A diploma in international business and management, the MBA (Master of Business Administration) is aimed at professionals – from all fields – who wish to boost their careers, in particular to move towards management positions.
The MBA is not a master like the others. Intended for professionals, this program is essentially designed to give a boost to their career. Be careful though: in France, only 25 schools are accredited by the MBA Association (AMBA). This certification guarantees the quality of the program and its international recognition.
The MBA, a general training to boost your career
“The MBA remains a general training”, warns Phil Eyre, director of MBAs at Grenoble School of Management (GEM). This program takes up basic subjects from business schools : finance, marketing, human resources management, accounting…
It therefore aims professionals specialized in other fields : engineers, lawyers, HR managers, even people with a less technical academic profile. Their common points: after at least three years of experience – this is the minimum required to integrate an MBA – they want to give a new dimension to their career.
Some MBA students thus aspire to become a manager, others wish to change paths to join a career in international business, still others, already executives, seek to enrich their managerial and commercial knowledge. “Many engineers, for example, do not have the basics on commercial or managerial professions“, justifies Kentia Boulay, director of the Global MBA at Essec.
Choose between a classic MBA or an Executive MBA
Depending on the progress of their career and their aspirations, candidates can choose either a traditional MBA, full-time, or prefer an Executive MBA, part-time, better suited to professionals who wish to continue working while taking this training.
The second option is often preferred by more experienced professionals – over 40 – while the first option welcomes younger profiles. No need to already have a bac+5 to join these programs: a bac+4 or even a bac+3 is enough.
To access these courses, you must go through a selective admission procedure specific to each institution. You will generally pass an online pre-selection, then a selection on file and finally interviews, often in English. Many schools also ask for letters of recommendation, management aptitude tests (Tage Mage, GMAT) and English tests (TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS, etc.)
The MBA, an international education
In MBA, all courses are taught in English: an excellent level is therefore essential! The MBA has a very strong international dimension. Some programs have a very large majority of international students.
This diversity of profiles, both linguistic, cultural and professional, “is part of the MBA experience”, assures Kentia Boulay, who also underlines the importance of “coaching” and “networking” of the MBA. The lessons are not limited to lectures, but combine workshops, projects in connection with companies, intervention of professionals…
Ying Liu, at Essec, confirms: “Even if we are at school, we are not far from the professional world”. At 33, with a university degree in Applied Foreign Languages and six years in sales, she joined Essec’s Global MBA in September 2021. According to her, this degree is “more a life experience than a training program”.
Financing your MBA
On the financial side, the MBA is an extremely expensive training : count at least 10,000 euros and up to more than 60,000 euros. Count at least 30,000 euros for a reputable MBA – labeled by the AMBA and ranked in the Financial Times. At these tuition fees on top of this are on-campus accommodation and travel expenses.
If some participants are “sponsored” by their company, they remain in the minority and the professional activity is often put on hold for the duration of the training, the question of financing is to be anticipated, especially since there are several ways to reduce the bill.
Depending on your profile, establishments may offer scholarships, reduced tuition fees and negotiate bank loans at preferential rates. You can also use your CPF (personal training account), or use your savings… You can also opt for a part-time MBA to continue working part-time.