Top MBA Destinations Based on Happiness Index

Top MBA DestinationsHappiness is not a long-term goal for most MBA aspirants. It is not part of the narrative in application essays. Most cite reaching an executive level as one of the long-term goals. The daily responsibilities of overseeing the company’s growth, handling competition, and developing strategies to gain market share are part of the responsibilities that make the position attractive.

Unfortunately, the truth is that looking at long-term goals with a narrow scope is detrimental in what can be achieved with an MBA. The location post-MBA is crucial. With a global job market, MBAs are not looking to settle down in host countries post-MBA; they are looking for a higher standard of living, social consciousness, and the right environment to raise a family.

Happiness should be a factor for Business School ranking, and an MBA should not be evaluated just from an ROI point of view. Interestingly, the latest World Happiness Report highlights some of the factors that are important for MBAs before they consider post-MBA job locations to settle down.

Six factors that influence happiness of a country are social support, freedom to make life choices, generosity, perceptions of corruption, life expectancy, and GDP per capita. When you look at the top MBA destinations, and rank them according to happiness, here is the list:

1. Denmark (1)
2. Netherlands (4)
3. Canada (6)
4. Australia (10)
5. UAE(14)
6. United States (17)
7. Ireland (18)
8. United Kingdom (22)
9. Brazil (24)
10. France (25)
11. Germany (26)
12. Singapore (30)
13. Italy (45)
14. Russia (68)
15. Portugal (85)
16. China (93)
17. India (111)

*Ranking on right

We had earlier looked into top MBA destinations based on Salary Increase & GDP Growth, top MBA based destinations based on innovation, top MBA destinations based on cost of living & purchasing power.

As you can see in the ranking, the population of the country had an impact on the general well-being and GDP per capita of the country. MBA aspirants are recommended to look at cities on a case-by-case basis before picking a post-MBA job location. For short-term post-MBA goals, finding opportunities in growth economies, might be useful.

The ranking is especially useful in a post-2008 world, where some of the major European countries have been impacted and the perception of well-being is directly correlated with high unemployment rate. In economies where the unemployment rate is higher, the sensitivity towards corruption is also high, thus affecting the happiness of the country.

In emerging economies, the lack of infrastructure to meet the growing demand of the economy has been one of the major contributing factors for the general unhappiness. A high perception of corruption is another factor that has led to poor ranking for India and China – two top ranking MBA destinations based on growth and learning opportunities.

The strong social support system and high GDP per-capita have led Denmark, Netherlands, and Canada to dominate happiness ranking. The challenges faced by growing economies are non-existent in these countries, making them favorite destinations for raising a family, and setting down post-MBA.

World Happiness Report 2013

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