An MBA is a Master’s of Business Administration. Gaining an MBA in Spain can lead the way to a highly successful and lucrative career in Spain, elsewhere in Europe, or further afield.

There are currently around fifty Spanish business schools offering MBA courses and an increasing number of these are offering their courses in English to cater for international students.

Let’s take a closer look at an MBA in the US vs an MBA in Spain.

MBA: Spain vs USA

Historically the US has always dominated global rankings of MBA courses, but now Spanish MBAs are up there with US MBAs in terms of quality and there are many other reasons to choose an MBA in Spain over an MBA in the US.

The world is much more ‘global’ now than it was, say, twenty years ago. People travel and live abroad more than they used to and multinational corporations have popped up almost everywhere, always on the lookout for MBA graduates.

Twenty years ago over 80% of the top 40 ranked MBA courses were based in the US. Now, this figure is below 50%. US business schools still took the top 4 spots (Stanford, Penn, MIT, and Harvard) in the 2021 global MBA rankings but over 50% of the top 50 MBA business schools were located in Europe, and three business schools offering an MBA in Spain made the top 15 rankings.

The three high-ranking Spanish business schools were IE Business School in Madrid (9th). IESE Business School, Barcelona (11th), and ESADE Business School, Barcelona (12th).

Only three other European business schools rank higher than these three MBAs in Spain and they are: HEC, Paris, INSEAD, Paris, and London Business School.

MBA in Spain

Business Schools Rankings – MBAs in Spain

Factors taken into account when ranking business schools and their MBA courses include Employability, Entrepreneurship & Alumni Outcomes, Return on Investment, Diversity, and Thought Leadership.

US business school generally rank higher than Spanish business schools in the area of Thought Leadership. Thought Leadership is about finding the deepest understandings and creating the most insightful and innovative courses.

Thought leaders generate motivation and promote improved learning through their dedication, expertise and strategy. US business schools are well established and the prestige they have enjoyed during recent years has meant they have attracted top teachers and brought in the funds to facilitate continued development and expansion.

The gap between an MBA in Spain vs the US in terms of Employability and Entrepreneurship & Alumni Outcomes used to be considerably wider.

Now both enjoy similarly impressive rankings in these areas meaning that MBA graduates of US and Spanish business schools both have an excellent chance of securing employment because their qualification is well respected and the skills they have gained are perfectly suited to the current market.

Spanish MBA’s ROI

It is in the areas of Diversity and Return on Investment that Spanish business schools are more attractive

All European MBA programs are significantly more diverse than US MBA programs and Spain is no exception. The number of international students studying an MBA in Spain is much higher than US MBA courses.

Diversity is beneficial both in terms of personal experience and development and also for gaining more international exposure. Diverse business teams are more successful and business schools all around the world aim to attract as wide a variety of religions, race, nations, and gender as possible.

Many multinationals nowadays incline towards graduates who are world-wise and multi-talented and therefore will often see Spanish MBA graduates as a better deal than US MBA graduates.

Cost of an MBA in Spain vs the US

In general Spanish MBAs are seen to offer a better Return on Investment than US MBAs.

Much of this will have to do with the international exposure we have just discussed, but the cost of an MBA in Spain is also a major factor.

Spanish MBA programs cost significantly less than US MBA programs. Spanish living costs are much lower than in the US, as are course fees. Spanish MBAs also are almost always shorter than US MBAs meaning that students have less time to rack up debts and can start applying for work quicker.

Most Spanish MBAs are one year long whereas most US MBAs last two years.

It should also be noted that Spanish MBA classes tend to be smaller than US classes and Spanish MBAs have higher acceptances rates.

No one could argue with the caliber of US MBAs and their continued domination of world rankings illustrates this undeniable quality.

US prestige doesn’t come cheap though and for many students studying their MBA in Spain or another European country will be a much wiser decision.

The chances of getting accepted on your desired course will be higher in Spain and your Return on Investment could be significantly better.

MBA in Spain

Business schools in Spain offering MBA courses

As mentioned previously the highest ranking Spanish business schools offering MBA programs are IE Business School in Madrid. IESE Business School, Barcelona, and ESADE Business School, Barcelona.

Other popular and well-respected Spanish business schools offering MBAs include University Carlos III of Madrid, EU Business School of Barcelona, EAE Business School of Barcelona, and ESIC Business & Marketing School.

Where can you study for an MBA in Spain?

The majority of Spanish MBA courses are located in Madrid and Barcelona.

However, if you would prefer to study your MBA in Spain outside Spain’s big two cities, there are many great MBAs available up and down the country.

These include: IESE Business School of Navarra, ISAE Business School of Sevilla, University of Valencia, University Internacional of Valencia, University CEU Cardenal Herrera of Valencia, Escuela Europea de Negocios of Salamanca, Instituto Europeo de Estudios Empresariales (INESEM) Business School of Granada, Fundesem Business School of Alicante, and Deusto University of Bilbao.