Should You Choose a Global MBA or One in the USA?

Mirro Radosavlevici

If you aspire to a career as an executive in corporate America, there can be no doubt that an MBA degree is a worthwhile investment. According to experts at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, business is a field where a master’s degree results in a significant boost in earnings.

If you want to work in the securities, commodities or financial services niches, your paycheck could be as much as 89 percent higher if you earn an MBA than it would be if you quit studying after you graduate with your bachelor’s degree. For managers, the wage premium can be as much as 45 percent higher. For logisticians, the typical wage premium is 53 percent higher.

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Doing the math on that over a career that lasts a lifetime, the MBA is a no-brainer. The real question then becomes which MBA degree program to choose.

It isn’t an easy decision. In the recent past, we’ve seen a proliferation of possibilities. There are global MBAs. There are MBAs offering concentrations in various specializations such as business management, human resources management, accounting, finance, marketing, entrepreneurship and operations management. How do you narrow down the choices to find that one MBA program that’s ideal for you?

What Differentiates a Global MBA from Other MBA Programs?

First, let’s take a look at the key factors that differentiate a global MBA from the typical USA-based MBA:

  • There’s likely to be a broader diversity of students and faculty participating in a global MBA.
  • Coursework is less likely to focus specifically on a single country’s business practices, but rather would examine case studies from the perspectives of multinational corporations and small businesses all around the world.
  • A global MBA program would be likely to offer reciprocity with campuses in multiple countries, enabling students to experience business environments and regulatory issues in countries other than their native land. For example, James Cook University offers a global MBA program. Students in this program have the opportunity to complete a capstone project in one of three campus locations: Singapore, Orpheus Island or the Daintree Rainforest in Australia.

Which Type of MBA Should You Choose?

Study in the USA If…

  • You know for sure that you want to work in the USA — especially if the company you most want to work for is exclusively a US-based company. For example, if you know you want to live and work in Fort Collins after graduation, obviously the ideal choice is to earn your MBA at Colorado State U; it’s the best choice for cultivating a local network of associates that will be useful to you after graduation.
  • You’re primarily interested in working at a tech startup or one of the tech giants after graduation; in that case, a Silicon Valley MBA program is a smart choice.
  • Your successful completion of the program depends on your receiving financial aid; while it’s not easy to come by in any location, there tends to be more financial aid available in the USA than elsewhere.

Choose a Global MBA Program If…

  • You want to work for a multinational corporation that maintains corporate offices in multiple countries.
  • You see the advantages of cultivating a global network of business connections and associates.
  • You want to complete your degree in only one year; most programs in the USA take at least two years to complete, but there are European and Asian MBA degree programs that only take one year.
  • You’re able to get into a top-tier global MBA degree program offered by a well-recognized academic institution.

Best wishes with choosing the MBA program that will deliver exactly the experience you’re hoping for.