MBA graduates are doubling their salaries – these are the top business schools in the world

The Financial Times has published its annual ranking of the world’s top business schools.

FT’s Global MBA index for 2019 received submissions from 150 business schools around the world, which was then narrowed to a list of the top 100 schools.

It places a particular focus on pre- and post-MBA salaries as a measure of the course’s worth – though the publication has indicated that it will take its methodology back to the drawing board to have a more relevant assessment in the coming years.

The reason for the change, the group said, was because the rankings were launched in 1990 in a pre-internet world, that largely catered for the privileged few. Over the last three decades, the world has changed, and further business learning has opened up to a much wider audience.

The upper ranks of the list is still dominated by long-established business schools, led by US and European institutions. The top three this year are Stanford, Harvard and Insead — but the business beyond the traditional big brands has been transformed, the publication said.

Looking at salary increases of graduates from all top 100 schools, the value of an MBA is evident in the large jumps alumni see.

The smallest increase recorded is 63% (ESMT Berlin), where the average post-MBA salary is still in six figures ($110,082 – or R1.5 million p.a.) – but salaries can almost triple (195% increase) in places like China and India.

The top-ranked university, Standford’s Graduate School of Business, has the highest average post-MBA salary ($228,074 – or R3.1 million), which is 129% higher than before the course.

These are the top 15 business schools in the world, according to the FT, including the salaries they can expect to earn, and the percentage increase in salary they could see.

# School Salary % increase
1 Stanford Graduate School of Business $228 074 129%
2 Harvard Business School $205 486 112%
3 Insead $179 661 104%
4 University of Pennsylvania: Wharton $197 267 114%
5 Ceibs $174 115 183%
6 London Business School $169 675 102%
7 University of Chicago $185 861 126%
8 MIT: Sloan $188 173 107%
9 Columbia Business School $184 099 114%
10 University of California at Berkley: Haas $188 746 104%
11 Yale School of Management $172 547 121%
12 Iese Business School $151 076 128%
13 University of Oxford: Said $161 443 118%
14 Northwestern University: Kellogg $170 830 99%
15 Dartmouth College: Tuck $173 636 114%

South African schools

No South African schools were ranked among the top 100 in 2019, with the country’s last appearance on the list back in 2016, when the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) was the 76th best business school in the world.

In 2017, it no longer featured.

However, the FT pointed to high growth in executive education, which has become one of the fastest-growing business courses.

In late 2018 the FT published its executive MBA rankings, which featured one school from South Africa – the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria.

GIBS climbed 20 places to reach 67 in the 2018 rankings, with graduates of its modular/part-time EMBA expected to earn upwards of $200,000 (R2.9 million).

International education rating agency, Eduniversal released its rankings of the 10 business schools in Africa in mid-2018, ranking five local business schools among its top 10.

These include:

  • University of Stellenbosch Business School MBA full-time
  • University of Cape Town – UCT Graduate School of Business Masters in Business Admin.
  • University of Pretoria – Gordon Institute of Business Science MBA
  • University of the Witwatersrand Master of Business Administration
  • Management College of Southern Africa – Mancosa – Durban

Read: These are the world’s best business schools for entrepreneurs – including two in South Africa

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MBA graduates are doubling their salaries – these are the top business schools in the world