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HEC Paris Tops Financial Times EMBA Ranking

HEC Paris tops the latest Financial Times EMBA Ranking, reclaiming its crown as the world's best Executive MBA program

By  Thomas Nugent

Mon Oct 18 2021

The HEC Paris Executive MBA (EMBA) program has been ranked the best in the world by the Financial Times, pipping to top spot the joint-hosted Kellogg/HKUST Business School EMBA and the CEIBS Global EMBA tied in second place.

The top 10 of the FT EMBA Ranking 2021 is a global affair, with multiple programs being hosted from several locations around the world. That’s no surprise, following a pandemic that has shown the borderless nature of global leadership challenges.

In fourth place is the EMBA-Global Asia program delivered by Columbia Business School, HKU, and London Business School in the US, Hong Kong, and the UK.

Fifth place belongs to the TRIUM program, jointly delivered by HEC Paris, London School of Economics, and NYU Stern School of Business. And in sixth place is ESCP Business School, which delivers its education in Germany, the UK, Spain, France, and Italy.

World's best EMBA programs

When considering the world's best EMBA programs, you should look at more than one ranking table. However, HEC Paris tends to perform well across EMBA rankings.

Europe is well represented in the FT EMBA ranking top 20. Spain’s IESE Business School’s Global EMBA sits in seventh place, the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School is in 12th place, and Spain’s IE Business School is ranked 14th. INSEAD is 15th and London Business School 18th.

There’s also a strong Chinese contingent in this year’s FT Executive MBA ranking. Joining CEIBS are Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Antai College of Economics and Management in 10th place, Tsinghua University’s joint-hosted program with INSEAD in 11th place, and Fudan University School of Management in 13th.

One thing that stands out from the FT EMBA ranking is the eye-watering salaries that graduates earn on average three years after completion of their degree.

Grads from top-ranked HEC Paris earn on average $438,000, while alumni from the second-placed Kellogg/HKUST EMBA earn around $509,000 three years after graduation—the most of any program in the ranking. HEC Paris EMBA graduates can expect to increase their salaries by 95% after graduation.

FT EMBA Ranking Methodology

To be eligible for the FT EMBA ranking, business schools must be accredited by either AACSB or Equis. The EMBA must be cohort-based, with students enrolling and graduating together. There must also be at least 30 graduates each year.

Data is collected using two online surveys. One is completed by participating schools and the other by alumni who completed programs in 2018.

Alumni responses inform several ranking criteria that make up 55% of the overall ranking: salary today, salary increase, career progress, work experience, and aims achieved. Salary today and salary increase carry the most weight, both accounting for 20% of the overall ranking.

Data provided by the business schools accounts for 35% of the overall FT EMBA ranking and includes figures on female faculty, female students, women on board, international faculty, international students, international board, international course experience, extra languages, faculty with doctorates, FT research rank, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rank.

The world’s best Executive MBA programs

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