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UK vs. US MBA Culture: Pros and Cons

An MBA degree from the UK or the USA? Which is more valuable? Both the UK and the USA have high standards of education, and it can be confusing to pick where you want to study. Both countries have a rich global culture with a wide range of career opportunities. This guide will compare and contrast the MBA environments in the UK and in the US. Of course, this is a general comparison, so always include factors that are specific to your own circumstance when considering your options.


  1. Admissions

To get into business school, you need to meet eligibility criteria that varies from country to country. Here’s what we’ve found:


-In the UK, you need-

  • 2 years of undergraduate education from an accredited institution

  • 2-4 years of work experience.

  • TOEFL or IELTS score

  • 680-690 score in GMAT


-In the USA, you need-

  • 4 years of undergraduate education from an accredited institution (and a strong GPA)

  • 3-6 years of work experience.

  • TOEFL or IELTS score

  • 720-730 score in GMAT.


  1. Duration


  • In the UK, the duration of most MBA courses is 1 year. However, a few programs like the London Business School last 15-21 months.


  • In the USA, the typical MBA degree takes 2 years to earn. There are also part-time MBA courses, typically spread out over 3 years.


  1. Mode of education


In the UK, you’re going to have a strict educational environment that focuses on a classical curriculum emphasizing theory over practice.

In the USA, you’ll have stronger practical experience. You can explore supplementary subjects like history and liberal arts, giving you a wider frame of reference and experience for networking and research opportunities.


  1. Scholarship


When it comes to scholarships, there are more opportunities in the USA than in the UK. In both countries, there are three types of scholarships available: need-based, merit-based, and scholarships for underrepresented communities. The criteria for getting a scholarship in the USA is typically more relaxed than in the UK. However, scholarships are not given based on your program application. Generally speaking, most scholarships have their own application systems. Look into these as you begin applying, and note that the deadlines for scholarships may differ from program application deadlines.


  1. Cost of living

If you’re planning to do an MBA in one of these countries, you should check the cost of living, and factors like availability of part-time jobs and visa restrictions on work as an international student. Note that tuition is not all-inclusive for MBA programs.

In the UK, you might typically spend:

  • Tuition: £10,000 to £15,000 per year

  • Accommodation and living expenses: £10,000 to £15,000 per year

  • Visa: £310

In the US, you might typically spend:

  • Tuition: $70,000 to $75,000 per year

  • Accommodation and living expenses: $2,500 to $5,000

  • Visa: $510


Note that these are general figures; exact numbers vary by city, institution, and program.


  1. Job Prospects and Salaries


Most often, students pursue an MBA to increase their earning potential. On average, an MBA in the UK earns a salary of between £65,000-£85,000 pounds per year. In the US, your salary might be closer to $85,000-$120,000 per year. Of course, this can vary based on the type of MBA course you’ve chosen, the business school you've graduated from, and your skill level.


  1. So, which is better? An MBA from the UK or MBA from the USA?


As you can see from the above, this decision is highly dependent on your goals. Both have impressive salary potential; both have their own pros and cons around admissions requirements, program cost, and curriculum structure. We recommend that you first identify your personal goals, financial situation, time for study, and long-term career game before deciding which type of program would be right for you. Either way, you’ll have access to some of the best MBA programs in the world.


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