The 16 best MBAs in the world according to The Economist

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The Economist has released its annual ranking of the world's best MBAs.

A Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) is a fast-track to success and can catapult its graduates into a high-paying career.

The Economist's ranking is one of the most comprehensive of its kind and finds the business schools with the best MBAs by ranking and sorting institutions into four categories before finding an overall score. These categories are:

  • The opening of new career opportunities
  • Personal development and educational experience
  • Increase in salary
  • Potential to network

The majority of schools are in the USA, with Stanford and Harvard both ranking highly. Institutions in Europe and Australia round off the list. 

UK business schools are notably absent from The Economist's top 16 but Warwick Business School came in 20th. 

16) IE University, IE Business School, Spain — IE Business School is internationally recognised for its prestigious MBA, which was also named the best in Europe by the Financial Times. The Economist recognised its student diversity as being particularly impressive.

15) Yale School of Management, United States — This two-year, full-time program ranked highly in the personal development and educational experience category. 43% of the 334 students in the class of 2018 are women, and 46% are international students.

14) UCLA, Anderson School of Management, United States — This Los Angeles school is a relatively young institution founded in 1935, but its MBA program is consistently ranked among the top in the country. Its position was bolstered by a strong performance in new career opportunities for students.

13) INSEAD, France — With campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi, INSEAD's accelerated 10-month MBA program teaches students to lead and innovate across cultures. At $69,700 for tuition and fees, INSEAD is one of the best-value business schools in the world.

12) University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, United States — UPENN's MBA program is led by some of the brightest minds in business education and boasts 95,000 alumni in 153 countries. More than 650 companies make offers to students at Wharton who go on to earn an average base salary​ of $125,000.

11) Columbia Business School, United States — Colombia Business School is one of six Ivy League business schools, and its admissions process is extremely selective. The Economist ranked it highly for the number of students who receive a job offer within three months of graduation and for its students' post-MBA salary.

10) The University of Queensland Business School, Australia — As part of the oldest university in Australia, UQ Business School was the first in Australia to earn accreditation from the US-based AACSB. The Economist ranked it number one for post-MBA salary and for student quality, but its overall position was lowered by its lack of internationalism of alumni.

9) HEC School of Management, Paris, France — It's easy to see why HEC's MBA has earned its reputation as one of the best in the world — an impressive 90% of students are employed within three months of graduating from this prestigious school.

8) University of Navarra, IESE Business School, Spain — As well as a seriously impressive standing in The Economist's ranking, IESE Business School also placed first worldwide for its executive education and custom programs in the Financial Times's 2016 ranking of MBAs. Only 293 graduates make it onto the MBA course each year, the majority of whom come from outside Europe.

7) University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business, United States — Haas displays impressive diversity within its MBA classes. Typically, more than 30% of each class is composed of women, last year 37% of the class were international students, and 36% identified as minorities.

6) Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business, United States — Again, Tuck boasts impressive gender diversity, with 44% of the class of 2018 being women. Alumni go on to work for big names including Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital, and the average starting salary for graduates is an impressive $123,900. It also ranked first for the effectiveness of its alumni network.

5) Stanford University, Graduate School of Business, United States — The most selective business school in the US also has the lowest acceptance rates. Only 6.5% of applicants were given a place on the full-time MBA course in 2015. Approximately 400 students are taken on each year.

4) Harvard Business School, United States — Students on Harvard's MBA program can enjoy one or more of the 80 clubs on campus. Notable alumni from the school include Michael Bloomberg, Mitt Romney, and George W. Bush.

3) University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, United States — MBA students at Darden work through an expansive curriculum and can study a range of topics, from business analytics, to corporate innovation, to supply chain management.

2) Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, United States — Kellogg's 1-year MBA program began in 1965 and has more than 3,500 graduates around the world. It scored highly across The Economist's board but the opening of career opportunities for students and the potential for its students to network bolstered its standing.

1) University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, United States — The world's best MBA according to The Economist takes on just 585 students every year. It ranked second for its opening of new career opportunities and first for personal development and educational experience. The school also has campuses in London and Asia.

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