Best MBA Programs and Universities, Top Online and Executive MBA Courses

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Selecting the best MBA programs, best universities, best online MBA courses and best Executive MBA programs are always dependent on certain factors. Cost, payback period, placement offered, recognition received and return on investments are all critical factors if you would like to choose the best of everything in MBA.

Now, the thing is that there are no tailor-made MBA programs, universities, online courses or Executive programs which will suit everyone’s needs universally. Because everyone has different priority and prefers one or two factors in order to choose the best program for them. The following are the list of five top MBA programs, top five universities in the world which offers best courses in MBA, top five online programs and five top executive programs you can enrol for.

Best MBA Programs and Universities

Without much ado, the following are the five top notch MBA programs in the world depending on the five factors we have discussed before. Please have a look and select which one would suit you best.


This the top-most MBA program in the world which satisfy all the causative factors we have discussed before. This is located in Lausanne, Switzerland. Tuition fees are US $90,100. The payback period is one of the best and that is 2.3 years, meaning you would get back your money within 2.3 years after the course is completed. The best course often reduces the opportunity cost. Thus in this case, not going for this MBA is more costly than doing it.

To understand the value of this MBA, we need to look at pre-MBA salary. Its average pre-MBA salary is US $84,000 and once you complete the MBA, you will get an average salary of US $211,000. Think about the leap in the salary. If money is not the issue, then you should opt for this MBA without any doubt.


The second most reputed MBA program is of Insead. It is top class and once you pass out from this MBA, you will be able to fly without wings. This MBA is offered at Fontainebleau, France. In terms of cost, this is one of the best world-class institutes. The fees are reasonable in this range. It is US $74,564. Its payback period is what is most attractive. Just within 2 years of completing this MBA, you would be able to get your money back.

It is very significant that you compare the top-most and second-most MBA program before you decide to go for anyone of them. Now, let’s talk about the opportunity cost of this MBA program. In one word – Un-miss-able. If you always dream of doing a foreign MBA from a top-notch institute and at reasonable fees, then Insead is the best option for you. If you compare the pre-MBA and post-MBA salary structure of a student attending Insead classes, then we will understand how much value-addition Insead is doing to its students. Prior MBA, if a student gets US $71,000 he will get US $175,000.

SDA Bocconi

This is third most lucrative MBA as per the five causative factors we have analysed before. Compared to other two top-most MBA, the fees for this MBA are much lesser. It is only US $55,680. Yes, from Indian perspective, it may be a bit higher, but if you have already planned to do a foreign MBA, then it is one of the most lucrative opportunities you can ever think of. And as the fees are reasonable, the payback period is reasonably short.

Only within 2.4 years of completion of your MBA program, you will get back your money. The institute is situated in Milan, Italy. Pre-MBA and Post-MBA range of salary is US $57,000 and US $165,000. So, if we calculate mathematically, the value addition in regards to salary package is almost 3 times.

London Business School

This is the fourth-most world-class MBA in the world. But if you compare with its other counter-parts, the fees are on a higher range. It is US $98,854. The payback period is also bit high, 3.4 years. Means you would get back your money after 3.4 years of completing your MBA. But if you talk about value addition it is almost 3 times again. Prior MBA if your average compensation is US $77,000, then Post-MBA you would get a salary of US $214,000.

If you are ambitious and have some good financial aid to help you with, then you should not miss the opportunity to study in the London Business School for your dream MBA program.

IE Business School

This is the fifth best MBA program in the world. The location of the institute is in Madrid, Spain. The fees are much lesser than London Business School. It is US $78,077. The payback period is also very reasonable. Within 3 years of completion of your MBA, you will get your money back in full and more. The opportunity cost of this MBA program is very less as compared to other costly MBA programs.

Because, being the fifth best MBA program it adds tremendous value to you in terms of knowledge, skills, placement and networking that once you are done you wouldn’t regret your decision. Prior MBA if the average compensation is US $53,000, then once you are done with your MBA, you would get the average salary of US $144,000.

Best Online MBA Programs

Online programs are often preferred by people who have few years of experience but cannot let go of their jobs immediately. Let’s have a look at the world’s top five online MBAs.

Indiana University

Bloomington (Kelley): This is the best Online MBA program in the year 2015. For admission the GMAT cut off required is 636 which is quite high for online MBA programs. This university offers 6 specializations for MBA program. And normally people who enrol for this online MBA program usually completes within 2 to 5 years. Once you pass out from the Online MBA, usually your average annual salary would be US $104,000.

University of Texas – Dallas

It is an old online MBA program, founded in 1999-2000. It provides great opportunity for Online MBA. Other than traditional specializations, it also offers opportunities for healthcare professionals who have excellent track records. It involves a 10 day international tour. Once the students pass out from the online MBA program, the average annual salary would be US $81,037.

Arizona State University

W.P. Carey of Business of Arizona University offers the world-class Online MBA program. This Online program is coming from an MBA school which has been offering its excellent programs for over 15 years to hundreds and thousands of students. They offer four specializations in total. Once you come out of this MBA program, your average annual salary would be whopping US $98,093.

Thunderbird School of Global Management

This is also one of the top-most world-class Online MBA programs available all over the world. It is a 19 months program and half of the students are from all over the world. To attend this program, you need to have at least 2 years of professional experience. The average annual salary once you complete this Online MBA program would be US $83,200.

Syracuse University

Whitman School of Management of Syracuse University’s online MBA program is one of the top-class MBA programs available all over the world. This programs offer a lot of specializations like entrepreneurship, accounting, supply chain management, finance and marketing management. Faculty of Whitman School of Management is of international standards. The ratio of faculty to student is 1 to 11. The average annual salary offered after completing this Online MBA program is US $90,000.

