How do you choose your business school?

16 Dec 2019

Student looking dreamly at the sky

Are you interested in attending a business school next year? Or in February with spring intake? Between post-baccalaureate schools based on exams and those that require a preparatory class, management schools, career opportunities, courses on offer... are you unable to make your choice to achieve your professional project? Here is our advice!


Choosing a business school based on the recognition of its diplomas

National recognition of the school

You are going to follow one or more training courses in the same school, spending several years studying there: this is why you will need to make sure that you are guaranteed to obtain one or more recognized diplomas. Does the State recognise your school? Note that some schools are not, but they do offer you certain guarantees through accreditation.

First of all, it is important to know that the consular business schools dependent on the CCI (Chambers of Commerce and Industry) are recognized by the State. While private business schools are subject to certain controls: equipment, materials, premises, teaching methods, financing, etc., they are not subject to the same rules and regulations as private schools. As a result, they can obtain permanent State recognition following an evaluation by the rectorate to which they belong and by the Ministry of Higher Education.

The recognition of the school also involves the recognition of the diplomas it grants. To do this, the diploma that you receive must be approved by the State and allow you to continue your studies at a higher level in another establishment thanks to the degree that you will have officially acquired (in the LMD system). At IPAG Business School, our Grande École Programme is acknowledged as a Master's degree because our school is authorized to award this degree for a maximum of 5 years.

There are also courses listed in the RNCP (Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles). These aren’t diplomas that will give you ECTS credits and the possibility to continue at a higher level, but rather a title certifying your skills, aptitudes, and knowledge to integrate the professional world and exercise the desired profession.

International recognition for the school

On an international level, the largest business schools are also recognized throughout the world. With their international network, the most reputable ones will give you the benefit of a rich network of partner universities, for bachelors and students wishing to achieve an international career.

Some international accreditations can attest to the recognition of a school, in particular, the most recognised: EQUIS, AACSB, AMBA, and EPAS. Controlling their pedagogy, the content of the programs offered, the international offer, professional integration, student support... these accreditations can help you to find the school that suits you best according to your selection criteria and your professional project.

IPAG Business School is recognized worldwide through its membership of the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and its EPAS accreditation from EFMD.


The school’s programmes portfolio

The programs offered by a school are one of the first criteria that influence the choice of the future student. Some specialised schools offer programs that are sometimes unique and are popular with students looking for a specific specialisation who already has a career idea in mind.

Management? International business? Fashion management? Real estate? Digital marketing? Human Resources? You know what you want, you've already decided what your professional project would be, so you've chosen to specialise in a particular field? Short or long studies, each school has its own specialties accessible from the first years of higher education.

For example, at IPAG, you can specialise quickly after the baccalaureate, thanks to the bachelor, and obtain a diploma in three years. At the end of these three years, you will have the choice between continuing your studies in a master's degree or integrating the professional world quickly thanks to the excellent employability rate of this diploma.


Tuitions fees

Attending a major business school is a cost, that's for sure. Although the quality of education and the many benefits are attractive, it is sometimes difficult for some students to finance their studies. The cost of training and student life is sometimes a brake for students in their choice.

Take the time to find out about the cost of the education you want, the tuition fees and the possible living costs you will have to pay before you decide. You can then contact the school to find out about the existing payment methods and facilities suited to your needs (in installments, for example) and other means of financing your studies such as student loans or the possibility of apprenticeship.


The possibility of doing internships or apprenticeship

Having a diploma is good... with work experience, it's better! In order to facilitate your employability and your employment as soon as you leave school, it is preferable to have a professional background with you that attests to the practical application of the courses you have followed in the field. Recruiters will highly appreciate the professional experience acquired during your studies.

Moreover, by joining a major business school, you will benefit from a large network of partner companies in which you will be able to carry out your internships and/or apprenticeship.

You can thus choose your business school and your training according to the number of months spent in a company, the quality of its network of partner companies, the possibilities of apprenticeship, and the support provided to students in terms of company relations.


The school’s international perspective

Do you want to go international during your studies? Or maybe even for your future career? The international dimension of your future school is a key point that you should take into account! Ask yourself the right questions during your research: is it possible to do international internships? Does the school have partnerships with other schools abroad? Is it possible to do a gap year?

At IPAG, our Grande École Programme students carry out their 3rd year of studies abroad via our expatriation programme, thanks to a university exchange in the first semester and an internship abroad in the second. Besides, IPAG is associated with Italy's leading polytechnic school, the Politecnico di Torino, to offer an innovative double degree in management and engineering.


The Alumni Network

The alumni network, made up of the school's graduates, can be a real gold mine for your professional ambitions: your internships, your apprenticeship, and even for your future first job after graduation.

Almost all post-baccalaureate business schools have an alumni network so that the difference will be in the quality of this network: what is the level of activity of the network? Is there a dedicated team in the school in charge of running it? Is it easy to contact current alumni or business leaders for possible opportunities? To find out more about the alumni network activity, you can visit the school's social networks and its website to assess the proximity of the school to its graduates.


Consult the ranking of business schools

Finally, although their evaluations differ according to their selection criteria, certain business school rankings can help you choose your future school: academic excellence, student life, international opportunities, the number of study programs after the baccalaureate...

Although for some students, the rankings don’t have a real impact on their final decision, they can help you make a choice when you are hesitating between several institutions!