school focusses on both developing managers in general and entrepreneurs in particular. WHU also has a cooperative network with 150+ schools globally. More than half the class is international, and the course lasts 15 months - 12 months of learning, followed by a 3-month project. The teaching methodology emphasizes case based learning, followed by classroom lectures. In 2012, 95% of the graduates were employed within three months of graduation. The faculty has developed an excellent body of research while showcasing expertise in practical management practices. Senior management executives also frequent the school.

Students can specialize in Marketing & Sales, Advanced Finance & Accounting, Operations, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Organization and Personal Leadership. Due to WHU’s focus on leadership, the Personal Leadership module is compulsory and offers classes as well as a real-life corporate project that fosters leadership and develops the students’ personalities. Teamwork is stressed on, with study groups of five to six, formed to tackle a host of practical projects.

The MBA program has an international module where students spend 2 weeks each at Kellogg - USA, CEIBS - China and IIMB – India. Each study stint involves lectures by senior faculty, corporate visits and one group task.

Business SchoolAverage GMAT ScoreAverage Experience (years)FeesAccreditationFinancial Aid
Mannheim Business School6755€33000AACSB, AMBA, EQUISYes
ESMT (Berlin)6406Corporate rate: €50,000 Self Financed: €38000AACSB, AMBA, FIBAAYes
WHU - Otto Beisheim GSM6004€35000AACSB, AMBA, FIBAAYes
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