There were considerably less MBA candidates across certain European countries in 2014. Choosing a european university is not an easy task and the ailing economy has posed an additional obstacle in the pursuit of a graduate degree. In the UK and Germany, which still enjoy healthy growth, there was a higher enrollment rate, whereas in France, Italy or Spain, financial difficulties got the best of the higher education sector.
There has been a clear correlation between economic welfare and enrollment numbers and middle managers flock to admission offices when there is a bright outlook on the financial future of their country and sector of activity. But whatever the state of the economy, candidates need go through a thorough due diligence process when getting into such a costly enterprise. There are so many options today and the quality of the different programs may greatly vary.
The first important thing to take into consideration is the fact that the MBA brand engulfs two different types of programs. First, there is the traditional MBA established in the US in the 20th century, which is a full-time cursus. It is aimed at young managers who wish to strengthen their profiles and sharpen their management skills, after having graduated from a specialized faculty (engineering for example).
Then, there has been the emergence, over the past fifteen years, of the Executive MBA, which is a part-time program. This second format caters to experienced managers who wish to put their managerial practices to the test and compare them with those of their peers in order to reach top management positions.
Once you have identified the most adequate format, you will then have to go through a vetting process to ensure the money (a lot) and time (also a lot) you will be investing is well worth it.
Nonetheless, it has been estimated that MBA graduates enjoy a salary boost of over 80% within the first few years of graduation, which clearly proves that the return on investment is non-negligible.