Study MBA in Spain | TopMBA

Pursuing an MBA in Spain is one of the top choices for prospective students looking to study in Europe. In terms of popularity among applicants scattered across the globe, Spain lies just behind Germany and France and ahead of Switzerland and the Netherlands in the 10 most-favored MBA study locations, according to the QS Applicant Survey 2015.  

Why an MBA in Spain?

In spite of the country's recent economic concerns, an MBA in Spain remains a strong proposition for applicants, particularly among those who hail from Spanish-speaking countries or, indeed, any who wish to add knowledge of the language and business culture to their repertoire in order to be better able to conduct affairs not just with Spain, but with Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean - home to some of the world's most promising markets. An MBA in Spain therefore offers a rich array of opportunities to the successful MBA graduate.


MBA in Spain, Barcelona


In addition, there is also the attraction of the Spanish lifestyle to consider. The country's rich history, culture and love for the arts, not to mention its Southern European climate, will always appeal to many prospective students looking to get the most out of their MBA experience away from the classroom.

There are a number of established and reputable program options to choose from for those interested in an MBA in Spain, and three business schools in Spain are rated among the top 10 in Europe as a whole in the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2014/15. Please click on the 'top business schools' tab to learn more.

Top 3 business schools in Spain

IE Business School

In the Spanish capital of Madrid, interested applicants will find IE Business School's main campus - strewn across a series of buildings located close to the city's financial district. The school was founded in 1973 and offers a one year full-time MBA (known as the 'international MBA') that can be taken in either English or Spanish, or as a bilingual option. In addition, there are a range of part-time and executive MBA programs available. The school's full-time MBA is highly international with a quarter of students hailing from Latin America and 15% from each of North America and Asia, according to its latest class profile. IE Business School placed sixth in QS's latest regional MBA rankings for Europe.  


IE Business School


ESADE Business School

In Barcelona, prospective students will find the main base of ESADE Business School, part of Ramon Llull University. A recently developed campus at Sant Cugat, 20 minutes from the city of Barcelona itself, hosts the school's full-time MBA, which can be taken over the course of 12, 15 or 18 months, depending on an individual's requirements and preferences. As much as 30% of its class of 2017 hail from Asia, with 28% joining from Latin America to comprise more than half of a total group of 167 students. Again, there are also part-time MBA and EMBA programs on offer, including a joint EMBA degree in conjunction with Georgetown University in the US. ESADE placed seventh in QS's latest regional MBA rankings for Europe.     


ESADE Business School building


IESE Business School

IESE Business School is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. Its full-time MBA is a two-year program and is offered from Barcelona. The school makes much use of the case study method, first devised by Harvard Business School, in its pedagogy; IESE produces more than 100 of its own business cases each year. The latest available student profile indicates that 26% of the class hail from Asia, with 15% representing each of North America and Latin America. Aside from the full-time MBA, IESE Business School also boasts a trio of executive MBA program offerings. IESE placed ninth in QS's latest regional MBA rankings for Europe.    


IESE Business School building


Further options to study a full-time MBA in Spain

If Barcelona is your dream destination for an MBA in Spain, you might also want to refer to QS's separate city guide for further details. Madrid, meanwhile, is also home to full-time MBA programs available through ESIC Business & Marketing School and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, which placed 23rd and 50th in QS's Global 200 rankings for Europe, respectively.

To learn about employment prospects for those who study at one of the leading business schools in Spain, see the 'MBA careers and ROI' tab.

Opportunities for graduates of an MBA in Spain

If your intention is to use an MBA in Spain to secure a full-time position in the country on graduation, then you should be reassured that Spain's job market for graduates is an established one that stands among the top 20 countries in the world for the volume of opportunities reported by employer respondents to the QS MBA Jobs & Salary Trends Report 2015/16. In the report, Spain is found to have enjoyed a 10% rise in MBA job opportunities across 2014/15, with employers anticipating further growth of 6% in 2015/6. A positive picture to take the country forward from the years in which the effects of the financial crisis (referred to simply as 'la crisis' in Spain) have been all too apparent. The salary levels for new recruits hired from business schools in Spain in 2014/15 came in at an average of US$93,100, putting it ahead of Canada and Germany, and inside the world's top 10.  


MBA in Spain, Madrid


The availability of jobs and salary information for new MBA graduates emerging from specific schools are, of course, key points of reference for any prospective MBA student who is trying to determine if an MBA in Spain offers a strong return on investment (ROI) and one that can suit their individual circumstances. 

Business schools in Spain and ROI  

To this end, it's worth noting that six business schools in Spain were included in QS's 2015 assessment of MBA ROI across 46 full-time programs available in Europe. Although the average cost of these Spanish programs stood in excess of the regional average of around US$50,000, graduates can expect to pay off this investment (program cost combined with salary forgone while studying) in a little over two years through increased earnings as an MBA graduate. Indeed, graduates of an MBA in Spain, by this analysis, received an average rise in salary of more than US$40,000 on completion of their studies.

The average post-MBA salary level received by graduates of IESE Business School, for instance, was reported to be US$114,770 and was one of nine European schools in the study to post an average figure over the US$100,000 threshold. In addition, IE Business School and ESADE, together with IESE, form part of a group of 20 institutions in Europe whose alumni might expect to earn something in the range of US$3 million more on average over a 20-year period with their MBA degrees than they would likely have earned without achieving the qualification from one of these institutions.     

Where do MBA graduates of business schools in Spain go on to work? Many of the top employers of leading US schools that recruit into the 'big three' MBA hiring sectors of consulting, finance and technology are also represented in the employment reports of full-time MBA classes in Spain. For example, Credit Suisse, EY and Amazon are among the recurring names of top employers listed in IE Business School reports relating to its classes of 2012/13 and 2013/14, with McKinsey and Bain & Company featuring among those listed in IESE Business School's class of 2014 report. There are also companies with Spanish headquarters to consider, such as Telefónica and Mango. There should, therefore, be plenty of options at the disposal of the talented MBA graduate of a leading business school in Spain.


MBA in Spain, Bilbao