FT Ranks the Best MBA Programs for Finance

Stanford best school for financeThe Financial Times has just released its 2018 ranking of the best business schools for finance, a spin-off from its Global MBA ranking that came out in January and based on the number of alumni who land positions in finance, banking, or fintech startups in the three years after graduating.

Schools in the US dominate the FT list, accounting for 27 out of the 50 ranked schools. British and Chinese schools form the next largest group with six members and both crack the top ten with one entry each.

Top Ten MBA Programs for Finance

Here are the locations and percentage of graduates going into finance from each of these elite business schools.

1. Stanford Graduate School of Business U.S. 38%
2. The Wharton School U.S. 34%
3. Chicago Booth School of Business U.S. 37%
4. Harvard Business School U.S. 28%
5. NYU Stern School of Business U.S. 38%
6. MIT Sloan School of Management U.S. 25%
7. INSEAD France/Singapore 24%
8. Cambridge Judge Business School United Kingdom 27%
9. CEIBS China 26%
10. Columbia Business School U.S. 35%


The percentage of MBA graduates from the Stanford Graduate School of Business who found work in finance increased to 38% in this year’s ranking data, up from 27%  just one year ago. Meanwhile, the  percentage going into entrepreneurship in the three years after graduation fell from 36% to 22%, these new FT rankings reveal.

Deborah Whitman, director of Stanford’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, tells FT that the revival of the US jobs market has lead to a growth in finance jobs and a decline in student startups.

“The incredibly strong jobs market is making the opportunity cost of entrepreneurship high enough that it is causing a few alumni to put their entrepreneurial dreams on hold for now,” she says.

Business schools with the greatest success in launching students’ careers in finance are those which have, as FT explains, “retained their value to the banks, venture capitalists and asset management firms by teaching skills for a changing world of disruptive business models and digital finance.”

Indeed, technology developments such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies overlap with the financial sector, and the surge in fintech startups have spurred the re-emergence of finance.

Over at NYU Stern School of Business, roughly one third of the 345 students making up the MBA Class of 2017 entered the finance sector—a proportion that has remained unchanged for years, Beth Briggs, assistant dean in NYU Stern’s careers service, tells FT.

“For us, banking is still a place where the cool kids want to go.”

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