Businessweek Releases First-Ever 2018 Global MBA Ranking

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For the very first time, Bloomberg Businessweek has decided to issue a 2018 Global MBA rankings. The results are rather surprising, especially in the top 10:


Top 10


  1. Stanford University Graduate School of Business

  2. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

  3. Harvard Business School

  4. MIT Sloan School of Management

  5. University of Chicago Booth School of Business

  6. University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business

  7. Columbia Business School

  8. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

  9. University of Virginia Darden School of Business

  10.  IMD (International Institute for Management Development) 


Can you identify what stands out most in this ranking? The answer can be partially found in Businessweek’s 2018 US MBA rankings: they’re nearly the same. The list is heavily dominated by US MBA programs. The only non-US university to make it into top 10 is IMD. Where are some other international heavy hitters? Let’s pick five: LBS is in 23rd place, INSEAD in 25th, HEC in 52nd, CEIBS in 81st and IE in 83rd.

This begs the question: why is Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking so radically different from other rankings, such as The Financial Times’? In part, the difference derives from the concept of purchasing power parity. When FT evaluates compensation figures, it takes into account PPP; however, Businessweek simply converts salaries directly into dollars. This non-adjustment has led to a preponderance of US MBAs in this list. More specifically, in absolute dollars, Businessweek claims that US MBA graduates have a median compensation that is $20,000 more than that of their non-US MBA counterparts.


What do these rankings mean?


These results might seem to be indicating that you should largely target US programs if you want to receive a big paycheck, but that would be an oversimplification. Rankings are created from a subjective weighing of a variety of factors, including alumni opinions. For any particular individual, rankings are incapable of identifying overtly which schools would provide him or her with the strongest advantages for his or her needs, whether they be academic, geographic, domain specific, network related, or otherwise.

Rankings, however, offer a treasure trove of details on MBAs that would otherwise be impossible to obtain. Therefore, if you’re looking to better understand which programs to target, after you decide what factors are important for you, you can cull the massive data behind the rankings to identify schools that best match your requirements. Of course, choosing the right MBAs will still require more research (structure, courses, professors, resources, etc.) and leg work (campus visits, events, alumni outreach, etc.).

If you’d like help with selecting those programs that are most relevant to your future goals, feel free to contact us.