Choosing a Business school can be tricky with all the options that are available. Many prefer to join IIMs or famous B-school at home while others dream big and choose Harvard, INSEAD etc. However, there is a misconception, which often aspirants endanger, that it is relatively easy to get into B-schools abroad when compared to IIMs.
Aspirants often cite the data statistics that the majority of Business Schools abroad have an acceptance rate of above 10%, with Harvard Business School being a top-rated institute in the world is at 12%. In contrast, the IIMs have an acceptance rate of 1% – 2%, a number that comes down substantially if you look only at IIMs that were set up before 2010. It may seem that it is easier to get in, however, that is not the complete story.
There are various parameters to prove this which will be explained in the coming paragraphs.
Like every other varsity abroad, the application process for B-schools can be time-consuming and extensive and it involves some cost and a careful planning beforehand. Due to the presence of these obstructions, only selected few aspirants push forward their applications and out of this small fraction, most of them make through thus increasing the acceptance rate automatically. While discussing the Common Aptitude Test (CAT) we are aware of the fact that there is no such bar for taking a CAT. This open access leads to over thronging of aspirants who aspire to get in IIMs, thus the screening process is made hardest possible to sieve only the potential candidates out of the group, thus decreasing the acceptance rate.
GMAT vs CAT
GMAT vs CAT is one of the biggest dilemmas for a candidate aspiring to pursue an MBA. Yes, GMAT can be a considerably less hard nut to crack because the syllabus is smaller, more defined, and more useful in the real world. Common sense will definitely take you further in the GMAT, and that ensures that you can spend the time to make the rest of your application more rounded, instead of gaining deep quant skills that you may or may not use for the rest of your life. A good GMAT score can fetch you a good scholarship abroad whereas it is almost absent even if you score very high in CAT.
GMAT is just one parameter of judging and not the ultimate
While a very high CAT percentile is almost the core requirement of top business schools in India, where even a difference of 0.5 can have a huge impact. In the famous schools abroad the situation is quite different. Two candidates who have scored a 720 and a 780 on the GMAT will not be significantly different in the eyes of any Admissions Board, solely on the basis of their test score. They will be judged on the hordes of other parameters to declared them suited to take the course.
An all-rounder can make to a Business School abroad more easily
It will be hard for a candidate to enter institutes like Harvard, INSEAD, Wharton, etc if one is not an all-rounder with multiple diverse achievements and interests or has exceptional achievements in one area. Admissions Board at the varsities abroad is very particular on this. On the contrary, Indian Business schools look for an impeccable academic record and are not extremely fussy about extra-curricular achievements.
Work Experience is a must for B-schools abroad
If we analyse the eligibility parameters for top 10 b-schools of the world, an average of 3-5 years of work experience is must for almost all of them. Hands-on-experience is held in high esteem by the varsities abroad whereas most of the top Indian b-schools have a majority of the candidates who have straightly joined an MBA after graduation. If one is looking to just drop into a managerial role without going through years of toil as a professional, Indian varsities would be more suitable for them.
Very High cost of taking the course is an impediment for many
If one is aspiring to enter London, Stanford, Harvard – an MBA from these costs somewhere around $150K (~₹1,05,00,000) or more. Assuming you have exemplary experience in your field which might fetch you a scholarship of $75K (~₹55,25,000). Even after that, it will be huge enough to burn a hole in our pockets. Whereas, pursuing an MBA from IIMs would not cost you more than 25 lakhs. Such high tuition fees abroad will discourage many of the potential candidates to back off from taking the course.
After going through all the above points, we can safely deduce that it’s certainly not easy to get enrolled in one of the premier business schools abroad owing to the long application process and other formalities, however, there is no universally correct answer to the question that is applicable to everyone. Both the curriculum, be it abroad or domestic test different skills and require different kinds of input. Because of this, different applicants find one or the other easier.