Top MBA in France (2018)

MBA in FranceAlthough the name France conjures up images of fashion, culture, cheese, wine and design, the fifth largest economy in the world is home to Renault, Airbus Industrie, Louis Vuitton, BNP Paribas, AXA, L’Oreal, Michelin, Areva, and Carrefour - some of the Global brands from France. What is impressive is the resilience of the economy that withstood the global financial crisis much better than the counterparts in Germany and UK. This is partly to do with the diversity of the industries (Energy, Aerospace, IT, Manufacturing, Financial Services and Retail/Luxury. Read F1GMAT’s MBA in France to find out industry trends, curriculum analysis and MBA funding options) and equally to do with the role the government play in mitigating the risks of a free market.

In terms of job opportunities, Management Consulting – the most pursued post-MBA job function found double-digit growth over the past four years. Strategy – the most competitive MC function witnessed an 18% growth, making France an attractive MBA destination at par with the US, Germany, Australia and the UK

Best MBA Programs in France

If we rank MBA programs on accreditations and the MBA experience, there are more than two MBA programs in France. However, for applicants comparing top MBA in the US, only INSEAD and HEC Paris MBA qualify in base salary(greater than $100,000) and at fulfilling post-MBA goals.


INSEAD is among the world’s leading Business Schools and hosts the world’s largest MBA program - almost 1000 students graduating each year from the three campuses. With three fully equipped active campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi, the main campus is located in Fontainebleau, known for its vast land area and Forrest cover. Interestingly, the French Campus is just a 40-minute bus ride from Paris. Students can join either in December or in July, with only the December batch eligible for summer internships.

The INSEAD MBA class offers unmatched diversity. 2018 joining class represents 94 nationalities with 95% international and 33% women candidates. INSEAD’s graduates also tend to have more experience (6 years average) and have considerable international travel and work experience.

While the overall median salary for 2017 was $103,100
, the median sign-on bonus of $25,0000, took the total median salary to $128,100. In Management consulting – the 3 Big Cs or MBB (McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, and Boston Consulting Group), was also the top recruiters at INSEAD, contributing to the 49% of the class choosing the Management Consulting industry.

The attractiveness of INSEAD as a Management Consulting hub is contributed by INSEAD collection of cases (2nd largest), and the importance the school offers to group learning, role-plays, project work and study tours.

The 10-month MBA program has five 8-week periods. At the end of each week, there is an exam or a project. The first 3 periods are part of the core curriculum, and the last two help students specialize. They can choose 11 electives from over 75 subjects. INSEAD provides a truly global learning experience as students can spend terms at any of their campuses, or at the partner institutes at Wharton or Kellogg in the USA. What this means is that the MBA can be completed over three continents with diverse faculty and peer groups.

Read our complete analysis of INSEAD MBA (Curriculum, Post-MBA placement trends, Class Profile, Cost and Recruiter trends)

2) HEC Paris MBA

HEC is located in Paris, one of the world’s wealthiest cities. It offers a 16-month MBA program with admissions in September and January. The class of 2018 had a diverse class profile with a representation of 52 nationalities taking the international students to 90% among which 32% were women candidates. The career prospects of an HEC MBA-grad is extremely bright. The median post-MBA salary in 2017 was $107,012, with an average sign-on bonus of $17,608, taking the total median salary to $124,620.

HEC Paris has a $4,000 lead in base salary, but the sign-on bonus at INSEAD compensated and took the total median base salary to $128,100 - four thousand dollars higher than HEC Paris.

The higher base salary at HEC Paris is contributed by three popular sectors (Technology, Consulting, and Financial Services) but more importantly from the base salary received by North American, and the Middle Eastern candidates (in the range of $122,000 - $124,000).

The 16-month MBA program is divided into an 8-month Fundamental Phase and an 8-month Customized Phase. The first two terms under the Fundamental phase is dedicated for the core with the tail end of the phase delving into the Leadership Development Program.

HEC Paris focuses on activities to give candidates hands-on experience in event management (Alumni Reunion and MBA Tournament) in addition to orienting the students through an intense 2-day training at Saint-Cy military academy. For those who want to reflect on their lives and find their true weakness and strengths, the Executive Committee On-Campus Program (TEC) is the intense executive development program that has guided over 20,000 CEOs and executives in senior positions since 1968. The highly selective TEC program (12 MBA candidates each group) is valuable for those who want to open up on their life’s journey and seek wisdom and truth from a group of trustworthy partners and facilitators in the program.

On electives and specializations, HEC Paris MBA has crystalized the focus into five areas: Advanced Management, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, and Strategy.

Read our complete analysis and Comparison of HEC Paris vs. INSEAD MBA (Curriculum, Post-MBA placement trends, Class Profile, Cost and Recruiter trends)

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