So you’re thinking about pursuing an MBA in Canada?
But you’re still not sure if it’s the right choice for you to make…
Here’s a total breakdown of all the details you need to know to decide for yourself (with the data to back it all up).
So first, let’s start with the basics.
Why MBA in Canada?
Is an MBA in Canada really worth it?
Despite the traditional popularity of the U.S. and Europe as destinations of choice for an MBA, Canada is slowly becoming a hot spot for many MBA applicants from around the globe.
Let’s look at some cold hard stats that tell us why.
1. Top college ranking.
Almost 50 universities in Canada offer MBA programs.
And 7 of them are ranked in the top 150 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2022.
2. Wide range of specialties and program options
Canada offers MBA degrees in a wide range of specializations, and in a wide range of study options.
In terms of MBA specializations available in Canada…
You have the classics like:
- MBA in General Management
- MBA in Entrepreneurship
- MBA in Finance
- MBA in Economics
- MBA in International Business
- MBA in Supply Chain Management
And then also the more niche options that are now growing in popularity and demand, like:
- MBA in Business Analytics and Big Data
- MBA in Information Technology (MIS)
- MBA in Environmental Management
- MBA in Healthcare / Pharma
- MBA in Sustainability / Social Entrepreneurship
- MBA in Tourism
- MBA in Non-profit Management, etc.
And as for your program structure, Canadian universities offer you the following options:
- Full-time MBA: The course duration is 2 years. This is best for those who are looking to shift fields or enter the job market directly in a management or leadership role.
- Part-time MBA: Course duration is anywhere from 3-6 years. This kind of program is best for people who want to continue working while they pursue their MBA. But keep in mind that the visa requirement of international students might not allow them to join such courses.
- Executive MBA: This kind of program is exclusive to only experienced executives and aspirants with industry experience, who want senior managerial-level experience. This kind of program can take anywhere from 12 – 18 months.
3. Lower college tuition fees
Beyond the range of MBA options available, Canada is an incredibly affordable destination for international MBA aspirants.
So how much does an MBA cost in Canada?
The average tuition cost of an MBA in Canada is around $30,000 – $40,000. Having said this you will also find universities with tuition fees as low as $20,000 and those that cost up to $120,000 too.
So if affordability is a criteria, you will be sure to find a college that fits your budget and goals.
And when compared to the American MBA tuition fees that average around $60,000/ year, that’s practically a steal.
4. Affordable cost of living
The average cost of living in Canada is also much more affordable compared to other popular MBA destinations.
It will cost you an average of $2611 per month for all your living expenses in Canada.
Compare that to the average monthly living expenses of $3189 for a single person living in the U.S.
5. Jobs opportunities after an MBA in Canada
Canada is a booming job market and economy. So highly-skilled MBA graduates in Canada are never short of job opportunities.
In fact, Canada boasted a low unemployment rate of 5.67 percent even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian job market is dominated by SMEs (Small – Medium Enterprises) that make up around 60% of the job market. Just these SMEs have a demand for more than 150,000 professionals every year.
Aside from these, many MBA grads go on to work with larger corporations as well, who are the top recruiters in major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. We are talking about the likes of Microsoft, Google, EY, IBM, Morgan Stanley, Deloitte, InBC Investment Corp, General Mills, Amazon, RBC Bank, Siemens, etc.
Among jobs for MBA grads, consulting and finance jobs are among the most popular, followed by tech management.
6. Post-college salary for MBA graduates in Canada
According to Payscale, the average salary you can expect after an MBA in Canada is 83,000 CAD/ year. And some competitive roles even offer salaries in the range of 100,000 – 150,000 CAD per ear for experienced candidates.
But if you want to get more specific, here are the average salary packages for graduates from some of the top B-schools in Canada.
- University of Toronto – 134,000 CAD
- Queens University – 122,000 CAD
- Western University – 135,000 CAD
- McGill University – 149,000 CAD
- York University – 178,000 CAD
The average salary in Canada is 69,570 CAD per year. So as an MBA graduate you will already be earning above average salary right after graduation in Canada!
But numbers don’t always paint the full picture. So let’s look beyond the quantitative stats, and into what Canada offers to you outside of the dollar bills.
For that, we must go beyond just the campus experience.
The city and country you’ll be studying in will have a major impact on your overall college experience. And on that front, you’ll find it hard to beat Canada.
Canada ranks 10th in the Global Peace Index 2021, and is undoubtedly one of the safest countries to live in!
And the World Happiness Report 2020 (by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network) ranked Canada as the 11th most ‘happiest country in the world”. Putting it higher than the US, the UK, and even Germany.
