“The IMBA is an exciting alternative to the traditional MBA. It’s crucial for young business leaders that aspire to operate in an international context. It is an opportunity to build broad knowledge and skills in a global environment. A successful IMBA experience is one that allows the student to study in multiple international locations and fosters cross-cultural communication and networking. – Alison Knight, General Director at ISM.

What does IMBA stand for?

IMBA stands for International Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

What is an IMBA degree?
Typically, an IMBA features all the academic rigor and meticulous training of a regular MBA, but with a stronger focus on global business cultures and practices. This combination gives business professionals a solid foundation in international leadership and adds an edge to their career prospects.

At ISM, our IMBA has been specifically crafted to develop the business leaders of tomorrow. We encourage our IMBA students to spend their time studying in multiple locations across the world, as this diversity allows them to develop strong international managerial skills, widen their professional network and deepen their cultural knowledge.

The structure of the course and the nature of the curriculum means IMBA students gain more of a global perspective than they would from a standard MBA degree. This broad outlook is key to a successful career in international entrepreneurship.

In an increasingly competitive market, future senior managers should possess solid global insight and an extensive managerial toolkit. An IMBA degree allows students to gain the insight, knowledge, and confidence to achieve their career goals.

Why choose an IMBA over an MBA?

International business school programs are usually less expensive than typical MBA programs offered in the US. This means that IMBA degrees generally provide a better ROI.

On average, most IMBA programs require just twelve to eighteen months to complete, rather than the traditional two years required by US MBAs.

Given their global scope, it is thought that International MBAs create more opportunities for its graduates than standard MBAs. International business schools generally offer a thriving alumni network and extensive recruitment opportunities across the globe.

A leading provider of IMBAs reported that graduates were recruited from companies in 64 countries, with 41% employed in Western Europe, 25% in Asia, and 9% in North America.

Who is the Ideal IMBA Student?

The ideal IMBA student is forward-thinking, driven and able to bring their unique experience to the program. To make it onto ISM’s IMBA program, students must also have a strong grasp of the English Language and hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited undergraduate institution.

"So far, I have had the opportunity to study with and learn from students and professors from six continents who come from a variety of different countries and cultures. Learning side-by-side with these individuals has already given me tools to successfully improve my global perspective and expand my network to different corners of the world."James Cody Fox, ISM IMBA alumnus from the USA

Career Opportunities

A step towards starting an IMBA degree is a step towards the leadership career. The time and money you spend on an International MBA is a real investment in your future – and the statistics certainly back this up. On average, the salary increase for ISM IMBA graduates is 50% post-degree.

ISM alumni can boast an eclectic range of careers after graduation. Many go on to start their own businesses, some go into consulting, and others go into government or tech jobs. Notable alumni include Johannes Schwarzer, who co-founded a European e-commerce platform and Maximilian Achenbach who is now Head of E-Health at a major Swiss health care provider.

Useful Resources
Forbes’ Insight on the Rise of the IMBA
Study.com’s IMBA Jobs and Salary Information
ISM IMBA Program Information from Ivy Exec


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