Getting a Business Degree in Brazil
Brazilian universities are being highly sought by professionals that want to get a business degree in an emergent economy. This article will give an outline of the Brazilian receptiveness to foreign students, and nominate the best schools to get a business expertise in the country.
There was a time when Brazilians would have to go abroad to get a decent business studying program. Well, now the world is coming at us to add a special touch to their resumes. The way Brazil walked through recent periods of crisis, maintaining a steady economic growth, and the country’s unique business culture are increasing the interest of foreign professionals looking to improve their skills abroad.
Before, the foreign professionals studying in Brazilian institutions were the ones already living and working here. Now, however, international students are actually looking forward to get into Brazilians schools, because it makes possible to watch closely one of the world's fastest-moving economies. Also, Brazil experiences a huge shortage of skilled labor, currently incapable to supply the country's growth. That way, the country has become a target of executives from around the world who seek career opportunities in here.
Aside from the professionals looking to work here, a lot of foreigners, especially from EU and US, seek to study in Brazil as a way to watch closely the ins and outs of doing business in the country. It is highly “in vogue” to get a business degree in an emergent market. As the sixth world economy, and part of the “BRICS” group of large emerging markets, Brazil is developing in several areas, due to the increase of investments. These developments have also been affecting business schools in Brazil, that are expanding and opening a range of possibilities for foreigners to polish their professional talents in here. With an eye on professionals who have seen in Brazil a chance to boost their careers, foreign schools are also negotiating agreements with Brazilian schools.
Brazil is also being chosen among other Latin American countries. Although management schools from Argentina, Costa Rica and Chile are still better ranked than the Brazilian institutions in terms of quality, what is drawing attention for international students is the economic growth and amount of investment that the country received in the last years. That shows that there is a certain "something else" in the way business are done in Brazil, that is worthwhile learning.
The decision to attend to an MBA in Brazil is kind of a gamble. Not because the quality of the courses is necessarily inferior, but by the peculiarities of the programs. First, MBAs in Brazil are almost exclusively offered in part-time, mainly because few places can offer full-time study. This is because the Brazilian high interest rates make student loans impractical. Thus, most of the students are already working in Brazil and choose to take the course in his spare time and with the employer paying a good portion of the tuition. A second obstacle is the language: the majority of the MBAs is still provided only in Portuguese or partially in English.
Finally, the MBA program in Brazil is seen as a lightweight version of the American model, for example. The teaching of graduate education in Brazil is divided in lato sensu and stricto sensu, of which only the second modality is tightly regulated by the government. The MBA in Brazil is generally considered as a specializing course instead of a master, thus falling under the category broadly. The only government's stipulation for MBA programs is that they must have at least 360 hours. Actually, It is uncommon to see a MBA program of more than 600 hours in Brazil, while an MBA program in United States or United Kingdom takes approximately 1600 hours.
Brazilian Business Schools
Over the last two decades, Brazil experienced an uncommonly growth in the number of higher education institutions. Of course, the uncontrolled growth produced poor schools and courses, so there must be a careful research before picking up the school you are going to get into.
Although Brazil has opened to the world in several aspects, the Brazilian universities are still very closed to foreigners if compared to other internationalized countries. The programs and incentives for foreign students and professors are increasing, but still it is not very easy not get in.
When it comes to good business schools, the options are scarce. If you do not have proficiency in Portuguese they are even scarcer, as the majority of the MBA programs in Brazil are given in Portuguese or partially in English. Down bellow, we made a list of the best an most traditional (and most expensive too) business educational institutions that offer MBAs and some programs especially designed for foreigners.
Those schools also have agreements with several institutions worldwide, what makes possible for the students to come to Brazil and take only a few modules, without having to attend the entire course in here.
Private institution with focus in the professional development of executives, entrepreneurs and public managers in the areas: Leadership & People, General Management, Innovation, Finance, Sustainable Management, Marketing, Internationalization, Strategic Development, Projects, Family Business, Public Management, among others.
Campuses: São Paulo-SP, Belo Horizonte- MG and Nova Lima-MG
Instituto Brasileiro de Mercado de Capitais (Ibmec)
Private institution with focus on Business and Economy.
Campuses: Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brasília-DF and Belo Horizonte-MG
Fundação Instituto de Administração (FIA)
Institution that belongs to the state University of São Paulo (USP) focusing on Agribusiness, Science and Technology, Trade, Future Studies, Finance, People Management, Project Management, IT, Marketing, Small and Medium Business,Third Sector and Retail.
Campuses: São Paulo-SP
Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV-Easp)
Private institution focusing on Administration, Law, Economics, History, Social Sciences and Applied Mathematics
Campuses: São Paulo-SP, Rio de Janeiro-RJ
Private college that belongs to the Anhembi Morumbi university focusing on Business Management, Leadership and People Management, Finance, Marketing, Business Strategy, IT Management.
Campus: São Paulo-SP
Institute that belongs to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
One of the few Brazilian institutions that offers full time MBA in the areas: Finance and Managerial Control; Operations, Technology and Logistics; Marketing and International Business; and Organizations, Strategy and Information Systems .
Location: Rio de Janeiro-RJ
Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa (Insper)
Private institution focusing on Business Management, Finance, Corporate Education and Economy.
Campus: São Paulo-SP
Requirements to study in Brazil
Each school will have a different admission process. Some universities will only ask for a big check, but the most prestigious ones commonly ask the applicants to have the following requirements (among others):
- Proficiency certificate in English
- Recommendation letters
- Higher education degree
- Good results on Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
- Work experience in leadership positions
Of course, that will be other requirements for foreigners such as visa, validation of foreign diploma in Brazil, proficiency in Portuguese (for courses that are not fully in English) and so on.
If you speak Portuguese...
Of course, if you speak the local language you will have way more options, because the overwhelming majority of the Brazilian MBA programs are given in Portuguese. Among the institutions enlisted above, only Fundação Instituto de Administração, Business School São Paulo and Fundação Getúlio Vargas offer an MBA program fully in English. Actually, if the whole idea of getting a business degree in Brazil is to learn about doing business in here, so it is recommended to learn (or at least try) Portuguese. That way, you can better relate to Brazilians and have a better knowledge of the Brazilian culture.
Other related content
- Brazilian Organization Culture in a Nutshell
- Foreign professionals in Brazilian companies
- The Brazilian Educational System
- The Brazilian way of doing things