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10 Business Schools You Need To Look Out For In 2020

From hot new courses to rising MBA salaries and record employment rates, these are the business schools you need to look out for this year

Mon Jan 20 2020


2019 was another year of disruption and change for business schools. Candidates chose new study destinations, specialized master's programs gained traction, and technology grew as a focus on campuses across the globe.

With an exciting year forecast for 2020, we pick out 10 schools to keep an eye on. Whether they’re rocketing through rankings, building their reputation, or launching new programs, these schools are set to make a big contribution to the business school world this year.

Here's 10 business schools to watch in 2020:

1. Ranking hopper: Oxford Saїd 

First on our list is the University of Oxford’s Saїd school of business. Saїd has retained its spot in the upper echelons of prestigious rankings for years, but 2019 saw an impressive leap.

In the Financial Times’ 2019 global MBA rankings, the school leapt 14 spots from 27th to 13th place, making it the biggest climber among the top 30 schools. If 2019 was the year Saїd broke into the top 20, could it break the top 10 in this year’s rankings? Watch this space!

2. Brand new program: IE Business School

As technology continues to evolve and dominate our lives, one school has responded with a new tech specific MBA program for 2020.

Spain’s IE Business School will teach the one-year program from their Madrid campus to students with a background in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. 

Covering areas including digital transformation, AI, and data analytics, the program aims to help professionals with a passion for technology to develop their career.

When the program begins in September 2020, it will be the first tech focused MBA in Europe, competing with schools like Wharton and NYU Stern that already offer similar programs in the US. 

3. Young Business School to Watch: Nanyang Technological University’s Nanyang Business School

Founded in 1991, Singapore’s Nanyang Business School (NBS) has risen to prominence quickly—and has the rankings to prove it.

In the Financial Times’ 2019 Global MBA Rankings, NBS came in at number 30, pipping many older institutions at the post.

Nanyang Technological University is also ranked third in the Times Higher Education’s Young Universities Rankings. In 2020, there’s a chance this school could topple its 1991 contemporary, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), from the top spot. 

4. Building CSR initiatives: Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business

This lesser known US school is one to watch when it comes to CSR (corporate social responsibility) teaching. 

In 2019, it cracked the top 10 best business schools for CSR—an achievement that seems repeatable for 2020, crucial when today's students want more sustainability teaching in their MBAs.

 Initiatives like the upcoming PVH Corp Global Thought Leadership Grant will support research into CSR, and give the topic greater visibility in the academic landscape. Meanwhile, MBA students can choose to specialize in global sustainability, allowing them to really hone in on the topic.

5. Soaring graduate employment: Indian School of Business

Despite being founded less than 20 years ago, the Indian School of Business (ISB) has shot into the Financial Times’ top 25 Global MBA rankings. In 2020, one of the school’s most impressive stats will likely be graduate employment. 

In 2019, graduates from ISB’s flagship Post Graduate Program in Management (its equivalent to an MBA) were receiving record job offers: 1,383 jobs—almost two per graduate. This is a significant increase from the 1,194 jobs that 2018’s cohort was offered.

With the Indian economy predicted to grow steadily by 6% this year, and ISB’s reputation gaining traction, the school’s already impressive employment rate of 98% will likely be bolstered in 2020.

6. Supporting entrepreneurs: Darden School of Business


Entrepreneurship is a desirable career path for many an MBA, and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business is one to look out for on this front in 2020.

One Darden startup, Trulli, recently came out on top as our MBA Startup of 2020. Its founder, Amanda Joseph, describes her time at Darden as “foundational” to getting her venture off the ground.

On the Darden MBA, students like Amanda can choose from over 25 entrepreneurial electives, and as it stands, every student opts to take at least one.

Keep an eye out for Trulli, and Darden, in 2020. 

7. Rising graduate salaries: CEIBS 

After graduating from an MBA you can expect a hefty salary boost, and in this department Shanghai-based CEIBS (the China Europe International Business School) is a school to watch.

In 2015, CEIBS MBA graduates saw an average salary increase of 147%—a figure that has been rising year on year ever since, hitting an impressive 183% in 2019. 

As 2020 gets underway, this upward trend looks set to continue. China’s economy is expected to maintain a robust 6.1% growth rate, providing plenty of local opportunities for ambitious CEIBS grads.

8. Going online: Questrom School of Business

Boston University’s Questrom School of Business will also be making waves in 2020, by joining the growing number of schools to offer an online MBA program. 

In partnership with the education platform edX, the program will be delivered entirely online, covering all the topics you’d expect from a traditional on-campus MBA such as finance, marketing, and handling data.

The online MBA will be launched this fall, with tuition fees of $24,000—less than half the price of its full-time counterpart. 

9. Holding fast at the top: Stanford Graduate School of Business

Our list of schools to watch out for wouldn't be complete without 2019's most consistent ranking topper: the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Last year, Stanford held onto their top spot in the Financial Times' Global MBA Rankings, the QS Global MBA Rankings, and the Businessweek US rankings. The school also shared Forbes' top spot with Chicago's Booth School of Business. 

In the US news rankings, though, Stanford found itself pipped at the post by its main rival, Wharton. In 2020, will Stanford be able to hold onto its number one rankings? 

10. Helping student mental health: London Business School

It’s no secret that studying for an MBA can be an intense experience, triggering issues like stress and impostor syndrome without the right support.

Fortunately, more and more business school communities are stepping up to address mental health issues head on. One notable example is London Business School (LBS). 

In 2018, a group of LBS students organized the school’s first Mental Health Awareness Week, aiming to raise awareness of various mental health issues, and support the mental health of their fellow students. 

After a successful week of yoga and meditation workshops, panel discussions, and more, the event became an annual feature on campus.

Look out for LBS’ third annual Mental Health Awareness Week in spring 2020, which will be open to both students and the general public. 

More trends for 2020



Check out the hottest MBA topics you can expect to see across business school campuses in 2020.