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Top 5 reasons to study your MBA in France

Top 5 reasons to study your MBA in France

Image by Moyan Brenn

Think France is about more than fashion, wine and cheese?

France is the world’s third leading country for international students, with 9 out of 10 recommending France as a study destination according to a recent study by Campus France, the French national agency for the promotion of higher education.

France is home to well-respected higher education institutions, leading global brands like Sanofi and L’Oreal, as well as a growing number of successful start-ups, incubators and laboratories. Plus, France offers a lifestyle rich in culture and history, attracting more and more international students and expats each year. Want to know why you should study your MBA in France? Campus France tells you more…

Campus France: Top 5 reasons to study your MBA in France

1. Quality higher education, adapted to students’ needs

Campus France: France’s system of higher education comprises 3,500 public and private institutions. The system as a whole offers excellent programmes at all levels and in every discipline. Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees are strictly regulated by the government to ensure international recognition, with more than 900 programmes in France taught in English!

Participants of the International MBA in France will study at EMLYON Business School, one of the few business schools to hold triple accreditation from Equis, AACSB and AMBA. EMLYON was rated as the 3rd Business School in France by Le Figaro and L’Etudiant in November 2014, as well as the 14th European Business School by the Financial Times in December 2014.

The International MBA in France is fully taught in English and attracts students from all over the world. The 2013/2014 year’s cohort comprised of 15 nationalities, including China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, UK, USA and Vietnam, showing that an MBA in France is a sought after qualification and recognised throughout the world.

2. A world-class economic power

MBA in France


Campus France: France has the world’s fifth-largest economy. Its gross domestic product ranks second in Europe, and the country is Europe’s second-largest market, with 65 million consumers (IMF 2014, Eurostat 2014). France is also the world’s fourth-largest exporter of services (OMC, 2013) and Europe’s leading destination for manufacturing investments (EY, 2014).

France’s demand for MBA graduates is booming. According to the QS TopMBA Jobs & Salary Trends Report 2013/14, France offers the fifth highest MBA salary in the world, ahead of even the US. Employers in France offer an average overall MBA salary and bonus of the equivalent of $100,800 to their MBA employees. Plus, demand for MBA’s increased by 6% in France in 2014 according to the QS Top MBA Job and Salary Trends survey 2014-2015, with growth in MBA demand set to continue.

3. Advanced industries and international corporations that are leaders in their field

Campus France: France is home to 31 of the world’s 500 largest corporations (Fortune Global 500, 2014). Several French industrial groups are leaders in their sector and have operations all over the world: Airbus (aeronautics); Total, Areva (energy); Orange (telecommunications); Sanofi (health); LVMH (luxury goods); L’Oréal (cosmetics) and Danone (food products).

According to a survey of International MBA degree graduates from EMLYON in 2013, 60% of respondents took an MBA position in France with leading global companies such as Airbus, Carrefour, Alcimed, Interpol, Sanofi and Volvo. 14% took a role in Asia, 14% in Europe, 10% in the US and 2% in Africa, with MBA graduates securing senior roles with globally recognised companies such as Accenture, Bank of Tokyo, Conde Naste, Diageo, EY, Groupon, HP, KPMG, Nintendo and Sodexo.

81% of EMLYON’s MBA survey respondents accepted a job offer within 3 months of graduation, with 38% of respondents securing a General Management or Consulting role, 12% chose Sales, 11% IT, 16% Marketing, 7% Finance & Accounting, 2% R&D and 14% other.

4. An environment favourable to innovation and to young entrepreneurs

MBA career paths


Campus France: France is home to more of the world’s top 100 most innovative companies than any other country in Europe (Thomson Reuters, 2014). It ranks sixth in the world in number of international patent applications (OMPI, 2013). 71 competitiveness clusters around the country form an appealing ecosystem of start-ups, laboratories, universities, and major corporations. French Tech, with €200 million invested, supports the development of digital enterprises and attracts young talent.

The International MBA program attracts aspiring entrepreneurs and future innovative leaders, voted 10th in the world for entrepreneurship according to the Financial Times in 2014. Educating entrepreneurs for over 140 years, EMLYON Business School has a leading European reputation for entrepreneurship, thanks to pioneering events such as the World Entrepreneurship Forum, a world’s leading think-tank in entrepreneurship, as well as the EMLYON Incubator, France’s oldest and largest incubator, successful creating over 950 companies with an 85% 5 year success rate and 11,000 direct jobs.

The International MBA’s strong focus on entrepreneurship is designed to cultivate your entrepreneurial attitude as an MBA student. Whilst other MBA skills may become outdated, your ability to think innovatively to solve a business problem, identity new business opportunities and exploit them profitably, work as an effective team and present your ideas convincingly to gain key buy-in will last your whole career, and set you apart from other talented MBA candidates. You will also complete a 9 month part-time Entrepreneurial Leadership Project to consult an organisation, giving you the opportunity to apply your new competencies and entrepreneurial mindset to a real-life business issue.

5. An appealing destination for international students

expats in Lyon


Campus France: With more than 295,000 international students at the postsecondary level (MENESR, 2014), France trails only the United States and the United Kingdom (UNESCO, 2012). 80% of those who study in France report being satisfied with the quality of education and the value of their French degree. 9 out of 10 international students hold a positive view of their time in France and recommend France as a study destination (Baromètre Campus France, 2013).

Offering a wide variety of ski resorts, mountains, beaches, famous cities and picturesque villages, France was voted the world’s top tourist destination in terms of number of foreign visitors by OMT, 2014. France features as many as 39 UNESCO world heritage sites, and 8,000 museums across the country. France is also famous for a lifestyle rich in culture, thanks to its vibrant cinema, art, music and gastronomic scene.  

Plus, if you intend to stay in France for your MBA career, France has proved to be an ideal location for expats with families. According to a survey of 13,800 expatriates representing 165 nationalities in June 2014, France came 3rd in the Family Life Index, beaten only by Sweden and Denmark. 84% of respondents were satisfied with family life in France, with the country ranking 3rd for cost of education, 6th for availability of childcare and education and 9th for overall quality of education. Discover Lyon’s leading expat events and services here.

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