INSEAD and HEC Paris are two of Europe’s most popular business schools. Aspirants from all over the world, with diverse class profiles, apply to these schools every year. Since they are both top-ranked programs with a campus in France, it would be helpful to analyze these programs in detail and understand which program will be better suited for you.


INSEAD has three campuses – France; Singapore; and Abu Dhabi

HEC has two campuses: Paris, and France


QS World University Rankings: Global MBA Rankings 2019

  • HEC PARIS: 7
  • INSEAD: 6

FT Global MBA Rankings 2019:

  • HEC PARIS: 19
  • INSEAD: 3



  • Avg. GMAT Score: 700
  • Avg. Work Exp.: 6 years

HEC Paris:

  • Avg. GMAT Score: 700
  • Avg. Work Exp.: 6 years



  • For the 2018 year: €82,000 (US$98,403)

HEC Paris:

  • Sep 2018: €66,000 (US$79,202)


INSEAD: 10 Months

5 periods upto 8 weeks ending with an exam, essay or project.

First 3 periods cover the 14 core courses including “financial accounting, “organizational behavior”, “corporate financial policy” and “macroeconomics in the global economy”.

Second 2 periods – Customised course to the student’s personal interests from 75 different electives over 10 academic areas.

Many of the electives also include a range of travel abroad options.

HEC Paris: 16 months

2 phases: fundamental and customized.

Fundamental phase – 8 months- covering core skills in business and management from financial policy to management skills, accounting and other entrepreneurship essentials.

Final 8 months – customized period – Students can choose electives based on their own career goals and aspirations. The options include elective courses, specializations, international exchanges, and fieldwork projects.



  • 1020 participants in the two classes completed the INSEAD MBA programme in December 2017 and July 2018.
  • 91% reported having received at least one job offer 3 months after their graduation date.
  • 55% were placed through Career Development Centre & Alumni Network.
  • 36% new hires were in Management Consulting, 13% in Financial Services, 17% in Technology, Media & Telecommunications, 13% in Corporate Sectors.
  • Overall Annual Mean Salary was US$ 110,400 and Overall Median Sign-on Bonus was US$ 27,000.
  • Interestingly, it’s management consultants who have the largest salaries. The overall mean salary for them was US$ 113,800, for financial services it was US$ 112,900, for technology it was US$ 102,800 and for financial sectors it was US$ 104,700.
  • Of the graduating class, 51% changed countries in comparison to their pre-MBA location and 49% changed their sector.

HEC Paris:

  • 232 participants completed the HEC Paris MBA programme in 2018.
  • 93% reported to have received one job offer 3 months after their graduation date.
  • 78% were placed through On-campus placements and alumni network.
  • Overall Annual Mean Salary was $120,700 and Overall Median Sign-on Bonus was $29,500.
  • 61% changed countries in comparison to their pre-MBA location and 73% changed their sector.
  • 24% new hires were in Management Consulting, 18% in Financial Services, 17% in Technology, Media & Telecommunications.
  • The highest-salaried industry for graduates was finance, with an average annual salary package of $125,305.  In consulting that figure was $114,900.


Thus, after speaking to the alumni of both schools and looking at the data, we can assume the following:

  • INSEAD will be helpful to build a career in Management Consulting while HEC Paris is more suited to a career in Finance.
  • If you’re looking to work in France, HEC Paris seems to have better job prospects, while INSEAD has better international exposure and a much larger alumni network spread over the globe.
  • INSEAD has three campuses and two intakes in an academic year. HEC Paris has two intakes intake and one campus. The total graduates from INSEAD in 2018 were almost 5 times that of HEC Paris. Hence, the MBA alumni network of INSEAD is bigger and will be more easily accessible for career prospects. However, this also makes HEC Paris less internally competitive for academic choices as well as placements.
  • MBA students at HEC Paris can develop their leadership and managemental capacities outside the classroom by seeking employment in the understudy gathering, a specialist and frameworks organization club, exploring different career paths.
  • INSEAD offer Summer Internships as well Language Courses through their Career Services.
  • INSEAD MBA classes are taught exclusively in English. French is not mandatory. However, all students must clear at least an A2 (Basic) level in an official language as their “Exit Language” in order to graduate.
  • At HEC Paris, English and one other language are required for most students, who are also encouraged to learn a third language.