5 Surprises About Top MBA Programs

The new economy blog by Christian Science Monitor posted a great bit Monday on five things you don’t know about top MBA programs. After combing through The Economist‘s recently released annual rankings, writer David Grant discovered several interesting facts.

A drum roll, please…

You’ve never heard of the most competitive MBA program.

With 680 applicants for every one of its 297 spots, the International Institute of Management in Ahemdabad, India is the world’s most competitive MBA program and 99th best worldwide… With a price tag of just over $20,000 per year (versus over $50,000 at Stanford), maybe even some American MBA students will be looking to a new eastern locale for their graduate education.

The best program is ”¦ affiliated with Opus Dei?

The IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Barcelona took home the Economist’s top spot. The Opus Dei connection has more to do with business ethics than Dan Brown-esque intrigue, though. While European business students tend to have twice as much work experience as American students, according to the report, IESE came in second on immediately boosting students’ incomes from their pre-MBA level.

Have deep business experience? Go UK.

Ranked by post-MBA salary, five of the top 10 programs are in the United Kingdom. Like Ashridge, the top MBA for salary growth, many top European programs focused on executive MBA training grounds before expanding standard MBA education. Thus, their deep experience working with seasoned managers can take them the extra mile.

American business grads take care of their own.

Of the top 25 schools with top alumni effectiveness, 21 are American, led by the Tuck School at Dartmouth College, Stanford University, and the Mendoza College at Notre Dame. Founded in 1900, Tuck is the world’s oldest business school and has a honed curriculum that focuses on building students’ ability to work both within teams and intimately with faculty members. Those personal connections may be something what translates into alumni who will really go to bat for freshly-minted grads.

Head down under for a top student experience.

Monash University in Caulfield East, Australia, claimed the top ranking for personal development and educational experience. It’s superlative only in the quality of one’s eventual MBA colleagues (where it ranks 3rd). It isn’t barn-burning in any other category ”“ 15th in faculty quality, 17th in diversity, and 25th in educational experience ”“ but in aggregate these strong showings build a cohesive whole. The trade-off? Its post-MBA salaries lie in the bottom quarter of schools surveyed.

Thanks to David Grant for pointing out the unusual and intriguing from this latest round of MBA rankings!

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