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HEC Paris Tops Financial Times Executive Education Ranking 2024

HEC Paris Executive Education has come out on top of the FT executive education ranking for 2024, but what other schools made the list?

Mon May 20 2024

Each year, the Financial Times Executive Education Ranking evaluates the custom-made and open-enrolment courses on offer from the world’s top business schools.

In this article, we break down the top executive education programs and the biggest changes on this year’s list and summarize the custom-made options for organizations.

FT Executive Education Ranking 2024

The Financial Times offers two executive education rankings: One for open-enrolment courses that any senior professional can enroll in, and one for custom-made courses commissioned by organizations.

To be eligible, schools must be accredited by either AACSB or EFMD, and make at least $1 million in revenue from their executive programs.

Top 5 Executive Education Programs 2024: Open Enrolment

In 2024, HEC Paris takes the top spot among the open-enrolment programs—a one-place improvement from its position in last year’s ranking—with students praising the applicability of their learning to their day-to-day work.

The school placed top overall for “aims achieved”, meaning that grads felt the course had fulfilled their expectations.

After HEC Paris, three schools share the second-place spot. The first is IESE Business School, which boasts campuses in Spain, the US, Germany, and Brazil.

The second is Esade Business School in Spain, which ranked in the top for quality of teaching, networking opportunities, and the follow-up opportunities available after students return to their workplaces.

The third is London Business School, which offers executive education programs in topics including leadership, finance, and digital transformation and innovation.

Rounding out the top five executive education programs in 2024 are France's EDHEC Business School and Fundação Dom Cabral in Brazil, which share fifth place. Fundação Dom Cabral holds the top spot overall for course design and offers numerous residential “learning journeys” as well as online programs, for instance, an online specialization in business management.

FT Executive Education Ranking 2024: Other Highlights

Looking outside the top five, the biggest riser in this year’s executive education ranking is South Africa’s Gordon Institute of Business at the University of Pretoria.

After placing 41st in 2023, the school now sits in 26th place, thanks to students’ positive assessment of its hands-on approach and the coaching opportunities available.

The highest-ranking new school on the list is Neoma Business School, which entered the list in 37th place. Neoma ranked eighth overall for faculty diversity, which may be partly responsible for its near-equal share of men and women in its programs, with 44% of students being women.

Four schools achieved gender parity on the FT Executive Education Ranking 2024, meaning that their split between men and women was exactly 50:50.

Two of these schools are based in Lisbon: Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics and the Institute of Economics and Management (IMEG). The other two are Rutgers University in New Jersey and NHH Norwegian School of Economics.

FT Executive Education Ranking: Custom Programs

Individual study is not the only way to pursue executive education, and the Financial Times also ranks programs that are custom-made for business schools.

The sectors that most commonly commission these programs, according to the ranking, are finance and banking, although in Asia-Pacific, the US, and Canada, public sector and nonprofit organizations are the biggest clients.

INSEAD took first place in 2024, placing top for program design, teaching materials, and aims achieved.

European courses dominated the custom program ranking, with the Spanish IESE Business School in second, IMD Business School in Switzerland in third, and HEC Paris in joint fourth.

HEC Paris shares this place with Duke Corporate Education, the only US-based school to place in the top 15.