The actual question asked was: Is it financially worth doing an MBA in the UK for a middle-class Indian who is going to come back and work in India? Since the title question was too long, I couldn't make it the title.
So, is it financially worth doing it? Well, of course. A lot of students just see the short picture, they only see the return on investment when they graduate and not in five years or ten years. Education abroad is considered valuable among employers and what's even more valuable is work experience abroad. This is why many UK Universities offer courses with the option to do an internship so students can get work experience of an international company.
When given an opportunity to work with a multi-national company, your profile will stand out with international education and work experience.
And there is more than one benefit of studying in the UK. The international exposure, and studying in a diverse country adds a lot more to a student's personality than they realize. Studies have confirmed how diversity on campus helps in the cognitive development of a student.
The MBA studies in UK universities are more inclined towards preparing students for the international work environment, and the MBA degree is globally recognized which makes it easier for graduates to grab job opportunities abroad.
Why IIM's are not for everyone?
Apart from high tuition fees of the Indian Institute of Management's and other top B-schools in India, they aren't well ranked on the global scale, except for IIM-Ahmedabad, IIM-Bangalore, and ISB; and also, the entrance criteria is ridiculosity hard, making it impossible for an average student or even an above-average student to grab a seat in the IIM's, which are also limited by numbers.
Entree standards are high in top UK B-schools as well, but students who've scored decent marks in their graduation and score well in GMAT gets a fair opportunity to get a high-quality education. The average score required for GMAT in top UK universities is a well balanced 700, and the range for the GMAT score for top B-schools in the UK is between 600-780. But there's no minimum score for the GMAT; students with GMAT score of 530 or closer were also accepted in the year 2011.
Since most India B-schools accept GMAT scores, students prefer GMAT as it also gives them the option to apply to universities abroad even though it costs $250 i.e. approximately 16,450 INR.
CAT, on the other hand, is very affordable, but limited to Indian universities only and costs 1600 INR for General Category students, so students who prepare for GMAT also give CAT exam as the syllabus for both is similar.
Affordability is a major concern for Indian students, especially from the middle-class families who take education loans to finance their studies. Well, IIM's, MDI also burn a huge hole in the pocket. The fees range from 20Lac-24Lac, for a two-year course. FMS, Delhi is the most affordable top college in India for MBA, but only 200 students can get a seat in FMS and out of those 101 is for General category, 54 for OBC, 30 SC, 15 ST; good luck with that. That is where the UK universities have an advantage over the Indian universities, that there is no limit to the number of students.
The graduate salaries for the IIM's are also high, and the return of investment is better if students prefer to work in India as well, but the salaries are still close to half compared to students from top B-schools who grab jobs in the UK.
Advice for Average Student
The above information works well for the top 5-10% students, what about the rest, average students who have secured 60-80% in class 10th and 12th, and an average GMAT score of 550, what about them?
For those seeking master's in business, either have the option to study in an average university in India, where the student can get an MBA degree but not much practical knowledge because of the lack of quality professors, or they can pursue a degree in more than a good university abroad. For which the UK and US are the most famous destinations for Indian students.
The fees in the top MBA colleges in the UK can go as high as 70 lakhs for London Business School, and vary from 20-40 lakhs for other Business Schools, but the return of investment is equally high as well. There are low-cost MBA options as well, which can cost a student 8-15 lakhs with high-quality education and international exposure. Even if the student decides to come back to India, the students can fetch a high graduate salary in India as well, which would rarely happen for graduates from average Indian universities.
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