Pursuing an MBA is still a great investment – but if you go full-time, go only for the best.
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The Magnificent 7 (M7)
The M7 is a self-selected group of business schools created with the purpose of collaborating closely. Key members including the deans, admission officers, career teams meet regularly to share knowledge, and experiences. The network convenes twice every year to share information and chat about some of the most pressing issues in graduate business education. Rankings vary every year across different publications. On the other hand, M7s remain constant. Schools are neither added to nor removed from this list. However, it is not impossible that the M7 becomes the M9 with schools like Berkeley Haas and Yale knocking on the door.
HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL
Without doubt, HBS produces some of the most powerful MBA graduates in the world. Of the 150 FT500 CEOs with an MBA, 28 hailed from HBS. Since 2006, HBS alumni have raised more than US$48B from VC (US$20B more than alumni from Stanford or Wharton).
STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
There is not a better school for aspiring entrepreneurs. Not only did Stanford produce 933 VC-backed entrepreneurs who raised more than US$27.9B, the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem at Stanford is unrivalled.
THE WHARTON SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
With close to 36% of the Class of 2019 entering the Finance industry, there is no better school for MBA hopefuls looking at a career in the Finance industry – with a preference for IB and PE. But restricting Wharton to Finance would not do justice as they have also produced 792 VC-backed entrepreneurs who raised more than US$28B.
COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL
Location matters and where best than New York City to pursue your MBA? Ideally located in the heart of the world’s business capital, you will have access to 500+ guest speakers every year and one of the best balanced faculties with 150+ adjunct professors. Columbia is best suited for people looking at Consulting and Finance and has one of the best Family Business Research centre in the world.
MIT SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
MIT boasts one of the world most advanced innovation ecosystem and easily competes with Stanford for the title of the world’s best business school for innovators and disruptors. It’s no wonder that MIT is the school that places the most in Tech among the M7.
KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
Kellogg surely host the most close-knit MBA communities in the world, but restricting Kellogg to this aspect only would not be fair. Kellogg is first and foremost the best faculty in Marketing and a school that is known to constantly place its graduate among top firms.
CHICAGO BOOTH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
There is no other school that embodies more academic rigour than Chicago Booth (after all, 9 Chicago Booth faculty members have won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences). Yet, Booth is home to the world’s most flexible MBA curriculum and is the leading school in Impact Investment. A must-have on your list if you look at a career in Finance and Consulting.
|AVERAGE WORK EXPERIENCE||4.7||4.6||5||5||5||5||5|
|OFFERS AT 3 MONTHS||94%||94%||98.5%||93.9%||95.7%||98%||96.3%|
The Super 7 (S7)
The S7 was formed in 2008 as a response to the M7 and does around 40 admissions events every year. Their place in the rankings, and their admissions and employment data make them world-class business schools. Today, though they are not part of the S7 network, schools like UCLA, Tuck and Tepper are considered to be at par.
BERKELEY HAAS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Along with Stanford, Haas is the only Elite MBA in the Bay Area. Haas is well-known for its focus on tech innovation as an integrating social impact with for-profit business models and would provide you with an unrivalled access to the Valley – Haas is the #1 school for Tech with 33% of its graduate going into the industry.
YALE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
With a strong legacy, Yale is a school that is increasingly popular among MBA applicants. We love their innovative Raw Case study method and their Integrated Curriculum. Yale is known to be at the intersection of business and society, and usually ranks #1 or #2 for its number of graduates going into nonprofits.
MICHIGAN ROSS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Surely one the most underrated top MBA programs, Ross is the ideal school for people looking at entering Consulting or Tech (Ross is one of Amazon’s preferred schools). It is a school to have on your list if you value the financial aspect as Elite MBA applicants usually receive generous scholarships.
NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Location matters and where best than New York City to pursue your MBA? As for Columbia, we like Stern a lot because of its ideal location and we see a lot of applicants having the school on their list because of that. With a strong placement in Consulting and Finance and top firms being regular employers of Stern MBA, you can head there confidently.
DUKE FUQUA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Strong name, strong community and a very solid career placement for its graduates make Duke MBA a preferred choice for many applicants. Duke is one of the strongest schools in Healthcare but has a solid placement with top Consulting, Tech and Finance firms.
UVA DARDEN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
A traditional university but an innovative and global business school, Darden offers one of the best programs in Data Science. Darden is often celebrated as the best school for student satisfaction. Career stats are excellent with close to 36% and 25% respectively entering Consulting and Finance.
