The Economist has released its annual ranking of the best full-time MBA programs in the world, and U.S. b-schools dominate the list, taking 16 of the top 20 spots. The Kellogg School of Management, which this year opened its $250 million state-of-the-art education center known as the Global Hub, has finally unseated local rival Chicago Booth School of Business, which held the top spot in The Economist’s rankings for five consecutive years.
Kellogg has made incredible strides toward the top over these past five years; it placed 23rd in the 2013 ranking, jumped to 14th place in 2014, rocketed to seventh in 2016, and landed in second place last year.
Average salaries of new MBA graduates at Kellogg were just under $124,000, a 72% increase over pre-MBA salaries, according to the ranking’s data. At Chicago Booth, meanwhile, new MBA grads had average salaries of $126,000 but a slightly lower salary increase at 71%.
- Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
- University of Chicago Booth School of Business
- Harvard Business School
- University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
- UCLA Anderson School of Management
- UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
- Dartmouth Tuck School of Business
- Columbia Business School
- UV Darden School of Business
Rankings are inherently controversial—what makes a good MBA program varies for each individual—but The Economist aims to look at business schools from the students’ perspective.
Their responses on how well the program delivers the things students themselves cite as most important inform the criteria The Economist measures and the weightings they apply. Four factors have consistently emerged when students assess the quality of their MBA program:
- open new career opportunities and/or further current career (35% weighting)
- personal development and educational experience (35%)
- increase salary (20%)
- networking potential (10%)
While we don’t like to encourage clients to focus too heavily on rankings when they’re making their MBA program selections, we also know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves. But placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction for some applicants, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.