. INSEAD’s value proposition can be told in just ten simple charts
Of all the world’s very best business schools, INSEAD offers a truly unique value proposition. In just ten frenetically intense months, the school offers young professionals a transformative experience for €89,000 ($107,000) in tuition. MBA students can choose to start their educational journey in Fontainebleau, France, or Singapore. They can enter the program in either January or September. And they can study among one of the most culturally and geographically diverse MBA cohorts assembled anywhere. American has long been known as a melting pot. INSEAD is truly a global melting pot of an institution.
And when students graduate from INSEAD, in what must seem like the blink of an eye, three out of every four MBAs do a career switch of some kind. Some students change industries or countries. Others change their functions, say from finance to consulting or consulting to tech. In a typical INSEAD graduating class, one in four manage the miraculous triple jump with their newly minted degrees, switching function, industry and country, all in one large leap.
Just a few years ago, INSEAD boasted that its MBA had the highest return on investment of any program in the world, with a five-year gain almost twice as much as any rival program and a payback period of just over two years. That’s probably true if you count foregone earnings which at INSEAD is only ten months rather than nearly two years in a conventional two-year MBA program.
The INSEAD story can be captured in 10 charts that illuminate those transformations, from the kinds of jobs graduates get from the more than 4,000 campus interviews that typically occur in a year to how much they are paid by industry sector, function and country.
Many may not realize that INSEAD graduates more MBAs in any given year than any other prestige business school. That has been the case for quite a few years. Last year, the school handed out MBA degrees to 1,017 graduates, nearly 100 more than Harvard Business School and over 600 more than Stanford's Graduate School of Business. It's a long period of growth since INSEAD welcomed its first intake of MBAs in 1959, becoming the first business school to offer a one-year MBA. The school took a big step forward toward its current size when in 1983 it began its dual intake, matriculating students in January and September. Like any large business school, INSEAD makes its size small by dividing each class into sections of approximately 70–80 students who take the program’s core courses together. These sections are then divided into study groups of five to six students who work together to solve problems and complete assignments.
Few schools in the world have as diverse a student population as INSEAD. The Class of 2020 was composed of 85 different nationalities. The two largest sources of INSEAD students are now India and China, accounting for 15.1% and 10.4% of the Class of 2020, respectively. Even so, about half of the entire class is sourced from five countries: Besides India and China, they include the U.S., Brazil, and Spain. No less compelling is the percentage of students who use their degrees to land jobs abroad instead of returning to their home countries. Some 84% of the students from India, for example, successfully gain employment outside their home country upon graduation.
Most young professionals go into MBA programs expecting to use the degree to do a career switch. Conventional wisdom would tell you that a two-year program, which affords a lengthy summer internship, is the way way to make that transition. But INSEAD proves conventional wisdom wrong. Among 2020 MBA graduates, three of every four made at least one big change in their careers, switching industries, functions or countries. Even more impressive, one in four MBA students did the so-called 'triple jump," changing out their pre-MBA industry, function and country, all simultaneously.