Average Age and Work Experience at the Top MBA Programs

We have collected data from all the top MBA Programs, according to Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings (2021, in this post). The tables represent the nature of the class profile in the programs. These are in no-way indicative of cut-offs or benchmarks.

We have broken up the tables according to geographical locations. Each location shows the general pool of applications, with North America sharing most of the 4-5 years of work experience candidates within 30 years and Europe and Asia pushing towards a higher end. The Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) are known to mostly enroll students who are fresh out of college, post CAT. Hence the youthful numbers and relatively low work experience in MBA.

Note: These tables are representative lists. Please refer to the official pages for changes and updates.

Average Age and Work Experience for MBA in USA

FT Ranking Business School Average Age Average Work Experience (years)
3 University of Chicago 28 5
4 Yale School of Management 27 4.4
6 Northwestern University, Kellogg 28 5
9 Duke University, Fuqua 29 5.9
10 Dartmouth College, Tuck 28-29 5.4
11 University of Virginia, Darden 28 5
13 New York University, Stern 28 5.1
15 Cornell University, Johnson 29 5
17 Georgetown University, McDonough 29 5.3
21 University of Michigan, Ross 29 5
24 University of Southern California, Marshall 29 5.3
25 Washington University, Olin 28 4.1
26 University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler 28 5.8
27 Carnegie Mellon, Tepper 29 5.4
28 University of Washington, Foster 29 6
31 Vanderbilt University, Owen 28 5.4
32 Rice University, Jones 28.5 5
38 Indiana University, Kelley 30 6.4
40 University of Florida, Warrington 28 4.5
40 University of Texas at Austin McCombs 29 6
42 University of California at Irvine, Merage 29 5
43 Michigan State University, Broad 25.5 3.7
46 Babson College, Olin 28 5
47 Pennsylvania State University, Smeal 29 5.8
50 Emory University, Goizueta 29 5.5
51 Boston University, Questrom 28 5
52 University of Maryland, Smith 28 5
55 Boston College, Carroll 28 4.5
56 Ohio State University, Fisher 29 3.9
57 Arizona State University, WP Carey 29 5.3


Average Age and Work Experience for MBA in Canada


FT Ranking Business School Average Age Average Work Experience (years)
75 University of Toronto, Rotman 28 5
91 McGill University, Desautels 29 5.5
97 Western University Ivey 28.5 5
100 Queen’s University, Smith 27 4


Average Age and Work Experience for MBA in UK


FT Ranking Business School Average Age Average Work Experience (years)
2 London Business School 29 5.5
16 University of Cambridge Judge 30 6
17 University of Oxford Said 29 5
30 Alliance Manchester Business School 29 6
32 Warwick Business School 32 8
44 Imperial College Business School 30 7
61 City University of London, Bayes (formerly Cass) 30 6
74 Durham University Business School 31 9
96 Lancaster University Management School 31 7.5


Average Age and Work Experience for MBA in Europe

FT Ranking Business School Average Age Average Work Experience (years)
1 INSEAD (France) 23-36 3-8
4 IESE Business School (Spain) 29 4
7 HEC Paris (France) 30 5.8
12 SDA Bocconi (Italy) 29 5.5
19 IMD Business School (Switzerland) 30 7
20 ESADE Business School (Spain) 28.7 6.1
39 IE Business School (Spain) 30 6
54 WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management (Germany) 29 6
58 Mannheim Business School (Germany) 30 6
63 Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (Netherlands) 30 7
64 University of St Gallen (Switzerland) 30 6
76 Edhec Business School (France) 31 7
78 Eada Business School Barcelona (Spain) 30 6.3
80 ESMT Berlin (Germany) 30 7
81 Essec Business School (France) 30 6-7
82 The Lisbon MBA Catolica Nova (Portugal) 32 8
90 EMLyon Business School (France) 30 7
98 Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) 30 5


Average Age and Work Experience for MBA in Asia


FT Ranking Business School Average Age Average Work Experience (years)
1 INSEAD (Singapore) 23-36 3-8
7 CEIBS (China) 29 5.5
14 National University of Singapore Business School (Singapore) 29 6
22 HKUST Business School (Hong Kong) 29 6
23 Indian Business School (India) 27 4.2
28 Indian School of Business (India) 26.6 4.2
29 HKU Business School (Hong Kong) 29-30 6-7
32 Fudan University School of Management (China) 29 5.6
35 Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (India) EPGP 30 5-12
35 Sungkyunkwan University GSB (South Korea) 30 6
37 Nanyang Business School, NTU (Singapore) 28 6
44 Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (India) MBAEx (formerly PGPEX) 30 8
48 CUHK Business School (Hong Kong) 30 6.9
48 Indian Institute of Management PGPX (Ahmedabad) 32 9
53 Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Antai (China) 30 6.1
58 Singapore Management University, Lee Kong Chian (Singapore) 30 5-7


Average Age and Work Experience for MBA in Australia

FT Ranking Business School Average Age Average Work Experience (years)
87 Melbourne Business School 28 6
79 AGSM at UNSW Business School 30 7


Related information about MBA average age and work experience

Most schools either specify a minimum requirement for work experience, or they specify their flexibility when it comes to quality admissions. Admission is usually based on a purely holistic criteria. For instance, this candidate made it to the top MBA in USA and UK with only 2 years of work experience.

