Choosing the Right MBA - Location/Format/Rankings/ROI

Location is a factor: A university may have top-notch facilities and highly renowned academic staff and still be the wrong choice for you. Research shows that location is a prime factor when it comes down to picking a business school. Make sure that you are comfortable with the geographic area in which the university is located. For example, if you are bound by family or otherwise you may opt for a school that is closer to home. If, on the other hand, you are looking for an international and diverse milieu as well as new cultural experiences, an overseas MBA may be a good option.

The industry you want to work for may also determine your choice of university location. If finance and investments are your prime interests, then you’ll be advised to choose a university in one of the cities where the markets are based – New York, London, Frankfurt, Paris and Tokyo. It is important that you pick the geographic area that best fits your needs as you are likely to spend longer than two years there – a large number of MBA graduates decide to stay and pursue their career within the area of their alma mater.

Format: If you have decided to cross ‘the point of no return’ and change your career completely or if you want to stay within the same industry but change the location, a full time MBA programme may be the best choice for you. This kind of format requires full commitment, but returns on the investment are also guaranteed. The part-time MBA is for those who want to advance their careers (without changing their professional venue and starting from scratch) but cannot afford to take ‘leave of absence’. To sum up – a full-time programme is designed for career changers, while the part-time option is designed for career enhancers. You can also choose between a 12, 15, 18 or 22-month programme. The different length is determined by the pace and intensity of the teaching process.

Rankings: Rankings inform perspective students about a university’s or a business school’s prestige. They are a good starting point when searching for a suitable alma mater and may give you a good idea of the global MBA market. However, you should bear in mind that there can be large variations in the different rankings published, depending on the source used (the Financial Times or the Economist Intelligence Unit in the UK, or Business Week and the Wall Street Journal in the USA) or the methodologies applied.

So how should you go about ‘reading’ the available rankings?

First of all you should stay critical – do not take rankings at their face value but rather match them against your own personal needs and goals. Always read the survey methodology, i.e. how the data is collected and presented (publications such as The Financial Times, The Economist, Business Week, US News & World Report give extensive details about their methodologies on their websites). You are also advised to look at ranges – collect the publications of a particular ranking over several consecutive years and focus on MBA programmes that show consistency. Also look into the university’s connections to local industries – many business schools have strong ties to important local companies and these ties often translate into employment opportunities for
the graduates of these schools. And remember – look for what is best for you, rather than which business school ranks first.

Return on investment and cost efficiency: Today, the MBA remains the most ‘lucrative’ of degrees. Statistics show that the return on investment is quite rapid for the majority of graduates, with the average return being three to six years – for example, students graduating from Insead's campuses in Fontainebleau and Singapore earned average salaries of $148,490, an increase of 108 percent on their pre-MBA salaries. An MBA degree is undoubtedly a major investment and many students incur debts to pay for their one or two-year education. However, they do get their money’s worth in the long run – not only do they hone their knowledge and qualifications but they also build a network of useful professional relationships. Finally, the ROI coefficient has non-financial benefits that should not be neglected – an MBA degree is bound to increase your professionalism, help you develop your potential, and teach you how to manage your work/life balance.

Author : 

Access MBA
ACCESS MBA Tour holds 55 MBA events annually in over 40 cities worldwide. Access MBA is a project of Advent Group, a Paris-based media agency that coordinates educational and recruiting events throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas

2019 MBA Research Guide - Choose your MBA

"I attended three MBA Tours in US and Canada. I could just scratch the surface compared to what the guide has included. Thank you guys for the amazing book"

F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide will teach you how to select MBA programs through a bottom-up approach. 

Articulating your Post-MBA Goals and Career Path is the FIRST step. Which program will give you that hike in Salary, Switch in Career, Change in Location or Job Satisfaction?

We cover them all through our extensive analysis. 

Pages: 500

+ How to Choose the Best MBA Program: Factors to Consider
Define Post-MBA Goals
Pick your Path: Generalize or Specialize
Use Moral Algebra Method 
Use Multi-Attribute Utility Theory
Understand the Top 5 Risks
Measure MBA Career Service Team's Effectiveness
Use Bookending to Calculate MBA Admission Chance
Use Net Present Value to Calculate MBA Return on Investment
Don't Fall for the Mere Exposure Effect
Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour

Comprehensive MBA Research Guide:
Top MBA Programs by 19 Specializations:
+ General Management
+ Finance
+ Consulting
+ Marketing
+ Strategy
+ Operations Management
+ Supply Chain Management
+ Luxury Management
+ Information Systems
+ Hospitality Management
+ Accounting
+ Energy
+ Non-Profit
+ Wine
+ Sports
+ Sustainability
+ Leadership Development
+ Military &
+ International

+ Top MBA Program Ranking
Top 20 MBA Programs - Tuition Fee (2018)    
Top 31 MBA Programs in United States – Total Cost & Salary (2017)    

Top 60 MBA – GMAT and GPA (Average & Median)
Top 20 European MBA Programs - Tuition Fee, Total Cost & Salary    
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Based on Actual Salary Increase)    
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Short-term return on investment)    
Top 20 Affordable European MBA Programs    
Top 10 MBA in UK – Salary & Fee (2018)  
Top MBA Destinations Based on Happiness Index    
Top MBA Destinations based on Innovation Index    
Top 10 MBA Job Markets based on Cost of living and Purchasing Power    
Top MBA Destination: By Economy    

+Comparisons - Top MBA Programs
Wharton vs. Columbia MBA (2018)  
MIT vs. Stanford MBA   (2017)
Haas vs. Ross MBA    
Kellogg vs Ross MBA    
Booth vs Wharton MBA    
MIT Sloan vs Tuck MBA    
IIMA vs. ISB   

Harvard vs. Stanford MBA (2017)

+ MBA in France (2018)
Top Industries in France   
Top MBA Programs in France  

  Class Profile   
  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in France
External Funding 

+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK   
Top MBA Programs in the UK

  Class Profile   
  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in the UK
External Funding 

New Visa Rules: Post-Brexit

Download F1GMAT's MBA Research Guide (2019)

Navigate F1GMAT

F1GMAT Services (MBA Applicants) 

F1GMAT's Books

MBA Salary(Latest Salary Data)
MBA Admission Interview Tips



MBA Application Essays

MBA Recommendation Letter

GMAT Tutorials

GMAT Question Bank

Top MBA Programs

Get F1GMAT's Newsletters (Best in the Industry)
Included in the Newsletter:

  • Ranking Analysis
  • Post-MBA Salary Trends
  • Post-MBA Job Function & Industry Analysis
  • Post-MBA City Review
  • MBA Application Essay Tips
  • School Specific Essay Tips
  • GMAT Preparation Tips
  • MBA Admission Interview Tips
  • School Specific Interview Tips
  • Funding Guidance and
  • Special Consultation Service (only for Subscribers)

Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter