Choosing the b-schools is probably one of the most important steps in the entire application process. This is an important step not only because it impacts probability of success in getting admits but also because it will have an impact on your life for years to come.
With global recognition, ISB and IIMs are key options considered by Indian MBA aspirants. While both schools have their own merits, the choice involves some personal preferences. You will find below a list of key features and benefits of ISB and IIM 2 year programs.
This 1 year program has gained popularity at a rapid pace and the reasons are evident. ISB provides world class education in a world class environment. ISB’s USP(s) include renowned faculty, brand name (FT 15) and tie ups with Kellogg, Wharton and London Business School. One year duration, a highly diverse and experienced peer group and state of the art facilities on campus are some other benefits of ISB.
ISB’s admission criteria include GMAT, post graduation work experience of 2 years or more (preferable) and a bachelor’s degree.
IIMs’ flagship program is the 2 year PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management). IIM brand name is globally recognized and held in very high esteem in India. 2 year program allows an opportunity for deeper dive into management education and also fair amount of time to people looking for changing their career track. Strong alumni network and presence in India and abroad is another positive factor.
IIMs’ admissions process includes CAT exam followed by Group discussions and Personal interviews (conducted separately by each IIM)
Admission requirements: As ISB has 2 years or more (as preferable) work experience requirement, fresh graduates cannot consider ISB as an option. Also the exam (GMAT and CAT)is another big difference in requirements.
Fee: IIM Fees vary from 9 lacs to 11 lacs (depending on the IIM you choose), ISB charges Rs 16.5 lacs. This is only the academic fee (both for IIMs and ISB). Accommodation and food needs to be added to this to make the right comparison. Hence we are comparing 12-15 lacs for IIM with about 20-21 lacs for ISB.
Pls note that if you add the opportunity cost of 1 year that you save, ISB fee would seem less than that of IIMs.
Duration: Many people see 1 year saving (with respect to career/ life in general) at ISB as a big advantage
Placements: Both ISB and IIM(s) have been almost equally renowned for a phenomenal placement record
Life on campus: This is something difficult to compare, IIMs have their own positives and ISB has its own. One key such factor is presence of senior batch at IIM(s) while ISB’s infrastructure clearly stands out.
Which one to choose (general tips, individual choices will vary)
IIMs is typically better for people with experience of 0-1 year (though people with higher work experience are also present)
Post completion of 2 years, choice of ISB vs IIMs depends on:
a) Individual choice for 1 year/ 2 year program
b) Some people have an opinion that 2 year program prepares you better for changing your career path (say from General management to Finance)
c) ISB provides a very good platform for NRIs who wish to come back and explore work opportunities in India
d) Brand name: Brand recognition of ISB is growing at a very rapid pace across the world
e) Diversity – Diversity at ISB provides a different level of exposure (years of experience of people as well as variety of people)
f) Faculty: Internationally renowned faculty at ISB has been a big decision point for many