The Financial Times has released its 2018 global ranking of MBA programs, and the number-one spot goes to Stanford Graduate School of Business–unseating INSEAD, which had held the top position for the previous two years.
According to the FT, Stanford has headed the ranking for a second time, six years after it first topped the list, due to a noteworthy salary increase reported by Stanford GSB alumni. The FT’s ranking is based on surveys of business schools and their 2014 graduates. MBA programs are assessed by a multitude of factors, including the career progression of their alumni, the school’s idea generation, and the diversity of students and faculty.
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
- Wharton School
- London Business School
- Harvard Business School
- Chicago Booth School of Business
- Columbia Business School
- MIT Sloan School of Management
- UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
Stanford Graduate School of Business and “Its alumni led the way thanks to a significant salary boost, up nearly $20,000 to $214,000. This is the highest average salary (not adjusted for inflation) since the inaugural ranking in 1999,” writes Laurent Ortsmans, who notes, “This is up 114 per cent on their pre-MBA salaries, which was also the highest increase among ranked schools.”
The rankings have also recognized Switzerland’s IMD business bchool for international mobility, with its 99 percent international cohort; Merage School of Business at University of California at Irvine for having a majority of female faculty at 52 percent; and the Lisbon MBA for best international course experience. You can read more about this latest ranking here.
Our View on Rankings
While rankings can inform your decision of where to apply, applicants would do well to focus more on a program’s culture, size, or the strength of its alumni network. When Stacy Blackman Consulting last surveyed business school applicants to find out what matters most to today’s applicants and why, fewer than 12 percent of survey respondents considered culture a top priority, and a mere handful noted that program content was the most important factor influencing the decision to attend a particular business school.
These results are troubling, because it means people aren’t paying enough attention to the program that’s truly a good fit for them. We’re realists and know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves, but keep in the back of your mind that placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.