MBA in India vs Abroad : A Complete Comparison

Indian MBA vs Foreign MBA

Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most sought-after postgraduate courses across the globe. More than education, it can be seen as an investment, since right after completing your MBA, you can expect to be placed in a reputed organization and get a good profile with a decent salary package. It is a two-year course if you do it full-time; while working professionals can opt for the 1-year executive MBA as well from select universities and business schools. However, when you do an MBA course, what matters is not only your specialization but also the business school and country you are doing it from. This is why many candidates get confused about whether to do an MBA in India or abroad

Every year more than 2 lakhs applicants register for The Common Admission Test, which is usually called CAT, for admission in MBA. CAT is the test that is used for shortlisting candidates for the tier-1 business schools in India, which include IIMs and 1200 other B-schools. Some of the other entrance exams that the MBA aspirants prepare for are SNAP, XAT, NMAT by GMAC, and IIFT.

Candidates, who want to do their MBA from a foreign country, have to take tests like GMAT or the GRE. As per Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), every year around 30,000 Indian students take these tests and at least 80% crack them and apply for their MBA in their preferred countries. 

Apart from India, the USA is one of the most preferred destinations for Indian students to do their MBA. The other popular destinations where many of the Indian students are found applying for MBA are Australia, Canada, UK, and Singapore. The MBA programs in the US mostly come with a two years duration, while in the UK and Singapore, the duration is one year or so. 

Well, whether you are doing an MBA from India or abroad, everything comes with their unique advantages, and both options can be understood if we discuss them in detail. So, let us shed some light on Indian MBA vs Foreign MBA.

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MBA from India

MBA is one of the most sought-after courses in India that is opted by many students, right after they complete their Bachelor’s. Many of the working professionals also do their MBA as it helps them to improve their chances of growth in their careers. Let us talk about all the information about MBA that can help one to make up their mind to go for the course.

Cost of Study

Our budget for anything can act as a big deciding factor. And if you want to do an MBA course, then finding out information about the cost is important. The cost of an MBA depends totally upon the institution you are choosing. If you do it from IIMs, it will cost you around INR 8 lakh to INR 23 lakh. The program fee for MBA PGPX for one year from IIM Ahmedabad is INR 28 lakh. However, if you do your MBA from tier-2 business schools in India, the program fees will start from INR 8 lakh. 

Entrance Exams for the MBA 

There are many entrance tests for MBA in India; however, the most popular one is the Common Admission Test (CAT). CAT is comparatively more challenging than the other tests, and it assesses the verbal, logical, and quantitative abilities of the candidates. The highly prestigious business schools in the country like IIMs accept CAT scores. The candidates who clear the cut-off score are invited to participate in Group Discussions and Personal Interviews. The other entrance tests for MBA in India are SNAP, XAT, NMAT by GMAC, and IIFT which also work in a similar way.

MBA Course Structure

As the course structure is concerned, it may vary from one business school to the others, although the basics are all the same. However, the MBA course structure in India is focused more on theories. The two years MBA course is divided into four semesters. The main subjects that one has to cover in these two years include Business Communication, Economic Environment of Business, Financial Accounting, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Management Accounting, Information Technology Management, Management of Information System, Managerial Economics, Management Science, Marketing Management, Marketing Research, Organizational Behavior, Organization Effectiveness & Change, Quantitative Methods, Production & Operations Management, Business Ethics & Corporate Social Responsibility, International Business Environment, Legal Environment of Business, Project Study, Strategic Analysis, and Strategic Management. Students can also take specializations such as Finance, Marketing, OB & HRM, Production & Operations Management, Entrepreneurship, Information Technology Management, and Service Management.


On completing your MBA from a B-school in India, you will be placed through campus selection. Students can even get the opportunities to get interviewed by the top MNCs and even banks. You can look at the usual companies that visit your campus for recruitment to get a good estimate of the recruitment scenario when you graduate from there.


The salary range depends much on the B-school from which the candidate has done MBA. If the candidates have completed MBA from B-schools like premiere business schools IIMs and ISB, then the salary range can somewhere be around INR 18 lakh to INR 25 lakh.

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MBA from Abroad

Many Indian candidates wish to do their MBA from foreign countries. However, they must know that some of the best universities and business schools in the world demand at least four years of working experience from the candidates before they take admission in MBA. Let us find out some more information about MBA from abroad.

Cost of Study

The cost of an MBA course in foreign countries is one of the reasons why many candidates do it from India. In the US, the tuition fees for a two years MBA is from$90,000 (66,84,871) to $1, 40,000 (INR 2,975,544). The one year program will cost less, which is around $55,000 (INR 40,85,323) to $80,000 (INR 59,42,288). 

Entrance Exams for MBA

To pursue MBA from a foreign university, candidates have to undergo tests like GMAT and GRE. These tests are conducted on a rolling basis and give the candidates the choice to choose the exam date at their convenience. 

MBA Course Structure

As we discuss MBA in India vs abroad, knowing the course structure is quite important. This helps the candidates to decide whether to opt for an MBA from abroad or not. As the MBA abroad course structure is concerned, the approach is more pragmatic. The candidates get case studies from various business organizations to study. This further helps them to put into practice all the things that they learned in theory. Some of the subjects that are common in MBA abroad are Accounting and Management, Business, Government & the International Economy, Finance, Entrepreneurial Management, General Management, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets, Marketing, Strategy, Technology & Operations Management, Leadership & Organizational Behavior, Technology & Operations Management, etc. The MBA specializations can be done in subjects like Marketing, Finance, Hospitality Human Resources, and Supply Chain Management.


Not all MBA colleges abroad offer placements to the students. Though some of the colleges may assist the students in their job hunt, none guarantee a placement. The students themselves have to find jobs. For the relevant jobs to their specializations, the students may even have to start with lower positions. However, in the longer run, they will learn more from those positions and gradually get better profiles.


