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How is Germany for an MBA? What salary can I expect after MBA from top 10 colleges in Germany?

Updated: May 29, 2020

The MBA is similar to any other country. Salary can vary from 30,000€ to 100,000€+, depends on your skill set and other factors, not your qualification.

Having worked in Germany for ~6years now, I got the opportunity to work with MBAs, PHDs and other highly qualified professionals. Following are my observations from working with these colleagues:

Upside :

  • Lower costs - as compared to a comparable program in US or UK. Since most of the students take a loan, this factor is critical. The tuition fee is an investment in your career and the ROI has to be atleast 100% if not more. The MBA costs will be about 40,000€ to 50,000€ for reputed programs,

  • Local education : The German MBA provides credibility to those who plan to stay and work long term in Germany or DACH region (D - Germany, A - Austria and CH - Switzerland) region professionally,

  • Career days : The institutes organize career days for the students to network with the corporate and alumni. These are opportunities to build up real life skills for a successful career,

  • International exposure : Doing MBA in Germany means interacting with students from all across EU, or even the world. The classroom already provides the competitive atmosphere you face in a global marketplace.

  • Experience level : Most of the students are ex-professionals who have atleast 3–5years of experience. Having such a class composition, means that you can create a professional network while doing MBA.

  • Part time work : As a student in Germany, one is allowed to work 20 hours per week to make up some of the their living expenses. The jobs are easy to find and provide good exposure to the German work culture and customers as a student. Some of the students accumulate these hours to find student jobs in a company.

Downside :

  • No campus placements : Please read this point carefully (especially Indian students/readers). There is no concept of campus placements. The student needs to get their internships and jobs on their own. The colleges ensure support in the form of career days, the final effort comes down to the students,

  • German language : For an international student, one factor to start preparing for at the earliest. Though there are career days, most of the alumni and corporate will be interacting in German. If you cant speak German, you have already lost out.

  • Few good options : In my view, there are only 2–3 schools to consider for MBA in Germany (for top quality). These days, there are lot of private schools which get students from abroad (mostly India), and sometimes don't even have a basic curriculum in place.

  • Relaxed attitude : MBA does not equal job in Germany. Do not think of MBA in Germany as a placement channel. The job market is competitive and is not kind to those who lack basic skills in education.

  • Misleading marketing : Of late, there has been significant marketing of "Germany free education" in India. While there is free education, there is competition for it. Most of these agents/consultants are paid well over €1,000 (INR 80,000)/student from some private institutes. These channels will try to convince you to reconsider the college choices in favor of those suggested by them.

One of the students in India wrote to me on Instagram that he is researching colleges in Germany. One such German college replied to him that after their course, the student can get a starting salary of €150,000 (INR 1,20,00,000 or INR 1.2 crore).

This is absolutely wrong, false and misleading. An ideal salary range for an absolute fresher MBA in Germany will be close to €40,000 (INR 34,00,000) per annum.

This answer is primarily aimed at the Indian students/professionals who are considering Germany as an option for education. The professional and technical courses, by their very nature, ensure only the best students are selected. This is not true for MBA, as this is a general program and admissions are based on financial capability.

Before coming to Germany for studies, make sure of the following :

  • research the quality of Uni/ Institute that you are getting admission in,

  • research the quality of the course that you are enrolling for,

  • talk to the alumni of the course to know what are the job opportunities,

  • research the jobs openings now know what the companies are looking for,

  • be aware that you need to find your own internship,

  • be aware that there is no concept of campus placements in Germany.

  • you need to find your job on your own,

  • German language might not be required for your course, it will most probably be required for the job (especially for finance, ops, marketing, sales, HR roles),

  • brands like BMW, Mercedes, VW, Bosch, Bayer, Siemens and others hire only the best students,

  • if the company does not find a suitable candidate, they will not hire anyone,

  • you will need to network to get ahead in your career,

  • your social skills and communication will be very important, German language will be critical,

  • you compete from people across EU, not just Germany.

Best wishes for your career.

It always helps to have a mentor, who has worked and lived in Germany for some of the best brands. For personal consultation with Arun Mahajan, book a time with him.

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