The Financial Times has released its 2020 ranking of the best Master’s in Management (MiM) degrees in the world. And it’s good news for Switzerland’s University of St Gallen School of Management, which tops the list this year.
114 schools took part in this year’s ranking, up from 111 in 2019. To be eligible a school’s Master’s in Management program must be full-time, cohort-based, and have at least 30 graduates each year. Schools must be accredited by AACSB or EQUIS.
The MiM ranking based on two surveys—one completed by business schools and the other by alumni who completed their MiM in 2017—and 17 criteria. Alumni responses make up 58% of the total weighting, with school data comprising the remaining 42%.
The current average salary of alumni is the most influential metric, carrying a 20% weighting, with salary increase (10%) the next most influential metric. International course experience and international mobility are the next most important metrics, carrying an 8% weighting each.
World's Best Master’s in Management
It’s the 10th FT MiM ranking in a row that has ranked St Gallen’s program the best master’s in management program in the world—the FT has ranked the school number one every year since 2011.
The average weighted salary for graduates of the program is $113,175—an average increase of 52%—and three months after graduation 94% of students were employed.
Omid Aschari, the managing director of St Gallen’s Master’s in Strategy and International Management (SIM), says the best master’s degrees ensure grads are more relevant to prospective employers—integral today with the disruption caused by COVID-19 to the jobs market and the competitiveness growing among potential hires.
“My impression is that we are living in a world that is increasingly confronted with challenges that cannot be resolved by one person, one company, or even one industry or country,” he explains.
"A Master’s in Management can address this by creating learning environments for young people that encourage new thinking, new ideas, and a new mindset that allow them to arrive at novel solutions that people care about and are fired up to join.”
Best Master's in Management Ranking
The SIM program at St Gallen runs a SIMagination Challenge for students that helps them develop their leadership mindset, attitudes, capabilities, and behaviors while simultaneously addressing social issues on a global scale. Omid explains that top strategy consultancies have the pick of the crop at St Gallen and are convinced the school’s approach to business education makes a difference.
“Graduates are more resilient, have experience dealing with ambiguity, and have learned to collaborate under difficult circumstances.”
Best MiM programs: A European Affair
Following St Gallen in second place is HEC Paris’ Master in Management—a program that delivered a 79% increase in salary for graduates, and an average weighted salary of $107,050. The ranking is heavily dominated by European business schools, an indicator of the strength of the MiM on the continent.
Another French school—ESSEC Business School—is in third place, completing the same top three as 2019 and providing graduates with a 74% salary increase and an average weighted salary of $102,086.
The remainder of the top 10 is completed by London Business School (third), Rotterdam School of Management (fourth), ESCP Business School (fifth), Stockholm School of Economics (seventh), University College Dublin’s Smurfit School of Business (eighth), SDA Bocconi (ninth), and Imperial College Business School (10th).
Outside of the top 10, there were strong performances from WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management and the joint program between IQS, the Fu Jen Catholic University (FJU), and the University of San Francisco (USF). WHU climbed from 20th last year to 12th this year. The IQS/FJU/USF program climbed 12 places, from 31st to 19th in 2020.
Best MiM programs: Rest of the world
In the same way there are global student mobility shifts in the MBA world, the available master’s in management options for candidates shows the degree to be a global affair, if one dominated by Europe.
Canada is represented by Queen’s University Smith School of Business in 59th place; the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business in 66th, and UBC Sauder School of Business in 81st. There are no US-only programs ranked though, the country being a traditional hotbed for MBA programs with a less established MiM market.
The rise of China on the global stage has coincided with the master’s of management programs at Shanghai Jiao Tong University Antai School of Economics and Management and Tongji University School of Economics and Management placing 23rd and 31st in the world, respectively.
Asia is also well represented by India, with four schools—Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, IIM Bangalore, and SP Jain Institute of Management and Research—ranked 20th, 21st, and joint 36th, respectively.