MBA Abroad or in India?

An Indian MBA can be good enough to put your career on the fast track. The top business schools in India -- IIMs, XLRI, FMS and Bajaj -- provide excellent all-round business education and placements. The effort required to clear the entrance tests can be enormous, but that's a small price to pay for a great future.

An MBA abroad is not necessarily a better option. Unless you are aiming for the top 20 business schools across the world, a top Indian MBA may be better. Many people find the top 15-20 US business schools and a few other European schools like London Business School, INSEAD and IMD Switzerland about the only schools that promise better prospects than a top Indian MBA.

MBA in the lesser known schools in UK, Australia and Canada may not be worth the effort. You would end up spending a lot of money and may have to return to India for a job and compete with MBAs from the top Indian schools. Indian companies are likely to prefer an Indian MBA to an MBA from a lesser known university abroad.

An MBA abroad can cost anywhere between $120,000 in the top international schools to about $30,000 in the mediocre schools. An Indian MBA on the other hand can be much cheaper.

While you may find the CAT and other Indian MBA entrance exams daunting, an admission in a good MBA programme abroad comes with its own set of challenges. You will need a high GMAT score, take the TOEFL, fill out multiple applications, write essays for each application, arrange recommendation letters and official transcripts. 5-6 months of study could get you admitted to an MBA programme in India. Applying to a good school abroad could take about a year to complete.

Even if you are ready to take these challenges, competition for a place in the top international business schools can be several times tougher than gaining an admission in an IIM. You would be competing with the top students from across the world as against the top students in India. 4-5 years of good work experience is necessary. So are top academic grades, international experience, and extensive extracurricular involvement.

Applying for an MBA in a top school abroad usually makes sense if you have had an excellent career till now, have had all-round achievements to speak about in academics, work and extracurricular involvements and aspire for a international career in management.