Partner Sites

Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice
mobile search icon

IE Business School Leads Financial Times Online MBA Ranking For 2nd Year Running

IE Business School offers the number one-ranked Online MBA program in the world in 2024, the second consecutive year the school has led the Financial Times Global OMBA Ranking

Mon Mar 11 2024

After failing to reach number one for five years, in 2023 IE Business School took first place in the Financial Times’ Online MBA rankings and this year it’s repeated the achievement.

From 2014, IE consistently sat at the top of the table, however in 2018 Warwick Business School took its place and held number one spot until IE regained its crown last year. 

This year Warwick slipped down another place to third, with fellow UK-based Imperial College Business School replacing it at second.

Imperial's rise was helped by its alumni who earned the highest average salary at $218,315. The London-based school was also top for career progression based on the seniority of its alumni and the size of the organization they now work for, compared with three years ago.

IE’s second year at number one is largely due to its high number of international students, the diversity of sectors students have worked in, and the international mobility of alumni. 

FT Online MBA Ranking: Winner and losers in 2024

There was some movement in the business schools that featured in the top 10 in 2024.

It was a winning year for the University of Southern California: Marshall, AGSM at UNSW Business school, Birmingham Business School, and the University of Bradford School of Management, as they all claimed places in the top 10. 

However, the University of Massachusetts Amherst: Isenberg, University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler, Florida Warrington, and University of Liverpool all dropped out of the table. 

Warwick fell from second to third this year and Carnegie Mellon: Tepper School of Business from fourth to fifth, however all the other business schools who were featured in last year’s ranking rose up the table.

Imperial rose from third to second, Durham from eighth to sixth, and POLIMI Graduate School of Management from tenth to eighth.

What factors affects the rankings?

The FT ranking found that the longer it took to study an Online MBA the lower alums rated the program. 

Students who completed their program within two years had a better overall experience. Those who took more than two years to finish their course rated the program lower in important areas such as online interaction and teamwork, with their alumni network receiving the lowest rating.

Participants who completed their course within two years also earned more than their peers. This differed, however, in North America where graduates who took longer to complete their degree benefited financially. 

Online MBA alumni who studied at schools in the US and Canada paid the highest course costs but were rewarded with the highest salaries three years after completion. 

Notably, Online MBAs in the UK, such as Bradford and Durham, have the lowest tuition fees, however, graduates only earned $1,000 less than US and Canada-based alums, on average. 

What do you gain from an Online MBA? 

Online MBAs will give you a top education in business management while allowing you a flexible schedule and the chance to continue working during your studies. 

Participants in the survey reported a strong skillset covering diverse skills. Almost 80% of former students reported that their schools performed well in teaching general management, while corporate strategy and organizational behavior were also highly rated. 

However, the survey revealed that students think teaching of fintech, IT, and law could be improved. 

For those taking part in the survey, personal development was the greatest motivator to study an Online MBA, closely followed by improving career opportunities. 

Read on for a full breakdown of this year's list: World's Best Online MBA Programs | Financial Times Ranking