By Ronan Gay
- With the fastest growing economy in the world, China is emerging as the next biggest destination to study an MBA abroad. International students with an MBA qualification are in hot demand and with a strong emphasis on working with a company whilst you study in China, you’ll already have relevant experience upon graduation.
China represents the antithesis of the slow economic recovery in the west. Its growth rate hovers around the 8% mark whilst the UK’s, in the same period, has fluctuated between -0.4% and 0.8%. Germany, often seen as leading the economic recovery in Europe, is little different, with figures varying between -0.5% and 0.7%. China, then, seems the perfect environment to learn about business with a continued focus on rapidly increasing its economic power.
Even though MBAs are widely taught in English, taking a language course in Mandarin will prove extremely worthwhile. With a colossal population of 1.35 billion and more than 150 cities with over one million inhabitants, China’s urban sphere is unparalleled. International business with China will undoubtedly become vital in the future across Europe, America and the rest of Asia, so knowledge of Mandarin will really set you apart from other MBA graduates. Experience of China, its business practices and its city culture will also prove beneficial as the world becomes more interested and closely-aligned with China from a business perspective. However, without any knowledge of Mandarin, access to Chinese culture and an understanding of it become limited. Leaving China with an international MBA but no local language would not only be a real shame, but could even negatively reflect on yourself as future employers question your perceived lack of proactivity. Almost all universities offer discounted courses in learning Mandarin, with options for group classes, individual study and language exchange meetings. In today’s competitive employment market, an international business would consider employees being able to speak Mandarin a huge benefit.
The length of an MBA course in China range from one year to two years with a number of 18-month courses, so depending on how committed one is to living in China, there will be a course to suit your needs. All of the most prominent cities have high-class universities offering MBAs, including Beijing International, Fudan University at Shanghai and Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou. Beijing and Shanghai are the most popular destinations with ten universities in Beijing offering courses and another ten in Shanghai. Guangzhou has four universities, reflecting its large population of over eight million inhabitants. Hong Kong, a part of China, has more universities than both Shanghai and Beijing, although the official language in Hong Kong is Cantonese which presents an issue with those looking to learn Mandarin.
The sheer number of universities offering MBAs means that it would be wise to investigate which university would be the right choice. Do you have any specific needs? Is there a particular area of business you are interested in? Thinking about what you want and comparing it to the course structures of various universities will help when it comes to settling in and job hunting after graduation. China offers a completely different culture to most other countries so picking the right course and city will help the process of assimilation.
It is also worth researching which companies your preferred universities work with. There may a placement that fits perfectly with your future plans – applying for a job post-qualification with similar experience already in that field will mark you out as an ideal candidate that can adapt seamlessly.
Studying in China is a blend of pre-empting the shift in economic power across the world and experiencing a unique lifestyle. As MBAs are becoming increasingly desirable, the opportunity to undertake one with added post-graduation benefits should not be overlooked. Undoubtedly, China, with its rich history, cultural heritage and unprecedented economic growth could well be the best place to start your career.
More information on studying for your MBA abroad.