B-schools have been known to entertain candidates with a strong and exceptional background, irrespective of work experience. Hence, it is best you research your options suited to your needs and profile. Meanwhile follow the links below for additional relevant information.


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15 thoughts on “Average Age and Work Experience at the Top MBA Programs”

  1. Hi Sameer, I am textile engineer and I have been working as a production engineer for almost 2year and before that I had worked as a merchandiser in textile manfacturing industry for 6 months. Now i want to do executive mba in 2019 . so please tell me that this experience is sufficent for 1year program and Is this experience count in mba programme.?

  2. I am having 2+ years of work experience.
    Marks in 10/12/BTech-56/63/75.
    Want to pursue MBA . Which MBA option would be best 2 year, 1 year, Distance through niit imperia,certificate courses from IIM?
    PLZ HELP & ADVICE if any other option are good.Plz tell regarding that too.

  3. Hi! samir
    I am 47 year old done MBA Finance distance education, i worked in so many firm from typist to account assistant, but i am facing problem now to get job. Please sujjest.

  4. Hi Sameer

    I see you are answering all the questions in your blog, that’s really nice. What are the chance for an Army jawan to complete his MBA from the B school.


  5. @Abhi: The experience will count, but it’ll be less for most international programs. A better option would be to work for a coupel of years more before applying.

    @Arvind: Full-time programs work the best. If you can wait for a couple of years, you can consider any good 2-year MBA program in the US, or 1 year programs in india (like ISB), Asia, Europe.

    @Abhi: All good MBA programs cover the basics of running a business. Once the basic foundations are covered, you’ll have the opportunity to specialise in your area of interest. Here’s what they’ll cover as part of the basic syllabus: https://www.mbacrystalball.com/mba-syllabus

    @Saraswati: Distance education degrees generally aren’t valued as much as full-time courses. If you’re current skills aren’t helping you get a job, you could consider gaining news skills that are in demand.

    @Arun: We’ve covered several perspectives for ex-Army officers who are considering an MBA for a career change:

  6. Hi Sameer,

    Thanks for posting these details. I would like to know about the older candidate who is 36 years of age (Working in Tech since 12 years) and willing to apply for Full-Time MBA. Is there any list of schools that accept Older candidates?

  7. Hi Sameer,

    I’m having 3 years of work experience, graduated in Mining Engineering from IIT.
    Marks in 10/12/B.Tech – 90/96/8.5
    Planning to apply for MBA in 2019 fall, by when I’ll have 4 years of work ex. But, I’ve shifted my jobs quite frequently. In a central govt company then a startup and now in a political strategy organisation. Does this diverse experience will lower my chances of getting admits from top colleges ? Please give me your suggestion on it.

  8. Dear Sameer,

    I am 56 years old M.Tech Applied Geology from erstwhile University of Roorkee (now IITR). After a stint of gazetted job in Govt I went abroad and worked in SCM, Marketing and Finance over 27 years. In between through correspondence I did MBA and MCA. I still have a strong flair for learning. I intend to join an elite MBA program abroad. I would appreciate receiving your expert advice after MBA will I get a handsome job?

    Thanking you

  9. @Babu: Hats off to your enthusiasm to pursue another degree at 56. While I do know someone who completed an MBA at 60 (who agreed to share his experience on our blog and then disappeared!), I don’t see top MBA employers lining up with job offers after an MBA, given their general preference to recruit younger professionals who can be molded into the company culture. If knowledge is what you’re looking for, that’s one area where you will not be disappointed.

  10. Hey Sameer,
    I am having a work experience of 1.5 years and now planning to pursue Full-Time MBA from one of the top Canadian Universities. Academic grades goes as 10/88%/7.98 for 10th/12th/B Tech respectively. I wanted to know whether these grades+experience is good enough to apply for top Canadian universities or should i gain some more work experience before applying. GMAT preparations are on peak.

    Thanks Already

  11. Hello, I am kalpesh,30 years old. I did MBA in marketing in 2014..I have 5 years professional experience. Now working in digital marketing agency as online marketing executive. Now I wanted to pursue Masters or PG in DIGITAL MARKETING in Canada.

    Is it possible to take admission after long period of education inspite of having experience.shall I get any issue in Visa process ?

  12. Hi Sameer,
    I have Job experience of 2 years in Quality control in a manufacturing industry after graduating from IIT. I do not see good technical roles in India, most appear to demand more of managerial abilities rather than technical expertise. As this is the scenario in general, I want to pursue MBA which (I suppose) would help build my managerial capabilities and understanding about the various aspects of an organisation. Will this be a wise investment? Which foreign colleges would consider an experience of 3 yrs (in manufacturing) relevant and provide suitable MBA course for me?


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