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.

Harvard Business School ranks #1

Harvard claims #1 position in the FT’s 2013 Full-Time MBA ranking for first time in 8 years

The Harvard Business School celebrates 2013 with the top position in the Financial Times full-time MBA ranking published on 28 January. It is the first time that the school has crowned the FT ranking since 2005, when it shared the top position with The Wharton School. The school was ranked ...

Selectivity, Yield, and MBA Admissions Math

Selectivity, Yield, and MBA Admissions Math

Beyond the headlines of the latest Bloomberg Businessweek MBA ranking, there is a tremendous amount of data for potential business school applicants to analyze. From class size, cost, and curriculum to community spirit and careers, the survey responses from more than 10,000 graduates provide invaluable perspectives on the search for the right ...

Getting MBA Edge Step 2 - Rankings

Getting the MBA Edge: Step 2 – Rankings and Priorities

(This 7-step MBA Admissions series is produced by Fortuna Admissions, a team of former Directors of Admissions from Wharton, INSEAD, Chicago Booth, London Business School, IE and UC Berkeley Haas). While it is tempting to strictly go by the rankings of top business schools in deciding where you would like to ...


The FT MBA Rankings 2012 – Winners and Losers

The Financial Times has just published its 2012 full-time MBA ranking, starting another year of controversy and mistrust that always accompany such media league tables. The headlines will no doubt belong to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which takes the #1 spot for the first time since the FT MBA ...

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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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