CORNELL JOHNSON GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
Cornell’s main weakness? Its location. However, the Cornell MBA is one of the finest in the world and a school of choice for people looking at a career in Finance with 37% of their most recent graduating class entering the industry.
|AVERAGE WORK EXPERIENCE||5.3||N/A||5.6||4.9||5.5||5||5|
|OFFERS AT 3 MONTHS||93%||92.4%||97%||95.3%||97%||97%||94%|
The European 7 (E7)
The E7 is the most informal elite business schools group and E7 stands more as a classification than as a network. Those are Europe’s most Elite MBA programs. Over the last few years, we have seen a sharp increase of applicants integrating some of those E7 into their list of programs. With the US becoming less attractive (mostly because of the H1B situation), European programs are becoming a force to reckon with.
INSEAD has produced 9 CEOs leading a FT500 companies, making it the second most powerful business school after Harvard and its alumni have raised US$10B+ in VC funding (world’s #5 most powerful). No other school places more in Consulting than INSEAD with 52% going into the industry (McKinsey, BCG and Bain hire close to 25% of the INSEAD class every year).
LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL
LBS is a powerhouse in the MBA world and its premier location in London makes it a prime choice for many MBA candidates looking at entering Consulting, Finance or Tech (LBS has one of the most advanced curriculum in FinTech). With the option to graduate in 15, 18 or 21 months, LBS offers a highly flexible and customisable MBA experience.
France’s most elite business school, HEC Paris is one of the most powerful European business schools and increasingly attracts top MBA candidates. Its innovative curriculum developed with Bain offers a holistic and highly customisable experience, allowing its graduate to be highly sought on the job market.
IESE BUSINESS SCHOOL
IESE formed an alliance with Harvard Business School in 1963 and launched the first two-year MBA program in Europe. The IESE faculty loves the case study method and you will go through 600+ during your MBA (200 more than at HBS). With a strong and well balanced placement in Consulting, Finance and Tech, IESE is a prime choice for MBA applicants.
IMD BUSINESS SCHOOL
The world’s smallest Elite MBA with 90 students a year, IMD is known to seek more experienced MBA candidates and its recruitment process is the most comprehensive in the world. IMD is mostly known to be the best business school for people looking at a career in non-service industries.
OXFORD SAÏD BUSINESS SCHOOL
Younger than most of its peers, Saïd Business School is one of the leading schools globally in Social Impact. Oxford’s career placement but applicants interested into joining a leading Consulting firm may skip the school (though it is positively changing YoY).
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|OFFERS AT 3 MONTHS||92%||93%||93%||94%||92%||92%||94%|
The Asian 5 (A5)
Asia’s economic growth has resulted in the emergence of top MBA programs in the region. Being Asia’s premier Admissions Advisory firm we thought important to create a classification for Asia’s best MBA programs and created the Asia 5. Over the last few years, we have seen a sharp increase of applicants looking at programs in China, Hong Kong and Singapore and have listed the best 5 programs in the region.
Located in the heart of Shanghai’s financial and business district, CEIBS is China’s most prestigious and powerful business school. Constantly ranked in the top 10 by the Financial Times, CEIBS is the preferred option for international applicants looking at pursuing their MBA in China. With a very strong career placement and ties with Tech giants such as Alibaba and Tencent, you will have plenty of opportunities when you graduate.
NUS BUSINESS SCHOOL
Best university (QS) and Singapore’s best ranked MBA program, NUS offers a 17-month MBA. Leveraging a dynamic and international friendly job market, NUS MBA graduates mostly remain in Singapore upon graduating and NUS has strong corporate ties with leading firms such as Google and Amazon.
NANYANG BUSINESS SCHOOL (NTU)
The NTU MBA is a prime choice for applicants looking at a One-Year program in Singapore. Very international, the NTU MBA offers an innovative curriculum that focuses on your soft-skills development and several practical education opportunities.
HKUST BUSINESS SCHOOL
Hong Kong’s best business school, HKUST offers a 16-month MBA program (that can be fast-tracked in 12 months). Ranked in the Financial Times Top 20 for 13 consecutive years, HKUST is a school of choice for non Mandarin speaking applicants looking at a career in China.
INDIAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS (ISB)
While some may argue that the IIMs are better schools, we believe that ISB is India’s best business school for international applicants. With an eclectic permanent faculty and an inviting faculty coming from the top world best business schools, the academic experience at ISB is unmatched and their yearly career placement stats match those of other elite MBA programs.