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Insider’s Guide to the Best MBA Programs in Europe

September 08, 2023 :: Admissionado Team

And there you have it—your insider’s guide to the best MBA programs in Europe! From the cosmopolitan vibes of London to the historic charm of Paris, the innovation hubs of Switzerland to the dynamic business scene in Spain, European MBA programs offer unparalleled opportunities for personal and professional growth. Whether you’re looking for a shorter, more intense program, aiming to boost your international credentials, or simply seeking a fresh perspective, Europe has something extraordinary to offer. 

Why Consider an MBA In Europe?

Not sure if you’re aware, but there are top-notch business schools outside of the US, friends. And good ones, at that! European MBA programs are absolutely worth looking into, and for many of you, they might even be better than the typical 2-year MBA programs in the States. Whether you’re considering the international focus, the stellar job placements, or just looking for a quicker route to your degree, European MBAs offer plenty of advantages. 

1) Admissions Can Be Less Competitive (in Some Ways)

Look at the stats, my friends.  Average GMAT scores tend to be…LOWER. Average TOEFL scores tend to be… LOWER.  Even with GPAs, there is more flexibility here.  Why is that?  Well, lots of reasons. Most relevant is the fact that most folks are often not native US speakers.  So as a result, you can afford juuust a bit more leeway on your scores.  That should be a relief for lots of folks in the GMAT of 660-710 range…

2) They Tend to Have Older Applicants

If you are a tad older than the typical 3-4-5 years out of college range of applicants, then you should take a GOOD look at these programs.  Why? Because European programs tend to have older students. This is a GREAT chance for older candidates to get a TOP-NOTCH education, and not be discriminated against by the current trend in the US of students getting younger and younger…

3) They are 1-Year Programs

Why do older applicants like International programs?  Well, here’s one great reason: the programs are shorter!  For the young husbands and fathers among us, we can’t necessarily afford to take two WHOLE years off. In those two years, we lose a ton of income and TIME. European MBA programs tend to be just one year long, so older applicants LOVE the ability to get in, and get right out.

4) They have an International Focus

Is your goal NOT necessarily to live and work in the US? Then…why bother going to the US to get your MBA?  The programs in Europe tend to be MUCH more internationally oriented, with the overwhelming majority of students from OUTSIDE the school’s country.  This lends itself to a very different kind of discussion, as you can imagine, than that which happens in the US programs. European (and Asian) MBA programs are MUCH more international in nature.  If you are passionate about international business, then give these programs a GOOD look!

5) Many Have STELLAR Job Placement

That’s right, folks. Take a good look at the statistics; starting salaries are often HIGHER at European Programs than at US programs.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s an example: the average starting salary at LBS was $146,000, at INSEAD it was $148,000, and at IE it was $149,000.  All these salaries are higher than the starting salaries at NYU Stern ($139,000), Duke ($137,000) and Ross ($137,000).  So, as always my friends, investigate the facts before you assume that US programs will get you to a better place upon graduation…

6. They are MUCH more affordable

MBA programs in European universities are generally cheaper than their counterparts in the USA. For example, the MBA cost at Sustainability Management School (SUMAS) in Switzerland is 35,500 EUR/year, which is the highest in Switzerland but still compares favorably to the $65,000 fees at Harvard University.

7. Choices, Choices, Choices…

Variety is the spice of life, and European MBA programs offer plenty of it. Europe offers a wide array of MBA programs and universities. Many institutions are consistently ranked among the top in the world, such as the University of Cambridge, known for its stellar business education.

8. They offer Unique MBA Programs

Europe provides opportunities to specialize in unique business programs. For instance, France offers business management programs connected to fashion and luxury brands, while Switzerland offers programs related to governmental issues.

9. They Have Smaller Class Sizes

Prefer a more personalized learning experience? European MBAs might be the answer. Fewer students per class can mean more personalized attention and a better learning experience. This can enhance your education and provide more direct interaction with professors.

10. They Have Robust Networking Opportunities

Networking is crucial in business, and European MBAs offer robust opportunities. The international focus of European MBA programs allows for a broad and diverse network, enhancing your global business connections. You’ll build relationships with peers from around the world, which can be invaluable in your career.

The Top MBA Programs In Europe

Top MBA Programs in Europe

IMD Business School

The International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland offers one of the most popular and unique MBA programs in Europe. MBA programs in Europe are distinguished by lower rates than similar programs and courses in the USA. Small classes are credos for individualised treatment. The use of the latest management foundations, analysis and critical approaches make this program attractive. This program offers improvement and advancement of leadership skills, wide use of digital resources, creative business mindset and readiness for any kind of unforeseen challenges and situations. This program adapts the students to be competitive in the globalised business world.

IESE Business School

IESE’s grads are a mighty diverse bunch. They come, like in many European programs, from….well… EVERYWHERE. Case in point: more than 80% of the class of 280 students came from places OUTSIDE of Spain. And given its connection with Latin America, a far larger portion (between 10-15% in recent years) of the student body come from that part of the world.


INSEAD’s grads are especially strong in International Consulting, and there is a lot of room for folks in finance and manufacturing as well. There are possibilities of MBA tuition tax deduction and wide network creation. High employability and connection with professionals and experts of the area are credos of the success of European MBA programs. It is considered one of the best MBA programs in Europe. The school also boasts a fantastic placement rate, and recruiters from top firms like McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, Booz & Company amongst others all seek out those INSEAD grads.

London Business School

London Business School offers an MBA program that is guided to professional skill development and future career management. This program offers pre- term online classes to get ready for the main course. The first two terms are compulsory with all the subjects included in them. In the last term, students choose out of nearly 12 specific areas to earn enough credits to graduate. From July to August students have two options: internships or entrepreneurship summer school. The second-year is adjusted by the student. The language program is another unique point of the course.

Cambridge Judge

Cambridge University is ranked first among UK MBA program holding universities. It offers detailed knowledge on the area, capacity to analyse the global market and develop leadership skills. Interpersonal relationships and connection creating qualities are other specifications of the program. The issue with this MBA program can be requirements to fulfil to apply to it. The applicants must have two years of work experience in the sector, a bachelor’s degree with 2.1 on the UK assessment scale, perfect English skills and a creative attitude.

HEC Paris

Besides being France’s premier business school, HEC also runs France’s second most famous MBA program, in the heart of the heart of the most beautiful city in the world. Extremely well connected, with a very strong general management program, one of the things that makes HEC really unique is the variety of industries it caters to, and the variety of industries students come from and go to. Of course, the twin traditionals of Finance and Consulting are very well represented, but HEC is also a launching pad for careers in biomed; airline; oil and gas; and, of course, luxury (this is one of HEC’s specialties, which is not surprising considering its location).

To wrap up, MBA programs are credos of employability, high salaries and competitiveness. Once done with your degree MBA programs are good options for specific business-centred knowledge acquisition. MBA admissions consulting companies have a wide list of possible candidates. European Universities offer high level, short and affordable MBA programs that prepare demanded specialists to conquer the challenging world of business. If you are passionate, open-minded and hardworking you are likely to succeed by taking MBA programs to complete your studies.


Choosing the right MBA program is a significant decision, but exploring options outside the US can open up a world of possibilities. European MBA programs offer less competitive admissions, shorter program lengths, an international focus, and stellar job placements. Whether you’re looking to boost your career, gain international experience, or simply finish your MBA in a shorter time frame, European programs are worth considering. So, do your research, visit campuses if you can, and trust your instincts. The perfect program is out there waiting for you!