It’s that time of the year again when anticipation begins to build for the first of the annual MBA rankings in 2015. As usual, The Financial Times will weigh in first on Jan. 26th with its global ranking of the top 100 MBA programs.
For the first time, the British newspaper began dribbling out some of the data it collected for the ranking today (Jan. 19). One clear indication from what the FT is disclosing is that you can expect a lot of movement on this year’s list. The FT said that 10% of the forthcoming Top 100 schools were not even on the list last year and that nine schools moved up at least 15 places this year.
“Excluding schools which dropped out of the ranking, those in the bottom 50 moved, on average, 13 places compared to only four places in the top 50,” the FT said. “Altogether 18 schools moved by more than 15 places.”
WILL HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL REPEAT ITS NO. 1 GLOBAL RANKING?
Of course, the big news is still secret: Will Harvard Business School, which ranked first in the FT survey in both 2013 and 2014, retain its top ranking? Last year, Stanford was second, London Business School was third, Wharton was fourth, and Columbia Business School was tied for fifth place with INSEAD.
Last year, the big winners included Yale University’s School of Management which jumped four places to tenth in the world, its first appearance among the top 10 in seven years. The University of Michigan’s Ross School rose seven places to finish 23rd. The University of Virginia’s Darden School rose eight places to finish 27th, while the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina soared a dozen places to finish 32nd.
This year the FT said that a record 159 business schools participated in the ranking process, which is up from 153 in 2014. Of the 10 new programs, nine were featured in previous editions of the rankings and one has entered the top 100 on its first participation.
Only graduates from seven schools in the sample reported salary increases of more than 120% three years after graduation, according to the FT. “This is fewer than in 2013, when alumni from 13 schools boasted these figures,” reported the newspaper. “The FT MBA ranking is based in part on the current salary of the alumni who graduated three years ago, with adjustment for variations between sectors and the increase compared to their pre-MBA salary.”
EIGHT SCHOOLS BOAST 75%-PLUS INTERNATIONAL FACULTY
Schools with unusually high increases in pay typically are in emerging economies. Last year, five of the top six MBA programs where graduates reported 100% salary increases were in China. The lone exception was in Singapore: the National University of Singapore Business School. The U.S.-based school reporting the highest percentage increase in pay last year–132%–was the University of Pittsburgh”s Katz School. Overall, Shanghai Jiao Tong University was first with a three-year salary increase of 166%.
The FT also reported that eight schools boast more than 75% of international faculty. “A business school’s main asset is its scholars and international diversity ensures that students benefit from a wide range of expertise,” the newspaper claimed. “Overall, of the top 100 schools, an average of 40 per cent of the full-time faculty is international.”
The methodology employed by the FT awards points on a variety of measures, including the percentage of faculty who are international, which is why the newspaper tracks that number. The Financial Times ranking is arguably the most consulted global list of full-time MBA programs, largely because U.S. News does not rank schools outside the U.S. and BusinessWeek separates U.S. and non-U.S. schools in different rankings. But there are significant flaws in the methodology the FT uses to rank programs, including the use of far too many metrics–20 in all–that include measures that have nothing to do with the quality of a school’s MBA offering. It’s also widely acknowledged to favor non-U.S. business schools.
A COMPELLING STATISTIC ON MBAS WHO LAUNCH THEIR OWN COMPANIES
The Financial Times also disclosed that MBAs who started businesses actually earned slightly more three years out than their counterparts who took MBA jobs. Fledgling business school entrepreneurs reported annual salary of $134,000, compared with $132,000 across the entire sample of MBA graduates. The difference at Stanford were even greater: GSB graduates who started companies after graduation in 2011 earned on average $190,506 three years later compared with $170,433 for those who did not.
The newspaper also found that a significantly higher percentage of MBA graduates it polled went the startup route. Some 22% of 7,800 business students the newspaper surveyed had launched a start-up since graduation and the FT said that 84% of those were still operating three years later. More typically, MBAs who start companies while still in school or shortly after commencement account for about 5% of graduates, with Stanford being on the high side.