Kaplan Test Prep Survey: American Business School Leaders Remain Convinced that MBA Programs in the U.S. are Stronger than MBA Programs in Europe and Asia

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Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanGMATPrep

New York, NY (March 31, 2017) — Leaders of American business schools continue to believe in their ability to better prepare their students for business management roles than their European and Asian counterparts, even as European and Asian business schools continue to stay competitive in the global rankings. Of the nearly 125 U.S. business schools surveyed by Kaplan Test Prep in its annual admissions officers survey, almost all (97%) think American business schools better prepare their students for the business world than European business schools do*.  This indicates a slight increase from 95% in 2014, the last time Kaplan asked this question. In comparing themselves to their Asian counterparts, practically the same percentage of U.S. b-school admissions officers (96%) believe American business schools are stronger, which also shows an uptick from 2014, when it was 92%.

When asked why they believe business schools in the United State are stronger than those in Europe and Asia, admissions officers often cited accreditation, portability and cachet, seemingly keeping American students in mind when coming to their conclusions:

  • “American MBA degrees are more valuable around the world. That might speak to what the world thinks. The curriculum might be the same but a U.S. degree sells better.”
  • “Business education is very location-centric, so you want to go to a school near where you’re planning to launch your career because their connections will be strong in that area.”
  • “As long as the school is accredited through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the degree carries about the same weight, but without any concrete evidence, I think American schools are a little better.”

This high degree of confidence comes as the European-based INSEAD (Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires), with campuses in France, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, remains the number one ranked program for the second year in a row, according to The Financial Times’s global rankings, with London Business School and Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge also continuing to rank well. Some business school admissions officers who were surveyed, however told Kaplan that they couldn’t offer an opinion on European or Asian business schools, however, because they didn’t know enough about programs outside the United States.

Kaplan’s survey comes at time of great change in business school admissions trends, as political events in the United States and the United Kingdom may prompt many prospective MBAs around the world to consider attending business school elsewhere.  And in India, a blockbuster report last year found that fewer than one in 10 graduates from business schools on the subcontinent are “employable,” causing many Indians to seek a second MBA degree abroad.

“With the job market expanding and salaries rising, an MBA at a top ranked business school with a strong global reputation remains a sound investment, regardless of location,“ said Brian Carlidge, executive director of pre-graduate and pre-business programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “It’s important to consider that if you attend a business school overseas and its brand isn’t well known outside that particular country, you could be at a disadvantage when seeking employment back home or in another nation. Reputation matters with global employers and that needs to be part of aspiring MBAs’ decision-making process.”

For more information about Kaplan’s survey, contact Russell Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

*The survey was conducted between August 2016 and October 2016 of admissions officers at 124 business schools in the United States. Among the 124 business schools are 5 of the top 25, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 100 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses.  Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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