Top 10 MBA Programs in Europe for Return on Investment (ROI)

Return on investment (ROI) should be a key consideration for prospective business school students, especially given the high cost of MBA courses. 

Those seeking a solid and fast return can look to continental Europe and the UK. MBA programs in these regions are typically around 12 months long, so the tuition fees and opportunity cost of not working are kept to a minimum (at least compared to MBA programs in the US, which tend to be two years long.)

Most of the business schools included in the reputable ROI rankings are European, and they include many of the most prestigious institutions. 

These programs combine relatively low fees with high salaries, thanks to excellent employment prospects across Europe in major capital cities like London, Berlin or Paris. 

These are the top 10 MBA programs in Europe for ROI. 

Lausanne, Switzerland 46 Followers 155 Discussions

IMD Business School, one of the most prestigious schools in Switzerland, has one of the fastest payback periods. According to Forbes, IMD MBA graduates recoup the cost of their investment in just 2.3 years. The pre-MBA salary is $81,000 and the five-year MBA gain is around $195,000. This gain is the net cumulative amount the typical alumni would have earned after five years by getting their MBA rather than staying in their career.

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Fontainebleau, France 71 Followers 308 Discussions
INSEAD - Europe Campus

INSEAD is one of the world’s most famous business schools and it has previously topped the Financial Times’ MBA ranking twice in quick succession. The ROI for INSEAD’s MBA is high because of its alumni, who earn salaries of about $180,000 just three years out of the course. The business school’s breezy 10-month MBA also keeps the opportunity cost of not earning a salary low. 

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London, United Kingdom 106 Followers 347 Discussions

According to some MBA rankings publications, Imperial College Business School in London is one of the world’s best business schools, with a strong reputation for technology and innovation. Graduates from the MBA earn an average return of $870,200 after a decade, according to the QS Return on Investment Report 2018. That is a massive increase on pre-MBA pay of about $48,500. The QS report takes into account the tuition rates, forgone salary, cost of living and annual salary premium to determine the return. 

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Gent, Belgium 13 Followers 93 Discussions
Vlerick - Ghent Campus

Vlerick Business School in Belgium has a sterling reputation in Europe and beyond for a quality MBA program. The 10-year ROI for MBA grads is an impressive $836,775, according to QS. Vlerick also has one of the strongest immediate boosts to earnings, with fresh graduates making about $101,000 out of the business school, a $33,000 increase on pre-MBA pay. 

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Mannheim, Germany 80 Followers 219 Discussions

Mannheim Business School has the “triple crown”: EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA accreditation, and the school’s MBA program is regularly placed in the top 10 in the ROI lists including the one produced by the FT. The salary increase achieved by graduates is particularly impressive: 80 percent after just three years, to $116,000. 

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Madrid, Spain 114 Followers 366 Discussions

IE Business School in Madrid, Spain is one of Europe’s most elite institutions. Forbes put IE MBA graduates’ five-year MBA gain at an impressive $145,400, a huge increase on the $63,000 pre-MBA salary that they once earned. QS puts the 10-year ROI at $692,725.  

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Milan, Italy 70 Followers 211 Discussions
SDA Bocconi

Italy’s SDA Bocconi, which is based in Milan, offers one of the fastest ROIs, with MBA graduates recouping the full cost of the course in 2.2 years. With a post-MBA starting salary that averages $81,900, some $39,000 higher than pre-program pay, it’s easy to see why SDA Bocconi is so popular. 

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Cambridge, United Kingdom 53 Followers 289 Discussions
Cambridge - Judge

Cambridge Judge Business School is one of the UK’s most renowned schools, thanks to its connection to the world-leading Cambridge University and its technology and innovation ecosystem. The five-year MBA gain at CJBS is an impressive $140,000, a big bump on the pre-MBA pay of $63,000. 

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Durham, United Kingdom 73 Followers 400 Discussions

Durham University Business School, also of the UK, is rated highly for its ROI. Graduates have relatively low tuition fees, but the education quality is high, as is the cohort quality. So three years from graduating, the MBAs earn $120,500, a 110 percent increase on their previous salary. 

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Nice, France 30 Followers 152 Discussions

France’s EDHEC Business School is one of the country’s best, as it’s a Grande Ecole, one of the historically elite institutions that produced many of France’s top business leaders and politicians. The payback period is a quick 2.2 years, and the salary fresh from graduation is also impressive, at about $112,000.   

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