More than 5000 students from India come to the US each year for an MBA degree from among tens of thousands who take the GMAT, the Graduate Management Admission Test that provides the qualifying score. Indians continue to make a bee-line at American schools.
Nearly 100,000 students from India in the US, 13.7% were enrolled in business schools, third after engineering (35.6%) and math and computer science (23.1%)-according to a survey by Open Doors.
Many top and well-known Indians have acquired their MBA education from abroad. Ratan Tata and Rahul Bajaj have it, and so have the Brothers Ambani. Bankers (Naina Lal Kidwai, Meera Sanyal), business tycoons (Anand Mahindra, Aditya Mittal), and even those who have streamed into politics (from P Chidambaram to Sachin Pilot) have been through the mill.
However, questions are now emerging about whether the American MBA is all that it is drummed up to be.
Eight of the Economist’s Top Ten business schools are in the United States, and it is not until the 15th place that an out-of-country entity (Canada’s York University) makes an entry.
The Top Five:
- University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business (Alumni include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella;
- RBI governor Raghuram Rajan taught there);
- Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business (PIO pols Neal Katyal and Dinesh D’Souza);
- UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business;
- University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business;
- Harvard Business School
While Harvard just about makes the Top Five cut, there are others in the Top Ten who rank higher in terms of prestige and price. For instance, every one of the 245 professors who teach Wharton’s 1,600 MBA students is said to hold a PhD. Wharton, which is ranked 10th in the Economist listing and whose Indian alumni include Anil Ambani, Aditya Mittal, and Sachin Pilot, is also the priciest. The two-year tuition fee at Wharton comes to an eye-popping $130,000, some 15% higher than Harvard’s $112,000.
The highest-paid MBAs in America graduate from Stanford, which is ranked 7th in the Economist list and whose Indian alumni include Mukesh Ambani and Vinod Khosla. These can expect an average basic starting salary of around $130,000. Stanford also sets a high benchmark for qualification with average GMAT score of 729/800. In fact, of the 16 schools at which the average GMAT score is over 700, 14 are American.
The overall trend internationally seems to be tilting towards the MBA degree minted in the US. In 2013, 22% of international students came for Business and Management studies followed by 19% for engineering and 10% for math and computer science; 64% used personal and family funds. International students contributed $24 billion to US economy, and Indian students, who constitute about 12% of the international student group, are estimated to have forked out about $3 billion to the US education industry.