The Most ‘Popular’ B-Schools Among MBAs


Babson College

Babson College

MBAs Recommend Babson

Babson College was among the biggest surprises of the survey. Ranked No. 95 overall by the Financial Times, Babson scored a No. 30 ranking among alumni, possibly indicating that MBAs hold Babson alum in higher regard than underlying metrics like weighted salary might indicate. What’s more, Babson grads rank in the Financial Times’ top 20 for career progress. Other schools that ranked far higher among MBA alums than their overall rank might indicate include: Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (India), Western University/Ivey (Canada), McGill University (Canada), Brigham Young University, Boston College, Arizona State University, George Washington University, and Boston University.

Cambridge University's Judge Business School

Cambridge University’s Judge Business School

Conversely, the UK’s Cambridge Judge Business School was among the schools whose high overall rank overshadows a lukewarm opinion from B-school graduates. Ranked No. 16 overall, Judge has maintained a No. 47 rank among graduates for two consecutive years. That said, Judge also holds top 10 rankings in aims achieved, career progress, and value for the money.

Among American schools, the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, the University of Rochester, and the University of California were seemingly held in lower regard by business school graduates than their overall ranking would indicate. Internationally, the same held true for SDA Bocconi (Italy), City University/Cass (UK), the University of Hong Kong (China), Hult International Business School (United States, China, United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates), Sungkyunkwan University (South Korea), and the Lisbon MBA (Portugal).

Australian Programs Growing in Popularity

Compared to their previous year’s ranking, the Fudan University School of Management (China) enjoyed the biggest jump, going from No. 99 to No. 86 among MBAs surveyed by the Financial Times. Melbourne Business School (Australia) and the Australian Graduate School of Management also rose in popularity.

And which schools dropped the most from the previous year? They would include the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, and Vlerick Business School (Belgium), which each fell eight spots.

As you’d expect, the survey comes with flaws, notably its lack of transparency (i.e. the Financial Times doesn’t share how many votes were cast for each school to provide a range between schools). It also doesn’t include the number of respondents, who could theoretically be clustered at particular schools (and countries). Even more, it would be helpful to learn how respondents ranked their top three schools, to better gauge the degree of passion for various schools.

Despite these imperfections, this survey reflects one thing: MBA alumni still gravitate (for the most part) to the top-ranked business schools. Whether it’s reputation or rigor or cause-and-effect, overall rankings still matter.

To view the top 100 schools, continue to the next pages.

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