MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. It is an internationally recognized business degree, on equal terms with other postgraduate degrees like Master of Arts or Master of Science, and other master programs and master bachelor programs. It is academic in nature, yet it is a practical preparation for individuals in business and management. It often insists that students have a number of years of working experience before they take an MBA program, which is not necessary while taking other master or bachelor programs.
MBA originats from the USA. The word renowned MBA was already taught at the Harvard Business School more than 100 years ago. Over the years, MBAs have grown into a matured industry with specializations like MBA in Information Technology, Finance, Human Resources, even Electronic Commerce. Despite their differentiation, the underlying principles of management do not vary too much.
In any given year, there are roughly 300,000 students pursuing an MBA program in US business schools. Nowadays there are hundreds of business schools, colleges and universities providing international MBA diplomas as well. But what, exactly, does the word "international" in "international MBA" signify? And how do international mba programs affect a student's future career prospects and networking opportunities?
The most obvious difference is the diversity of the student body. By this measure, many international mba programs beat their American counterparts hands down. On average, European schools claim that they have roughly 80% non-national ratio, while the ratio at their U.S. counterparts is about 30%. Some international mba programs are particularly stringent about preventing a so-called "dominant" culture from emerging. But these programs aren't open to everyone.
Many top non-U.S. international MBA programs prefer students with prior international work experience or the ability to speak a foreign language fluently before applying. As for the curriculum, many international mba programs mirror their U.S. counterparts' structures closely, adding minor subjects such as cultural, political-science or language training. But before packing up for an MBA program abroad one should think carefully about his career goals. So for Americans who want to work in the U.S., acquiring an international MBA may not be the right course as an average American employer may not know the name of your international business school.
And still in any business school, international or not, an MBA is meant to "add tools to your toolkit." MBA programs are focused as well on organizational behavior, negotiation, change management and communication; they are seeking new and better ways to groom future leaders. It's supposed to give you the practical know-how and professional connections to conduct business at a more sophisticated level and thus go further in your career than you otherwise would. More over - getting your MBA in a new country can be an exciting experience.