It’s becoming an evergreen headline: The University of St. Gallen’s master in management program has been named best in the world by the Financial Times. In FT’s new ranking published Monday (September 11), the Swiss school’s MA in Strategy and International Management was named top program for a seventh straight year, edging out second-place HEC Paris, a much larger program, for the third consecutive year.
St. Gallen’s 26-month program has the numbers to back up its reputation. It is credited with a 67% increase in salary for its 55 graduates, 91% of whom are international (representing 28 countries). Average reported salary is $114,449, up $12,947 from a year ago, making St. Gallen’s SIM one of only five programs in the ranking with a six-figure weighted salary. Ranked No. 1 in career service, the St. Gallen SIM saw 97% of graduates secure employment within three months of graduation.
Students in the SIM program tend to be young — the average age in the 2016-2017 cohort was 24 — and mostly male, with about a 60% to 40% male-female ratio. They scored well on the Graduate Management Admission Test, with admits boasting a range of 660 to 770.
AN INTERNATIONAL PROJECT, INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIP, AND THESIS
St. Gallen’s program boasts that its students receive advanced skill trainings and counseling, attend exclusive company workshops, and have access to an intensive — styled “SIMtensive” — German language program. Most SIM graduates choose to pursue a career in consulting, financial services, industry, or entrepreneurship, the school’s website says, helped by a curriculum that combines lectures and tutorials with independent study components.
The 90-credit program includes five compulsory Core Courses, one of two SIM Advanced Management Courses, and the SIMagination Challenge and SIM International Project. The SIMagination Challenge requires students to independently plan, execute, and reflect upon a challenging international project which aims at “leaving a positive and sustainable social impact in our society,” while the SIM International Project is a mandatory international internship.
Students also are required to complete a master’s thesis that involves “intensive individual research” into the topic of their choice (subject to faculty approval).
ELSEWHERE IN THE FT RANKING
The HEC Paris MSc in Management is an 18-month program with 20 specializations and nine certificates in key sectors. It’s a much bigger program than St. Gallen’s, with 534 students enrolled in 2016-2017. It has about the same proportion of female students (39%) but far fewer international students (41%). About 96% of graduates have jobs three months after getting their degree, making an average of $100,696.
In third place in FT’s new ranking was IE Business School in Spain, whose Master in Management has jumped seven spots since 2015, followed by London Business School’s Masters in Management, up from sixth place last year, and France’s Essec Business School, whose MSc in Management dropped from third place.
In large part because United States schools with master in management programs are few and those that have them decline to participate in FT’s annual ranking, only one U.S. school made this year’s list of 95: Arizona State University’s Carey School of Business, which landed 87th, down from 82nd last year. (In 2015 Carey’s MSc in Management was unranked.) Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the highest-ranked U.S. business school with a master in management degree, is among the many U.S. schools to eschew the FT ranking.
YALE MOVES INTO THE MIM SPACE
Another school that is unranked by FT is Yale School of Management — but that’s because it just unveiled a new Master in Management this month. David Bach, deputy dean and professor in the practice of management at Yale SOM, says they expect to be harbingers of a strong future trend.
“The early-career segment is by far the fastest-growing segment of management education,” Bach says. “The MBA market is flat, other markets are being challenged, there’s some movement in the specialized master’s degrees — but really it’s younger people looking for management education earlier that has been growing the most globally.”
Master in management programs are primed to take off in the U.S., he says, which is why Yale SOM is partnering with four global schools this fall to launch the M2M, a portfolio of double degrees giving recent university graduates the opportunity to complete two master’s degrees by attending two top business schools in two different countries over two years.