Best Executive MBA programs

Executive MBA is another option for people who have a few years of experience and who couldn’t get the opportunity to pursue their higher studies immediately after their graduation. So, here are the top 5 executive MBA programs in the world.


London School of Economics, HEC Paris and NYU Stern School of Business sponsor this EMBA program. This EMBA is not for everyone as it is pretty expensive. It costs around US $165,900. It takes around 17 months to complete the program. This EMBA offers an opportunity for students to visit 5 countries during their tenure of the program. It offers a real global environment, excellent faculty and amazing upgrades in the knowledge-levels of students.


This EMBA is specifically designed for Asian managers. Two top-class business schools Kellogg School of Management and Hong Kong’s University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have come together to offer this EMBA program. The cost of this program is also on a higher range, US $155,000. The duration of this program is 18 months. This EMBA offers all traditional specialization to its students.


The core purpose of this EMBA is to teach its students diversity of culture. INSEAD and Tsinghua University School of Economics, two top-class MBA schools have come together to offer this EMBA program. The cost of this EMBA is bit lesser than its other counter-parts and that is US $100,000. It takes total 18 months to pass out from this EMBA. There are four countries one needs to visit in order to complete this EMBA – Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Beijing and France.


National University of Singapore (NUS) and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has come together to offer this EMBA program. The cost of this EMBA is also more than TIEMBA. The fees are US $107,828. It is just 15 months long program which is the shortest among the top-class EMBA programs available all over the world. It is a combination of east and west and it teaches how to combine the diversity of two worlds together and how business is getting shaped by these two diverse perspectives.

EMBA Global Americas and Europe

London Business School and Columbia Business School have come together to offer this world-class EMBA. The cost is huge of this EMBA and that is US $166,911. The duration of this program is 20 months. The purpose of this EMBA program is to offer its students the upgraded managerial skills a global manager should have.

5 factors that need to be considered while choosing best program and university

Now, let’s look at the above five factors in brief to have an idea how we are choosing the best of everything in MBA programs no matter what your requirements are.


Cost is of utter importance. Because without fees it is not possible to do the MBA at first place. No matter how exorbitant the cost is, if you would like to go for your dream MBA, you need to pay the amount. Now, when you are thinking of the cost, it is prudence that you don’t only include the actual cost that you are incurring for your MBA programs, but you should also look at the opportunity cost of doing one MBA and not another.

Opportunity cost is simply a measure of how much you are letting go in order to choose the current option. Suppose, if you choose a MBA with a fee structure of $40,000 then the opportunity cost of this option is that you could have earned a handsome interest if you would have put $40,000 in the bank instead of investing into your MBA. In the matter of opportunity cost, there are other two factors also involved.

They are time and effort. If you are planning to invest 2 years of your life and effort into an MBA program, what are you letting go of as a result of that? You need to align your perspective in this term and then opt for what suits you best. We have taken this factor into account in order to find the best of MBA programs. This is one of the most important and critical factors you need to consider before you go for any sort of MBA or equivalent program.

Payback Period

When you lend your money you always ask the borrower when he would pay back your money. Then the borrower might say a measurable amount of time through which you articulate your other plans. When you opt for your MBA, you are lending your money to an MBA institute and when you are enrolling yourself and paying the fees, you should know when your money would be paid back!

For few universities the payback period is way too high, but you should not choose those MBA programs or Universities just for their name. You need to know within how many years they are giving back your money through a lucrative job or placement. Then you need to do your calculation and decide. This is the second most important factor in our determination of best MBA programs, universities, online courses and executive MBA programs.

Placement offered

Placement is linked with payback period. If your package is lucrative enough, the chances of shortening your payback period would be probable enough. Now, before you choose the best programs, you need to make sure that the course has value in market and there are plenty of placement opportunities in the industry. You may have a completely different career aspiration. You may have chosen to start your own business after doing your MBA.

In such case you need to do a proper valuation of your future company and an expected cash flow, so that you can equate the two and find out how beneficial you are becoming as a result of doing the MBA. These calculations are important because if you don’t do them everything will happen by default and afterward you cannot go back and make better choices.

Thus, do a little due diligence before you join any MBA program, so that the gap between your expected salary and profit would equate with the actual salary and profit earned. This is the third critical factor we are taking into account while choosing the best of everything in MBA.

Recognition received

All MBA programs are not globally recognized. If you are doing any MBA from India, only top MBA programs like IIMs are internationally recognized. Even IIM programs if can be compared with the foreign MBA programs then you would see that foreign MBAs have broader world-wide recognition and more reputation. Moreover, if a guy would pass out from an Indian MBA program, he would not get as much value as a guy who would clear his MBA from a top-notch foreign university.

There are various reasons for that to happen. In India, the diversity of cultures and dynamism of faculties are much lesser than the foreign universities. In foreign universities, faculties from all over the world come to teach you and at the same time you get to meet students who are from all walks of life, from completely different backgrounds than yours and there are so many business philosophies they bring forth? Result? More dynamism and more learning which ensure better reception and wider recognition.

Return on Investments

Returns on investments are one of the most critical factors in any area. No matter you opt for doing business, a course or choose a career. Even if ends always don’t justify means, but it’s true that if you cannot see the end in mind beforehand and if the end is not worthy, then you shouldn’t get bothered about the means at all.

Thus, when you are investing your money, time and effort into a top-notch program, you need to know what it would give you back. In simple terms, what would be the output for your input in the long run? If you can answer this question well, then most of your queries will be solved because this simple question can give you direction toward which you need to set your sail. MBA is an investment, not only course. And like any other investments, you should make sure that the return you get on the investment in MBA is worthy enough to pay you dividend for a long time.

These are the five factors we have considered while selecting the best MBA programs, best universities, best online programs and best Executive MBA courses.