The M.B.A. Is the highest business degree in the U.S. However, the title is also on everyone's lips in Germany – university journals are full of M.B.A.-Offers and articles describing the positive effects of this degree. Due to its very practice-oriented content – from applied economics with so-called case studies – it has become the most popular additional qualification in German business studies. Career opportunities and starting salaries with M.B.A. are higher than without this valuable qualification.
For whom the M.B.A. For more information on the best programs and admission requirements, see our study guide.
For whom is a M.B.A.?
Considering the significant time and financial commitment that a M.B.A.-program means, so anyone interested should ask themselves not only whether a M.B.A. the correct further education for it represents, but also whether it is personally suitable for it.
The M.B.A. prepares for a career in management. What sounds desirable to everyone, objectively means long working hours, sometimes weekend work, lots of responsibility, pressure to succeed and the need to remain flexible geographically and in terms of family planning.
Any M.B.A.-Prospective students should critically examine whether these challenges correspond to their career aspirations, whether they even seek them out or would rather avoid them. Friends and family can often make valuable contributions to an honest self-assessment.
Those who have completed their M.B.A. If you would like to complete a program abroad, you will definitely meet the criterion of flexibility as a prerequisite for a successful career.B.A.-Study. Although many M.B.A.-programs allow students to specialize in areas such as finance, marketing, or human resources, the goal of the program is to provide the student with "general management skills," i.e., interdisciplinary and practice-oriented business thinking and action, thus preparing the student for a career in upper management in a company.
Target group of the M.B.A.-The students are basically persons without a business education. Thus ca. 90% of participants in an M.B.A.-Program in Europe and ca. 70% in the USA do not have any previous business education. Nevertheless, the M.B.A. as a supplement to business studies due to its practical orientation in combination with the advantages of another language and culture as an ideal additional qualification for career starters in Germany
The minimum academic requirement for an MBA program is a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent. For applicants from German-speaking countries, this generally means a university or university of applied sciences diploma or the state examination. For students of business administration or economics, it is sometimes possible to be admitted after the intermediate diploma (or intermediate diploma + 2 semesters).
Access to an MBA program is not categorically ruled out for applicants without a degree, but such applicants must demonstrate outstanding professional achievements in business.
MBA applicants must have some level of practical experience in business or organizations. In general, 2-3 years are often considered sufficient. Although at elite American schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton or MIT the average of all applicants is often closer to 4-5 years, Europeans are often admitted there with only 2-3 years of work experience due to the different educational system.
For almost all business schools it is necessary to take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). It tests the verbal and mathematical skills of MBA applicants under time pressure and is designed to help determine a candidate's suitability for a career in management, as it reveals not only the candidate's analytical skills but also his or her ability to work under pressure.
The TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) must also be taken as proof of foreign language proficiency.
Letters of recommendation from at least 3 professors at the home university should highlight the applicant's special status, self-effacement, and ambition. The letters must be written personally by the recommender in English and sealed and handed over to the applicant.
The more prestigious universities and colleges in particular are placing increasing emphasis on personal interviews as an integral part of the application process. In the interviews, there was a particular focus on personal motivation and university selection criteria.
essay play a varying role in the placement test. Partially replace interviews and therefore cover similar topics. essays also serve to validate English skills and can even compensate for mediocre TOEFL scores.
Duration of the programs
The classic American MBA lasts 2 years as a full-time program. However, due to today's large number of variations with regard to the timing of the program, it is not possible to make any general statements about the duration of an MBA program. We think the following classification is useful:
In the USA, the two-year, full-time MBA is by far the most common program structure. Some American schools like e.g. Kellogg Graduate School of Management also offers accelerated programs that last between 1 year and 18 months. In Europe, 1-year full-time programs are the most common option.
Part-time and distance learning programs
They allow the MBA student to study part-time and usually last 2-3 years, but can take up to 8 years depending on the structure.
In addition to this distinction, MBA programs can also be categorized as follows, depending on students' work experience:
- "Junior MBA" programs for students with circa 2-5 years of work experience – the overwhelming majority of programs
- "Executive MBA" programs for individuals with more than 5, often more than 10, years of professional experience who have already worked in senior management (engl. Executive = Manager in senior management)
Both types of programs are available in full-time and part-time versions.
Title management is a particularly important and difficult issue. In the following sections we have compiled some important information on the topic of titles in Germany. Nevertheless, we strongly advise prospective MBA applicants to clarify any questions regarding title management on their own initiative and responsibility before starting the MBA program.
For the USA:
AACSB accreditation not only proves the quality of the MBA program, it is also required for the title to be used in Germany. This was stated by the Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate in Koblenz in a judgement.
MBA titles that have been acquired within the European Union at a state-recognized institution in the respective country are generally considered to be approved in Germany.
In the case of cooperation between German and foreign schools, both schools must have the state recognition (or. American schools have to be accredited by the AACSB) to be allowed to use a title after graduation in Germany
In principle, the Ministry of Science and Culture of the federal state in which the graduate has his or her main residence is responsible for the recognition of MBA titles acquired abroad. After completion of the MBA program, you must also obtain permission to use the title there.
However, we advise every MBA applicant to inquire at the respective ministry before starting the studies whether the awarded title may be used in Germany in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. Individuals may also contact the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) for general information regarding the title, but not for specific advice.
Approval of the title does not mean that the MBA earned abroad is automatically considered equivalent to a German degree. This equivalence is, however, a prerequisite for a doctorate or for certain further education courses, such as tax auditor. In general, this is only the case if the individual has completed at least six semesters of university or technical college studies prior to the MBA program.
Even in the case of MBA titles awarded by institutions in German-speaking countries, it is not clear from the outset that the title can be used legally, as there are unfortunately a few black sheep among the schools. It is advisable to clarify the question of the title with the respective school and the ministry.