Media Rankings

Media rankings of business schools are an integral part of the business school world. There are only two major full-time MBA rankings – the Financial Times and The Economist – that directly compare schools from around the world. BusinessWeek and Forbes create separate lists for U.S. and the rest of the world, while US News & World only focuses on the U.S. market.

There is no ‘best’ business school in the world… but there could be a ‘best’ business school for you.

We do not believe that media rankings should be the most influential factor when identifying the right school for you – the personality of the institution, course length, location, cost, school strengths, alumni, and other personal aspects are key to finding the right fit.
And each media ranking has its own methodology, so it is important to find out what is being measured, and how that applies to you.

In overly simple terms:
Financial Times – bases 40% of the ranking on post-MBA salaries 3 years after graduation.
BusinessWeek – emphasises the satisfaction levels of two core stakeholders: students and recruiters.
Forbes – does a simple calculation of ROI 5 years out from business school.
U.S. News & World – includes a survey of deans and MBA directors, and uses GMAT scores as part of student selectivity.
The Economist – assesses the ability of the MBA to open new career opportunities, as well as the international make-up of the school.

So how much should we read into the results of any of the big five MBA rankings? Each ranking uses a different methodology, and weights the use of different data to produce their league tables, so it is important for candidates to understand what is being measured.

The rankings all measure different things – but what measures of a business school matter to you? Are you focused on leadership, entrepreneurship, finance, strategy…
align school strengths with your priorities

Remember that the methodology of each ranking is subjective in its choice of criteria. The difference between a school ranked #18 or #28 is probably not that great – they will both offer you a world-class business education. In any case, the results might be reversed when looking at a different league table – it all depends on what is being measured, and what matters to you. Gaining entrance to any or all of them is cause to celebrate.

BusinessWeek MBA Rankings Cover 1990

A Quarter Century of The BusinessWeek MBA Ranking 1988 – 2014

The news that Duke University's Fuqua School of Business has claimed the #1 spot in the Business Week MBA Ranking in 2014 will send shockwaves through the industry, and hopefully inspire other business schools to dream big. Established in 1969, Fuqua is one of the youngest leading business schools, and ...

Economist - Leave no ranking unquestioned

The Rankings Roller Coaster: The Economist MBA Ranking 2002 – 2014

Chicago is often cited as one of the favourite US cities among Europeans. Judging by the results of The Economist's annual MBA ranking, they are equally enthusiastic about the city's business schools. Chicago Booth retains the #1 spot for the third year running in the 2014 ranking published this week. ...

Harvard #1

The FT Full-Time MBA Ranking 2014 – Winners and Losers

While the Harvard Business School keeps the #1 spot on the 2014 Full-Time MBA Ranking published by the Financial Times, Yale SOM claims a place in the top 10, and Michigan, Darden and UNC Kenan-Flagler are among a number of US business schools making sharp gains. Top European schools remain stable, ...

US News MBA rankings 1990 - 2013

A History of the US News MBA Ranking 1990 – 2013

With close to a quarter of a century of business school rankings to its name, US News is one of the longest-established of the big five media MBA rankings. Indeed, while BusinessWeek claims to have published the first full business school assessment in 1998, a reputation survey published by US ...

How much fdo the rankings matter?

How much do MBA rankings matter?

When BusinessWeek published its first MBA rankings in 1988, the idea of judging the quality of a school on “customer satisfaction” must have seemed revolutionary. Some academics might even have thought it a heresy. Never before had anyone asked students if they had been given “a way of thinking or approaching problems” ...

FT MBA rankings 1999 - 2013

Fifteen years of influence: The FT MBA Ranking 1999 – 2013

When the Financial Times published its first MBA ranking in 1999, the Harvard Business School claimed the #1 spot ahead of a familiar list of top US business schools, including Columbia Business School, Stanford GSB, The Wharton School and MIT Sloan. Fifteen years later, and Harvard is again #1, with ...

FT 2013 Full-Time MBA Ranking

The FT Full-Time MBA Ranking 2013 – Winners and Losers

The 2013 Full-Time MBA Ranking published by the Financial Times will no doubt grab headlines for the return of the Harvard Business School to the #1 spot for the first time in 8 years. Arguably the most influential business school in the world, Harvard ranked #1 for the first two ...

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About Us

We are delighted that you checked out, for advice, news and views on the world’s outstanding business schools.

We’ve been passionate about business education since the mid 90s, helping candidates to find the right MBA fit, organising events across the world for them to meet with schools face to face, and writing for many of the world’s leading media about the MBA, leadership and entrepreneurship.

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