It is a beautiful destination that offers you a fabulous quality of life across the country. From the jet-setting Toronto to quaint Quebec, you’ll find the city of your dreams no matter what pace of life you prefer.
And with the stunning evergreen forested mountains, vast lakes, quiet towns, and more, you’ll have no end of choices for places to explore.
But as an international student, more specifically as an Indian student, is Canada your best choice?
Is Canada a friendly and safe place to be for Indian students?
Benefits of pursuing an MBA in Canada for Indian students
1. Strong community, diverse culture, and support.
Canada is known to be a very welcoming country for any newcomer. Its demographic composition is “ethnically heterogeneous”, and Canada is filled with people from many different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
And as an Indian student, you couldn’t be in better hands.
There are more than 1 million registered Indians living in Canada, and Indian-Canadians are one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada.
Just look at the concentration map of Indians in Canada for the clear big picture…
Canada contains the world’s 8th largest Indian community, and they have good representation politically too!
In fact, in 2021’s parliamentary elections, 17 Indo-Canadians have been elected as MPs. This includes Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Anita Anand, and the first non-white New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh.
And universities reflect this cultural diversity too.
Most universities have strong Indian communities, that offer support and guidance to new Indian students in the country.
2. Easy and affordable (study permit) visa process
Canada makes it extremely easy for students to obtain a study permit (visa) after they have gotten an admit.
To start with the visa fees for the Canadian study permit are just 150 CAD ($112).
You only need to fill in a basic Canadian Student Visa Application Package from the Citizenship & Immigration Canada website. And finally, you are required to submit your biometrics. No stressful visa interviews for you to get through!
And now made even easier with the Student Direct Stream for Indian students.
3. Potential for a future in Canada post-graduation
It’s not just the visa application process that’s easy in Canada.
Those who wish to stay back and work, or even immigrate in the country will also find Canada to be an extremely convenient option.
International students who pursue their MBA from a university that is approved by the government are eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada. This means that once you graduate from a 2 year MBA program in Canada, you can stay and work there for up to 3 full years. Or for as long as the duration of your program, if your course was in between 8 – 24 months.
Apart from this, you can easily apply for a Permanent Residency (PR) through the Express Entry program or the Candian Experience Class. And the immigration process for MBA graduates in Canada is much easier compared to other countries like U.S. or Europe.
Want proof in numbers? In 2021, nearly 100,000 Indians became permanent residents of Canada.
So is an MBA worth it in Canada for Indian students?
After all this, we think yes.
But moving forward, what do you need to be eligible to apply for an MBA in Canada.
MBA in Canada requirements
Each university will have its own set of specific eligibility requirements for MBA applicants. But here are the most common requirements for applying to an MBA program in Canada as an Indian student.
- Bachelor’s degree (in any discipline) from a recognized institution. (Most B-schools ask for a 4-year bachelor’s degree, but some also accept 3-year degrees.)
- Relevant work experience in a related field. (B-schools prefer students with a minimum of 1-year work experience for an MBA.)
- English language proficiency tests scores (usually IELTS). Each institution will have its own minimum score requirements for this.
- A good GMAT score. This is not a mandatory requirement for all colleges, but top Canadian B-schools prefer students with a competitive GMAT score.
Top universities for MBA in Canada
This is a list of the top-ranked universities in Canada for a full-time MBA program, as per the QS World University Rankings 2022:
#1. Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto, Toronto)
#2. Smith School of Business (Queen’s University, Kingston)
#3. Ivey Business School (University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario)
#4. Desautels Faculty of Management (McGill University, Montreal)
#5. Schulich School of Business (York University, Toronto)
#6. Sauder School of Business (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)
#7. Alberta School of Business (University of Alberta, Edmonton)
#8. John Molson School of Business (Concordia University, Montreal)
#9. HEC Montreal (Université de Montréal . Montreal)
#10. Rowe School of Business (Dalhousie University, Halifax)
Now keep in mind that, while we’ve listed the top 10 universities in Canada for an MBA, this is by no means a comprehensive list.
QS creates these rankings based on thought leadership, return on investment, employability diversity, entrepreneurship, and alumni outcomes.
But even this comprehensive analysis does not guarantee that the #1 university will be the best fit for your unique needs and priorities.
Your top priority might be low tuition fees, great placement opportunities, or the availability of your specialization.
So to find a list of best-fit colleges for your specific needs, we recommend you use a smart tool like SelectRight. This allows you to run through 6 million data points across 10,000+ STEM, CS & MBA programs to give you transparent and unbiased recommendations on the best-matched programs for you.
Plus you will also get access to actionable advice from alumni and students of that university, to boost your chances of getting as admit.
So, ensure you make smart college choices, to make the most of your MBA in Canada as an Indian student.
All the best!