Most of the top MBA programs are in the United States, according to The Economist’s most recent MBA rankings. 4 of the top 5 schools are stateside (the IESE Business School at Spain’s University of Navarra was the only European school to crack the top five). The best of the bunch were:
- Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, USA
- Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, USA
- Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, USA
- Harvard Business School, Harvard University, USA
- IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Spain
European schools still boast some advantages, however, notably earnings potential upon graduation.
Observed The Economist:
European MBAs are still likely to out-earn the rest when they graduate—they tend to be older with more work experience—but the gap has narrowed. London Business School, which has traditionally placed its graduates in high-paying finance roles, is a good example. As banking jobs disappeared, the average basic salary of new MBAs from LBS has dropped from USD 117,000 to USD 100,600 since the 2009 ranking. Likewise the number of students in employment within three months of graduation fell from 91% to 81%. At IMD in Switzerland, meanwhile, salaries also fell slightly.
This compares badly with many of the American schools where the drop has not been as dramatic. At some, indeed, salaries were almost unchanged—for example the University of California at Berkeley, whose graduates made USD 108,400 on average.
Schools have also had to contend with lower quality student bodies, with entry exam scores down across the board. Part of the problem is they continue to see swollen numbers of applicants as undergraduates flee weak job markets in the US and Europe.