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MBA in Germany – Best business schools ranking, costs, salaries

Best MBA in Germany

Top business schools in Germany – Ranking, costs, salaries

Das Land der Ideen. Das Land der Möglichkeiten!

Behind the cacophony, of complicated pronunciations, is a country that is full of ideas and opportunities. Germany is a pioneer in technology, research, and uses innovation to empower its industries. Its economy is the largest in Europe and 4th in the world, according to the World Bank. It is far more stable than the American economy, which though the biggest, suffers from temperamental issues of highs and lows.

Its economic prowess aside, it is also home to some of the best institutes in the world, three of which are in the top 100 and twelve in the top 200 universities in the entire globe, as per QS world university rankings in 2021 (Read Top education systems in the world).

The cheery cherry on the top is that tuition is virtually free in German public universities (Read Cheapest countries to study abroad). And they welcome international students to join their system, as seen in the consistent rise in their numbers. In 2019/2020, the ICEF Monitor counted a total of over 320,000 international students, constituting well over 10% of the total student body.

Given the trend, the expected number of foreign studentsis going to increase with 74% prospective students in 70 countries ssaying they would “very likely” choose Germany as a study destination, despite the global pandemic (Source). Clearly, it is an attractive destination for knowledge seekers in search for new Möglichkeiten – thats German for “possibilities” and not a word describing some sort of Germanic kittens!

Where does a German MBA feature in this all rounded greatness? Well, even though Germany is not the name you may usually hear amongst the more famous business schools in Spain, France and the UK, it is still a highly valued brand. Germany’s Mannheim Business School, ESMT, and WHU Otto Beisheim, feature among the top 100 business schools in the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings, in 2021.

The rest of the institutes are also highly regarded as among the top 250 business schools of the world. But there are other clear advantages of getting a business training in Germany. Before we enquire into the individual business schools, their rankings, program types, their details, tuition and alumni salaries, let us explore some of the reasons that make Germany a student friendly place to be in.

Best MBA programs in Germany


Why study MBA in Germany?


The need for skilled professionals

We have already discussed the steadily rising economy that adds to its imposing value as a powerful country. But there are other factors that work in favor of international students. The first one is the growing deficit in Germany’s labor force. With birth rates extremely low, it runs the risk of losing out on highly skilled labor to keep the aforementioned formidable economy afloat.

In fact, the president of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry has been quoted saying, in an interview with Bild newspaper, that Germany will need roughly 1.5 million experts from abroad by the year 2025. With the Federal Employment Agency corroborating that sentiment with a prediction of a lack of nearly 7 million workers, in the labor force by 2025, it is a matter of a severe German headache to bring, and keep, highly educated skilled professionals in their system.

To that effect, Germany has begun an EU Blue Card work permit, for non European Union (EU) nationals to be temporarily eligible to work there as long as the applicants fulfill the qualifications and have a job offer with a minimum salary requirement (56,800 Euros in 2020). This limit is subject to change and is lower for foreign nationals with an education background in Mathematics, IT, Science, Technology, and Medicine. While it is valid for 4 years, you can look into permanent residentship after the term is up.

A favorable work-life culture

Besides opening up avenues to the rest of EU, by virtue of a job within the EU in Germany, Deutschland also boasts of an extremely healthy work life balance. The labor laws are strong and on an average you can enjoy less than 40 hour work weeks, with about 30 days leave to practice your Oboe in peace. And if that is not enough, it is also ranked as a top country to raise a child.

German’s equal parentage beliefs garners its workers an equal share of paternity and maternity leaves. Parental leave, as they call it, is an entitled period of time off from work for both parents until their child turns three. It totals 14 months and can be taken by each parent separately or jointly. Their jobs are protected and they also qualify to receive up to two-thirds of their income in their time of absence! That is Germany’s way of throwing new parents a baby shower – generous.

The multicultural quality keeps its recent international inductees from feeling left out. Most Germans speak in English quite fluently, especially in the big cities. Anyway, the Oktoberfest manages to bring out the inner German in everyone!

Cost of living

Germany proudly features among the top 20 countries in demand for MBA graduates, and among the top 10 countries with the highest post MBA salaries at nearly $90,000, according to 2015/16 QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report (download the pdf here).

Given that German tuition fees are considerably lower than the US, you may expect a fairly debt free existence. Property prices are reasonable and in general it affords a very comfortable lifestyle to its residents. A short break up of living costs can provide a better insight. Follow the table, below, based on estimates from

Item Cost per month
Food Prices $260
Rent for a one-bedroom apartment $650 – $900 (Berlin)

$950 – $1,250 (Munich)

Single household cost of living $856 (Berlin)

$960 (Munich)

The rest of Germany is a slight variation of these numbers. Crime is quite low and the Quality of Life index is very high, at 177. For comparison, USA, also another high ranker is at 164, and Canada at 159.

Now that you are sufficiently advised on the ways of German life, let us move on to the MBA business schools in Germany.

Top Business Schools for an MBA in Germany


No. B-School World Ranking Average Post MBA Salary
1 University of Manheim – Manheim Business School #58
(FT Global Ranking)#21
(FT Euro Ranking)
2 European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) Berlin #80 (FT Global)
#9 (FT Euro)
3 HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL) #45 (FT Euro) $91,300
4 WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management #54
(FT Global Ranking)#19 (FT Euro)
5 Frankfurt School of Finance and Management #26 (FT Euro) $93,000
7 University of Cologne Faculty of Management #75 (FT Euro) $93,000
(Post Master in Management)
8 ESCP Europe, Berlin Campus #8 (FT Euro) $109,000


Full & Part Time MBA in Top B-Schools in Germany


Program Name Duration Tuition
Manheim Business School – Full Time MBA 12 months
(Optional International Track)
Manheim Business School – Part Time MBA 24 months $46,400
ESMT – Full Time MBA 12 months $51,100
HHL Leipzig – Full Time MBA 15 – 21 months $37,600 (Early) – $40,000
HHL Leipzig – Part Time MBA 24 – 30 months $46,400
WHU Otto Beisheim – Full Time MBA 12 months $47,600
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management- Full Time MBA 12 months $45,800
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management- Part Time MBA 24 months $45,800
ESCP Europe – MBA in International Management 10 months $54,430


Executive MBA in Top B-Schools in Germany


Program Name Duration Tuition
Manheim Business School – Executive MBA 18 months
(44 working days, weekend based)
Manheim Business School –
ESSEC & Manheim EMBA
18 months
(modular based)
ESMT – EMBA 18 months $69,900
WHU Otto Beisheim – Global EMBA
(Partnered with Kellogg School of Management)
24 months $111,600
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management- EMBA 18 months $55,800
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management- MBA in International Healthcare Management (IHM) 20 months $42,300
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management- MBA for Executives Kinshasa-Frankfurt 21 months $19,400
University of Cologne – EMBA
(Partnered with Rotterdam School of Management)
24 months $64,000
ESCP – EMBA 18 – 30 months $82,100

The other famous B-schools in Germany include, among others, Technical University of Munich (TUM), IESE Business School Munich, Freie University Berlin, RWTH Aachen University, Humboldt University Berlin, and Goethe University Frankfurt.

Each is ranked between #100 to #250 of the world’s leading business schools, for an MBA, according to QS World University Rankings for Business Management Studies. You are advised to research your requirements in each and evaluate your choice best suited to your career.

German B-schools exist in the midst of one of the best economies in the world, making their MBA programs equipped with the training to be successful. Of course it helps that the employment sector, in Germany, has a stage set to take on the skilled and the highly qualified. Together these make the perfect ingredients for your bright future.

Viel Glück

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