Choosing the right city for your MBA program can be a bigger choice than it seems: given the connections and opportunities an MBA typically provides, the city where you pursue your degree will likely be the same city where your career begins and grows.
Even if you’ve narrowed down your Business school search to the east coast, you’ve still got a number of top metros to choose from. So regardless if you’re looking south to Washington, D.C., or north to Boston, both metros will likely offer a number of benefits for up-and-coming business professionals.
Both D.C. and Boston offer a number of exceptional full-time MBA programs, giving a prospective MBA a lot to think about. Below, we’ll break down some of the biggest differences in location, programs, and job placement for each metro.
As long as you can deal with snow, Boston is a multicultural hub of business that covers a variety of industries, from startups to high tech and the creative economy. Massachusetts is home to 30 Fortune 500 companies, with massive corporations like General Electric and Liberty Insurance Group centered within Boston. However, as the city continues to grow and improve, the cost of living is also climbing, with Boston ranking eight overall as the most expensive city in the United States.
If you are looking to use your business acumen in a government setting, there are few places better to go than the nation’s capital. With fifteen companies making the Fortune 500 list in the Washington DC metro area, there are a number of opportunities for MBAs to put their business skill to work, even outside of government agencies, with companies like Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobile leading the list. However, DC even outranks Boston for cost of living, ranking as the third most expensive city in the United States.
Washington Full-Time MBA Programs
The Washington DC metro has more than 35 higher education institutions with post-bachelor programs for business students. Featuring some of the top ranked MBA programs in the country, many of the DC programs focus on professional integrity and ethics, attempting to reflect its location in the country’s capital. Many of the MBA programs here also focus on placing business within a global context, encouraging students to gain real-world experience outside of the classroom to gain a better understanding of the global business community.
Full-Time MBA Programs in DC Include:
- George Mason University School of Business
- George Washington University School of Business
- Kogod School of Business – American University
- University of Maryland R.H. Smith School of Business
Boston Full-Time MBA Programs
The Boston metro features some of the top ranked and oldest business schools in the world, which focus on placing students within the global economy and encouraging study abroad opportunities that allow students to get hands-on experience in international business. Given Boston’s reputation as a growing business hub, many of the top jobs in the city may require an MBA.
Full-Time MBA Programs in Boston include:
- Sloan School of Management – MIT
- Harvard Business School
- Questrom School of Business – Boston University
- Sawyer Business School – Suffolk University
- Carroll School of Management – Boston College
Cost of MBA Programs
Cost can be an important consideration when choosing a degree program. The average tuition costs of the Washington DC programs mentioned above is roughly $82,090, though the number may be slightly less for local students. In Boston, the range may be slightly higher. Harvard Business School can cost up to $122,000 per year, but other quality programs in the Boston metro can also be found as low as $91,040.
Job Placement and Salary
The cost one is willing to spend on an MBA is often largely determined by the potential salary that can be made after obtaining the degree. Given that both Boston and DC are among the U.S. cities with the highest cost of living, salary may be an important determination in selecting a city to start your career. Thankfully, both cities offer the chance for high earning potential. According to PayScale, Boston MBA graduates can earn anywhere from $53,725 on average to $173,940. In Washington DC, where there is a slightly higher cost of living, salaries can range from $58,402 to $147,715.
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