FT’s New MiM Ranking Begs The Question: Where Are The U.S. Programs?

Swiss school St. Gallen has the top Master in Management program in the world for the ninth year in a row, according to The Financial Times. File photo

The Financial Times released its 2019 ranking of Master in Management programs Sunday (October 27), and two familiar schools sit at the top, with the University of St. Gallen of Switzerland claiming the number-one berth for the ninth straight time and HEC Paris landing number two for the sixth consecutive year. The most striking thing about the new ranking, however, isn’t the schools on it but those that are missing — namely, for the second year in a row, all of the major MiM programs in the United States.

FT‘s ranking once again contains none of the major MiM programs in the U.S., despite what the Graduate Management Admission Council describes as a “bounce-back year” at such programs as Northwestern Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Michigan Ross, Yale SOM, USC Marshall, and Duke Fuqua, to name a few. Only the University of San Francisco, as part of a triad with Spanish and Taiwanese schools; Skema Business School, a private school founded in France that has a campus in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Hult International, a Boston-based school with campuses in the UK and UAE, appear in the ranking despite its expansion to 100 schools last year.

The problem seems to be that FT is relying on dated information. The English publication addresses the omission by saying that while demand for MiM courses is strongest in Europe, “the birthplace of the degree,” U.S. schools focus more on MBA programs. It references 2018 data from GMAC to the effect that 66% of European MiM programs saw an increase in applications, while 71% of courses in the U.S. saw app declines. However, GMAC this month released its latest, massive Application Trends Survey that shows a change in fortunes: In Europe, for the first time in four years, “more European MiM programs report total application declines than growth,” with 52% reporting total year-on-year application declines for the 2019-2020 academic year. Thirty-six percent report total application growth, GMAC says, “marking the first time since the 2015 survey that more programs report total application declines than growth.” And while a majority of programs report increases in international applications (52%), nearly half of them say international applications were up only slightly (24%).

Meanwhile, after three years of fewer programs reporting application growth than the year before, U.S. MiM programs rebounded in 2019 “with a majority of programs reporting either application volume growth (46%) or stability (6%).” (See GMAC’s full report here.) The reason for the rebound? International applicants, “who, consistent with past years, made up the majority of total applicants (54%). Fifty percent of the 37 responding programs report increases in international applications, including 24% that report international applications were up significantly.”

Will the new data break FT‘s Euro-centricism as it pertains to Master in Management programs? We’ll have to wait until next year to find out. (Meanwhile, new programs at INSEAD and IESE are likely to disrupt 2020’s ranking even further.)


U.S. Master in Management Programs 

Source: GMAC

This year, St. Gallen is once again the belle of the MiM ball, despite being one of the smallest programs in the ranking — small and getting smaller. In 2018, the St. Gallen CEMS Master’s in International Management had 55 students; in 2019 it has 48. The two-year program begins each October and boasts among the largest weighted salaries three years after graduation ($111,015) and the best careers services rating of all the participating schools.

HEC Paris, once again No. 2 in the FT ranking, keeps pace with St. Gallen in weighted salary ($107,381) and surpasses it — and most other schools — in salary increase post-graduation, at 80%. (St. Gallen boasts a 53% increase in salary.) HEC Paris also is ranked fourth in international mobility, “a measure based on changes in the country of employment of alumni between graduation and today,” besting St. Gallen by one place. Following HEC Paris in the ranking are two schools in third place: London Business School, placing third for the second straight year, and Essec Business School of France, up one spot from fourth. In fifth place is ESCP Europe, with campuses in five countries; it was also fifth in 2018.

Skema, at No. 12, is the newest school to enter the top 20, rising from 25th. With campuses in Brazil, France, the U.S., China, and South Africa, Skema is truly an international school; its Global MSc in Management is ranked sixth in professional aims achieved and also enjoyed the biggest increase in value for money, corresponding to a large jump in weighted average salary, up by $14,017 to $76,350.

The school that saw the biggest jump up the ranking is La Rochelle, a French school based in the town of the same name that leaped to 66th place from 94th last year. La Rochelle’s problem last year, FT says, was “underperformance in the aims achieved and career improvement categories.” These have now improved, along with an increase in the percentage of faculty with doctorates (71% to 89%) and a better balance of genders in the cohort, with women making up 51%, down from 65% last year. Among the other schools that saw big jumps: The UK’s Bath School of Management, from 70th to 52nd; ESMT Berlin, from unranked last year to 35th; IAE Aix-Marseille, from 51st to 33rd; the triad of IQS School of Management of Spain, Fu Jen University of Taiwan, and the University of San Francisco, to 31st from 44th; and Vlerick Business School of Belgium, from unranked to 29th. Looking at the last three years, Shanghai Jiao Tong University: Antai leaped from 32nd to 14th, and Tilburg University of The Netherlands climbed from 89th to unranked to 57th.

The biggest drops in the ranking occurred at Indian school IIM Bangalore, which fell from 26th to 44th; Kozminski University of Poland, which dropped to 42nd from 20th; Hult, which fell to 64th from 53rd; and Germany’s University of Mannheim, which slipped to 24th from 14th. Since 2017, IE Business School of Spain tumbled to 16th from third; Germany’s WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management fell from seventh to 20th; HEC Lausanne dropped from 19th to 37th; Solvay Brussels went from 43rd to 73rd; and the University of Strathclyde Business School in the UK went from 64th to 95th.


One of the biggest movers in the ranking, Shangai Jiao Tong can credit salary increase for its ascendancy. The Antai College’s Master in Management had the highest salary increase three years after graduation at 124%, followed by SGH Warsaw of Poland (122%), St. Petersburg GSOM of Russia (102%), and China’s Tongji University School of Economics and Management (100%). The lowest salary increase came at No. 92-ranked Singapore Management University, whose MSc in Management gave graduates only a 28% pay boost.

In U.S. dollars, the biggest salary increase came at the Indian ABC’s: IIM-Calcutta ($134,348), IIM-Ahmedabad ($131,627) and IIM-Bangalore ($123,618), which are ranked 17th, 21st, and 44th, respectively. The lowest salary increases could be found at No. 100 Hong Kong Baptist University School of Business ($37,536) and No. 87 University of Ljubljana School of Economics and Business ($39,521).

And what about the salary boosts for grads of Northwestern Kellogg’s Master’s of Science in Management Studies, or Yale SOM’s Master’s of Advanced Management, or Michigan Ross’ Master’s of Management? Nowhere to be found.

See Poets&Quants’ Specialty Master’s Directory For Business Programs

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