Salary is one of the most interesting parts of doing an MBA course from abroad. Candidates who do their MBA from the top-ranked universities like Harvard University or the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania can even get a salary of $1,05,008 (INR 78 lakh) per annum however the packages vary widely for other business schools.

Read More: Cost of masters in USA

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Advantages of pursuing MBA in the US

MBA is required in many job profiles in the corporate sector these days. This is why you will find almost every other candidate getting an MBA degree, preferably from the best business schools. However, while you decide to do an MBA course, you must be sure about the B-school that you are going to get enrolled in and the country of course. Many get confused with the question ‘which country is best for MBA’; you can settle in for the United States of America.

The quality of education in the USA is undoubtedly great. The country boasts some of the best colleges and universities. And as we talk about business schools, the US has some of the most reputed B-schools in the world. Some of them are Stanford Graduate School of Business, MIT (Sloan), Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, UC Berkeley (Haas), etc. There are in fact many advantages of pursuing an MBA in the US. Let us discuss some of them:

1. Regular networking events

Business schools in the US regularly hold networking events. These events help in meeting with the local companies and forming connections. You use the connections later to get a good job.

2. Internships

Business schools in the US offer internships to students. If the students perform well during their internships, they can even stick to the same organization and bag a full-time job there.

3. Quality of the business schools

While taking admission in a business school for an MBA program, the foremost thing that we consider is the quality of education we will receive. And as we do it from an American business school, we can stay away from such worries. The B-schools in the United States are known for offering the best education possible. The students get to learn from the case studies of various companies that they study during their MBA at the US B-schools. 

4. Salary package

Once you complete your MBA from a US business school, you can get a great job in one of the top organizations in the world. You will not only get to learn a lot in your respective job but also earn a huge salary. Your starting package can be $101,034 (INR 75,03,664). 

Read More: Settle in USA from India

Indian MBA vs. Foreign MBA- Pros & Cons: 

 Determining where to pursue an MBA is an important decision requiring great investment in both money and time. Thus, every aspirant should explore all aspects of the course before pursuing an MBA from India or abroad. Let us now analyze and compare the variations between an MBA in India and an MBA abroad.

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Indian MBA vs. Foreign MBA- Work Experience Requirements: 

Regarding work experience requirements before joining an MBA, Indian business schools are comparatively less stringent. In fact, top-tier business schools of India such as ISB and the IIMs also admit students into their MBA programs who have little to no work experience. 

However, this is not true of every university abroad. Top business schools in countries like Canada and the UK reserve preference for students with at least two to three years of work experience.

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Job Opportunities- MBA in India vs. MBA abroad: 

Most business schools in India follow a campus placement process that allows students to interact and interview with various prospective companies. However, such is not the placement process in business schools abroad. In foreign universities, students need to associate and network with companies of their choice to land jobs. Thus, aspirants should evaluate this when comparing MBA in India vs. abroad.

Read More: Advantages of studying abroad

MBA Colleges in India vs. Mid-level MBA Colleges Abroad: 

Simply put, it can be said that an MBA degree from a mid-level college abroad is given more preference than an MBA from a private institution in India. It is because pursuing an MBA from an international university allows you to have more exposure and improved personal development. Thus, they should go to universities abroad if they can afford it.

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Is an Indian MBA valid in the US and vice-versa?

An Indian MBA is of course valid in the US; however, the kind of salary package you will get depends a lot on the business school that you have graduated from. If you have done your MBA from tier-1 business school, you seldom need to worry. And if you are concerned, if the US MBA is valid in India; even in that case, you get a green signal as it is very much accepted, provided the business school is recognized. Therefore, it can be said, no matter which country you pursue your MBA from, whether India, the USA, or any other country, you first need to make sure the business school is recognized and comes under the top tier B-schools. And passing with flying colors will only add value to your degree.

If you are in India and want to pursue your MBA from the US you should definitely pay a visit to the website of upGrad Abroad. upGrad Abroad is one of the premier higher education providers operating in India that provides the students end-to-end support in their transition to the university of their choice abroad. Some great educational institutions in the US run their programs in collaboration with Indian universities through the upGrad Abroad. The benefit that the students get is not only the expert support of the upGrad Abroad team but also the students can save a huge amount of money with their course since they can do a part of the course in India. For students who want to pursue their education abroad, the upGrad Abroad is a great place to start a course in the country of their choice, as it can help them build their careers.

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Is it better to do an MBA in India or abroad?

If, as an aspirant, you can afford to pursue an MBA abroad, it will yield a comparatively better return on your investment. However, there are prestigious b-schools in India, too, as reputed as foreign universities globally.

Can an Indian MBA work abroad?

Yes, Indian MBA designations are fully valid in countries abroad. In fact, an MBA degree from prestigious institutions like IIM Ahmedabad and ISB Hyderabad are greatly regarded in countries like the USA, UK, and Canada.

Which countries are best for MBA for Indians?

The top five countries that are best for Indians to pursue an MBA are the US, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, and the UK.

What are the benefits of doing an MBA abroad?

Benefits of pursuing an MBA abroad include lucrative salary packages, better professional opportunities, personal development, etc.

How to choose between an MBA in India vs. MBA abroad?

Choosing between an MBA in India vs. MBA Abroad will depend largely on affordability. If you can afford an MBA abroad, it will surely come with better return.

Is doing an MBA from abroad expensive?

The cost of pursuing an MBA abroad can range anywhere between INR 20 lakhs to 60 lakhs. For instance, the average cost of a two-year MBA course in the USA is between US$50,000 to US$80,000 (INR 37,60,252 to INR 60,16,728).

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