IMD Leads Forbes Best B-Schools Abroad

In a complementary piece to last week’s Top Ten Best B-Schools, reveals the best international business schools based on return on investment five years after graduation. While Harvard Business School took the top spot stateside with a salary gain of $118,000, Switzerland’s IMD racked up an impressive five-year MBA gain of $230,000, the Forbes survey found.

Given the fact that many of the highly ranked programs in Europe are just one year, students say the grueling schedule is worth the trade-off as it means only one year of foregone salary and the possibility of getting their educational investment back in under three.

The Best Non-U.S. One-Year MBA Programs

  1. IMD
  3. IE Business School
  4. SDA Bocconi
  5. Cambridge (Judge)

Forbes cites IMD’s emphasis on the employment process as a leading factor behind the school’s high ROI. The program has just 90 students, which allows for individual career coaches for all MBA candidates, and mandatory class time is set aside for career development throughout the year.

London Business School, meanwhile, ranks as the top two-year MBA program abroad, showing a five-year MBA gain of $155,000 and a median payback period of 3.2 years, Forbes found.

The Best Non-U.S. Two-Year MBA Programs

  1. London Business School
  2. Manchester
  3. IESE
  4. National University of Singapore
  5. Ceibs

Graduates of MBA programs outside the U.S. are in high demand, says Forbes, because of the international perspective that comes with their degree. Whether they include class trips to work in emerging economies or boast a cohort with students from 80 different countries, these programs compete on equal footing with the best North American schools–and in some cases, as we see here, even surpass their U.S. counterparts.

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