10 Reasons Why The US Is The Best Place For Your MBA – BusinessBecause

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The US is the most popular destination for MBA applications, with 42% of candidates showing interest ©StanfordGSB / Facebook
US MBA programs are among the world’s most popular for business school students, but what makes the US such a great place to study your MBA?
By  Shannon Cook &nbsp Headshot of Shannon Cook
Tue May 21 2024
A massive 44% of business school candidates expressed interest in studying in the United States in 2023, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).
So why is getting an MBA in the US the goal for so many candidates? 
From the reputation of the programs to the social opportunities available in the US, here are ten reasons why the US could be the best place for your MBA.
GMAC’s 2024 Prospective Students Survey shows that a key reason for business school candidates to apply to schools in the US is the reputation of the programs.
Historically, US business schools, such as Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton, have consistently topped global MBA rankings. Their solid scores across key metrics such as employability, return on investment (ROI), and alumni outcomes prove why they’re typically seen as the best business schools in the US.
This remains true despite some fluctuation in the rankings among M7 business schools, an elite club featuring the likes of Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford. In the Global MBA ranking by the Financial Times, more than half of the top 20 schools were from the US.
This means that a top MBA from the US continues to pay off long after you graduate, with the brand association of a Harvard, Stanford, or Columbia Business School standing out on your resume for life.
While top MBA programs in Europe and Asia typically offer the more affordable, one-year MBA option, many students are still attracted to the traditional two-year MBA that’s commonplace in the US. 
The two-year MBA allows you to learn the core MBA syllabus like management, strategy, and finance in the first year, and specialize with c721df870ad59c15f1c2063b06180f60921cd048.jpeg electives in topics like sustainability and artificial intelligence (AI) in business in the second year. 
A two-year MBA also enables you to try out different industries and functions through multiple MBA internships, which allow you to gain professional work experience in areas that might then shape your future career choices. 
“Two years of business education and a focused concentration, paired with a hands-on internship, is pivotal when it comes to job offers,” says Jenifer Turtschanow (pictured), CEO of ARINGO Admissions Consulting.
As many US business schools aim to stay ahead of the curve and remain world-leading business education providers, an MBA in the US will expose you to the latest research and industry insight from a broad faculty base that often combines academia with industry experience. 
Harvard's case-study method invites students to place themselves in the shoes of a business executive facing a real business problem and leverage classmates' diverse perspectives and identities to find a solution to that problem. It's a method that's influenced business school teaching across the globe.
With world-renowned academics leading MBA courses at many US business schools, the quality and depth of the education you’ll receive will set you up to hit the ground running once you graduate.
The top jobs for graduates of MBA programs in the US include roles like marketing manager, management consultant, and financial manager, according to US News.b05b4e39da85508cac810237c0188b714d696033.jpg “The top-ranked schools have built strong relationships with employers, enabling the school to serve as gatekeepers for coveted jobs,” says Susan Berishaj (pictured), CEO of Sia Admissions Consulting. 
From the NYU Stern MBA class of 2023, grads landed jobs with top firms like Amazon, McKinsey, and J.P. Morgan, while over at Wharton, 37% of grads entered teh financial services at companies such as Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and BlackRock. 
  
The median base starting salary for grads at US companies is $125,000, according to GMAC, and some of the highest paying MBA jobs can be found stateside. 
However, your salary can differ depending on the business school you attend. For instance, Stanford grads, some of the world’s highest-paid MBAs, can expect an average base salary of roughly $182,000 after graduating. 
US MBA grads from lower ranked schools can still expect a strong return on investment, but your salary might not hit the heights of those seen by grads from the elite institutions. 
Since the cost of an MBA in the USA at a top business school like Columbia can cost an estimated total of $247k, according to the BusinessBecause Cost of MBA Report 2023, a top salary is a key indicator of your MBA return on investment. 
With the H1-B visa, international MBA students can enjoy friendlier visa policies in the US. Many companies that sponsor H1-B visas are among those that pay MBAs the most, and they’re always on the lookout for top business school talent.  
If you're an international grad you can stay in the US for one year after graduating from an MBA through the Optional Practical Training (OPT) system, or two years if you graduate from a STEM MBA. During this period, you can apply for the H1-B visa, allowing you to work in the US for up to a total of six years—three years initially with the option of three years of extensions. 
Many MBA programs in the US attract students from around the world. In a diverse cohort, you’ll benefit from the different perspectives of those around you during class discussions and group projects.
The MIT Sloan MBA is made up of 40% international students, while 47% of students in the Columbia MBA come from outside the US. 
In terms of domestic diversity, many US minorities also make up the MBA classroom. In the recent Harvard MBA class, half the class are US minority students, including African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic and Latinx MBAs.
Working in group projects with peers from different racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds ensures MBA debates are considered from various perspectives, which makes for more stimulating conversations.
If you’re a social butterfly, then you’ll be glad to know that many MBA programs in the US facilitate regular social events, such as movie nights, dinners, and trips around the US and abroad.
There are also lots of clubs and societies to get stuck into—you might want to join an organization designed for women in business, like the University of North Carolina’s Carolina Women in Business, or even a career club like the University of Southern California Marshall’s Entrepreneur and Venture Management Association (EVMA).
Either way, you’re sure to find a club that suits your goals, whether that’s growing your network, making new friends, or learning about a new industry and tapping into industry connections that could help your career further down the line. 
On an MBA program in the US, you’ll get to network with peers from various career and industry backgrounds who’ll likely have links to top companies around the world.
Stanford came out on top as the world’s best business school for alumni network according to the 2024 Financial Times Global MBA ranking, closely followed by Dartmouth Tuck and Cornell.
“One of the key benefits of an MBA degree is not the education, but the network,” notes Zachary Blustein, a domestic MBA student at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, “I wanted to maximize my network and Tepper's [network] is very active in the US across all sectors.”
The US is a hotbed for entrepreneurship. Of course, there’s Silicon Valley on the West Coast, but other states, such as North Dakota and Indiana, are among those ranked the best to start a business in the US.
Choosing the US for your MBA could be a great way to hone your startup skills and gain the knowledge to launch your own company. There are even business schools that specialize in entrepreneurship, such as Babson College, where you can learn how to launch a successful venture from scratch.
45% of America’s Fortune 500 companies are also founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. So, if you’re an international MBA student in the US bursting with startup ideas, there’s no reason why you can’t make your mark on the economy after you graduate.
Studying at a top US business school is about more than just attending a world-leading MBA program that will look great on your resume. You’ll gain unrivaled networking experiences and access to employers at major companies, as well as burgeoning startups across the US and beyond.

This article was published in December 2021 and updated with new data in May 2024.
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