MBA in Singapore | TopMBA

Singapore has long held a position at the forefront of the world economy. For instance, it ranks 7th in the Global Innovation Index 2014, 3rd in IMD's 2015 World Competitiveness Ranking, and 2nd in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014/15. The city-state is also home to three of the top five business schools in Asia-Pacific, according to QS’s 2014/15 regional MBA rankings.  

The top two spots in QS’s Asia-Pacific rankings are currently held by INSEAD’s Singaporean campus and the business school at the National University Singapore (NUS), respectively, with Nanyang Business School coming in fifth. Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University rounds off Singapore’s representatives in the rankings, coming in a little further down the table, at number 21.

MBA in Singapore tab one

If you are thinking about an MBA in Singapore, there are ample MBA jobs and career opportunities and a number of the world’s leading businesses have their headquarters here. Top business schools from elsewhere in the world have also seen Singapore’s rich potential as a gateway to markets in Asia-Pacific and have established an overseas presence in the city-state. INSEAD Singapore, established in 1999, is the most obvious example, but Manchester Business School and ESSEC Business School have since followed suit.

Top business schools in Singapore

Top business schools in Singapore

INSEAD Asia Campus

INSEAD’s Asia Campus in Singapore is the top-ranking destination for an MBA in Singapore and, indeed, leads the way among business schools in Asia-Pacific, according to the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2014/15.

Enrolling in INSEAD’s MBA in Singapore allows students to join INSEAD’s global network and benefit from the school’s international partnerships. Aside from the understandably close links to INSEAD’s base in Fontainebleau, France, there is also an executive education alliance signed with Wharton and a joint EMBA program formed in conjunction with Tsinghua University – known as the TIEMBA. 

Between its campuses in Singapore, France and the UAE, INSEAD prides itself on its level of international diversity, with a total of 146 faculty members representing 34 countries, for instance. Thus, you can  expect  the INSEAD MBA in Singapore to emphasize a global minded approach to business education.  

NUS Business School students

NUS Business School

NUS Business School places second in the 2014/15 edition of QS’s regional MBA rankings for Asia-Pacific and its strong showing here is backed up by dual accreditation from EQUIS and AACSB. NUS is also no slouch when it comes to partnering with top programs from around the world. Partner universities at which NUS MBA students can spend a semester abroad currently include Columbia Business School, Duke Fuqua and Copenhagen Business School. NUS is also a member of  the Partnership in International Management (PIM) consortium that seeks to facilitate interaction between institutions.

The full-time MBA in Singapore program at NUS is supplemented by part-time and executive MBA offerings and students are granted access to an alumni network of over 177,000 – a figure that could certainly stand graduates in good stead when looking to explore new horizons.

Nanyang Business School

Nanyang Business School (NBS) forms part of Nanyang Technical University (NTU) and offers full-time, part-time, and executive MBA programs. NBS prides itself on research strength and a leaning towards innovation that is deeply rooted in the school’s Asian traditions. The school’s MBA program is relatively new, having launched in 1991, the same year as the amalgamation of Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI) and the National Institute of Education (NIE) into NTU. However, its place among the top business schools in Singapore and, indeed, Asia-Pacific, is well-established. The program’s approach emphasizes the importance of real world experience and, to this end, Nanyang Business School has partnered with some of the top companies in Singapore.

Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University

The Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB), founded as recently as the year 2000, has been quick to acquire a reputation in the Asia-Pacific region and already boasts dual accreditation from AACSB and EQUIS – one of the youngest institutions to achieve this feat. LKCSB aims to prepare emerging business leaders for both the present and for what lies ahead. Its faculty has an international feel, with a number of its members holding degrees from the likes of Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, INSEAD, and Yale.

Alongside these four fully-fledged schools that, together, provide strong options if you want to take your MBA in Singapore, there are also several international business schools that have established campuses in the city-state.

Manchester Business School

Manchester Business School’s part-time global MBA program can be taken by those working in Singapore, offering students - both domestic and international - the chance to combine online tuition with residential weeks that take place each term at MBS’s centre in Singapore, established in 1999.

ESSEC Business School

ESSEC Business School launched an Asia-Pacific campus in Singapore in 2005, at which students can take an executive MBA and a specialized master’s in management for the health industries in their entirety.  In addition, it also provides the location for the overseas segment of ESSEC’s full-time global MBA program.

S P Jain School of Global Management

Singapore was the second location for S P Jain School of Global Management, and began life in the city-state in 2006 – two years after its initial establishment in Dubai. Since then, the school’s network has expanded to Sydney and, as of 2015, Mumbai.

From its campus in Singapore, S P Jain students can take a portion of a global MBA program that divides its time between Dubai, Sydney and Singapore over 12 months. The degree conferred at the program’s conclusion is an Australian one, but accreditation comes from Japanese membership body, ABEST21.

MBA jobs in Singapore

Securing top jobs in Singapore can be a very competitive process, but this should by no means deter the MBA graduate. In fact, the availability of MBA jobs in Singapore look set to grow, with the news that many companies were considering relocating to Singapore, including General Motors (GM), who actually moved from Singapore to Shanghai in 2004, before moving back in 2014. Award-winners for employer attractiveness in a 2015 survey of 75 of Singapore’s largest (by number of employees) companies conducted by HR firm, Randstad, included Procter & Gamble, OCBC Bank, Changi Airport Group and Shell.

Because of the competitive nature of jobs in Singapore, the compensation for MBA jobs compares favourably with those on offer elsewhere in the world. Singapore also entered into the top 10 for employer demand in 2014 (according to volume of MBA jobs reported by employers in the QS TopMBA Jobs & Salary Trends Report 2014/15).

Meanwhile, the highest average MBA salary reported for graduates of a business school in Singapore in 2014 was Nanyang Business School, where a figure of US$53,016 places it 7th in Asia-Pacific as a whole.  Admittedly, this number is well below those applicable to the leading European, US and Canadian business schools but one which, clearly, must be placed into its appropriate geographical context. 

MBA in Singapore tab three

Culture in Singapore

Often seen as an intriguing intersection of East and West, Singapore presents itself both as a modern city - with a firm eye on innovation and the future - and as one that remains rooted in its traditions. Many Singaporeans are bilingual, and draw from the city-state’s most popular languages, including what is known as ‘Singapore Standard English’, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, and Singlish (colloquial English).

Singapore owes much to the diversity of its people and this is tangibly reflected in the city-state’s cultural makeup. For example, hawker stalls situated throughout the city are known for their quality and sell a huge variety of food from around the world. Indeed, vendors are also known for their fusion food creations – where traditional cooking methods are infused with ingredients and/or styles borrowed from another culture altogether.

Turning Singapore into a garden city rich in lush greenery was a 1967 vision of the then prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew. The legacy of these ambitions can be seen today in gardens that vary from the traditional, such as Singapore Botanic Gardens, to the more innovative and futuristic Gardens by the Bay.