As the number of MBA holders in the world increases, so does the importance of getting a top-quality MBA rather than just any MBA.

  1. Increased Pay
    The better the reputation of a school, the more its graduates earn. For example, it is clear that graduates from one of the top five schools in the United States can expect, on average, to earn 50 to 100 percent more than graduates from schools ranked nearer to number 50. This pay gap increases dramatically as one goes further down the rankings to those schools near the bottom of the 800 or so that grant MBAs in the United States.
  2. Career Choice
    Some professions are virtually off-limits to graduates of lesser business schools (let alone those without MBAs). These include investment banking and corporate strategy consulting. The most desirable companies to work for, such as major consulting firms and investment banks, would no more think of recruiting at “Acme” University Business School than they would of giving this year’s profits to the Flat Earth Society. These firms look to hire the best and the brightest and they know that the best and the brightest are to be found at the world’s leading business schools.
    The same is true, albeit to a somewhat lesser extent, in other fields. Making it into consumer marketing positions of responsibility at the world’s leading firms also typically demands that you have an MBA from a top school.
  3. Status
    This category nearly speaks for itself. Whether for personal or business reasons, being a graduate of Harvard conjures up entirely different impressions and reactions among people you encounter than does being a graduate of Acme U. Status is partially related to the other items listed here, such as salary, but it also reflects the fact that Harvard admits only people who are highly regarded to begin with. Apart from the financial returns, the biggest benefit from a Global MBA program is the increase in confidence of your employers in your abilities before being entrusted with a challenging work. And I am not even talking about how you would view your own capabilities.
  4. Career Flexibility
    The benefits of going to a top school are not limited to your initial job upon graduation. If you decide to change careers in the future (which is becoming more and more common), the quality of your education will be one of the determining factors in your ability to make the switch successfully, and it will also determine how other people rate your chances (and whether they will risk hiring you). The alumni network, and your own personal network from business school, will also be important determinants of your ability to switch. With a strong network willing to help you, your chances are automatically better.
  5. Best Possible Education
    The result of being taught by the most accomplished professors, in the company of the most accomplished classmates, is a superior education, one that lesser schools do not match. Curiously, this is perhaps the least often acknowledged benefit of attending a top school.

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