10 Business Schools To Watch In 2016

Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business

Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business

Dartmouth College (Tuck): Like Darden, Tuck is replacing a rock star dean with Matthew Slaughter, an associate dean who also served a two-year stint in George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers. Like Beardsley, Slaughter steps into an enviable situation with a tight-knit culture and a world class faculty. Plus, he inherits an alumni fund raising apparatus with a participation rate over 70% (the highest of any business school). Not to mention, 2015 Tuck grads are earning the same starting base pay as Harvard and Wharton grads (and higher signing bonuses), making $146,020 in total starting pay on average. And that doesn’t include an eye-popping 99% three month placement grads for Tuck grads!

So what can Slaughter do for an encore? We’re about to find out in 2016. While Slaughter isn’t outlining grand plans or taunting any sacred cows, you can expect some fiddling around the edges. Like Darden – notice a theme – Tuck is requiring an experiential course (TuckGO)…with the school taking students overseas to complete their consulting engagement. The program is also looking at how it can sell its unique mission to a new generation of students who sometimes view it as a survivalist camp out in the boonies. Plus, its new mantra – ‘to prepare wise leaders to better the world’ – hints at great global engagement. The world may not come to Hanover, but you can expect Hanover to reach out even more to the world.

Wharton School

Wharton School

Wharton: Two years ago, MOOCs were supposedly a threat to wipe half of the MBA programs off the map. Today, they are harmless little certifications that give students a taste of what the big players offer. Now, Geoff Garrett, the new dean at Wharton, is making a high stakes bet on MOOCs. Last February, Wharton bundled four core courses into a specialization, replete with a capstone project. Since then, the school has developed 18 more MOOCs. By this time next year, Garrett intends to up the ante and launch another 25 MOOCs (along with accompanying specializations). Is this a blue light special on brand name education – or a way to take a commanding lead over competitors like Stanford, Booth, and Columbia that have been hesitant to enter the space? Is Wharton diluting its luxury brand – or positioning itself as the household name for online MBA courses? We may not know if this bet pays out in 12 months – but we’re looking forward to seeing the early returns.


CEIBS: These days, the economic action is out east – as in China, India, Mongolia, and Myanmar. And where there is action, you’re bound to find MBAs flocking there. If you’re looking to learn how to do business in Asia – particularly China – the gateway is CEIBS (China Europe International Business School).

CEIBS - Photo by Ethan Baron

CEIBS – Photo by Ethan Baron

Thanks to its performance, CEIBS is getting increasing attention from eastern and western students alike. It placed 4th in Forbes’ ranking of two-year international MBA programs, with 2010 graduates earning $129,000 – a five year gain of $72,400. The Financial Times ranked the school 11th in the world in 2015, up six spots over the previous year with the program earning its highest marks in students’ career progression over their pre-MBA status.

And CEIBS may not be what you’d expect. For one, the program has become a major player in entrepreneurship and sustainability. Classes are taught in English in this Shanghai-based school. It offers a middle ground between the case and the experiential methods. Best of all, it boasts several partnerships with both western companies based in China and Chinese companies looking to beef up their presence in the west. In other words, it offers something for everyone, particularly those looking to build a network and know-how out east. As China’s influence grows on the global stage, a program like CEIBS becomes all the more attractive to globally-attuned MBA candidates.



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