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Top MBA Jobs, Salaries & Average GMAT Scores: Our Top 10 Most Popular Stories Of 2020

From the impact of coronavirus to top MBA salaries and jobs, 2020 was a year of challenge and opportunity for business school applicants. We round up your top 10 highlights

Mon Dec 21 2020


In 2020, the world watched as Biden defeated Trump in a hotly-contested US presidential election, the Black Lives Matter protests brought issues of social equality and racism at business school to the fore, and a global pandemic disrupted every aspect of our lives.

2020 was one of the most disruptive years yet for business school candidates who experienced GMAT test center closures, campus shutdowns, and admissions processes switching online. And yet record numbers of candidates applied to business schools in 2020.

While schools adjusted to life under COVID-19, we saw huge numbers of deferrals as students put off studying until next year. We saw visa restrictions in the US and we listed the easiest countries to get a work visa.

Biggest news stories from 2020

The long-term value of an MBA remains despite the coronavirus pandemic, with MBA salaries and employability staying strong and MBA programs exceeding students expectations in 2020.

Donald Trump proposed stripping F-1 visas from international students if they had to study their fall semester online. 17 US states filed a lawsuit; Harvard and MIT prepared to sue; and Trump revoked his visa rule. Yet the ban on issuing new H-1B work visas continued.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) launched the GMAT Online Exam, extending testing appointments into 2021. 

Vault named the best consulting firms and best accounting firms to work for, and several MBAs appeared in the Forbes Billionaires list.

MIT Sloan was named the world’s most expensive MBA program in 2020, as we released our BusinessBecause Cost of MBA Report 2023. Our report breaks down the total cost of the world’s top MBA programs, covering MBA tuition fees, living costs, healthcare, and other expenses.

We released our BusinessBecause MBA Application Guide 2024, listing the latest MBA application deadlines for the world’s best business schools and providing our step-by-step guide to applying for an MBA program this cycle.

In our Master’s Takeover, we covered booming demand for European business masters, top application tips, and the ROI of a business master’s degree, while INSEAD’s Out of Office Spaces was named our MBA startup of the year in a coronavirus special.

Business School Rankings 

In 2020, Harvard was ranked the world’s best business school for MBA programs by the Financial Times (FT). Stanford topped rankings by US News and QS. Bloomberg suspended the publication of its MBA ranking due to the pandemic.

Stanford topped our list of the MBA programs with the highest graduate salaries and ESSEC Business School was ranked our best MBA program for women. Rotterdam School of Management topped our best business school for international students list.

Warwick Business School’s Online MBA was ranked the world’s best by the FT and IE Business School by QS. IESE Business School topped the FT’s Executive Education ranking and we broke down the best Executive MBA programs.

The world’s best Master in Management program can be found at the University of St. Gallen and the best Master in Finance at HEC Paris.

You can use our revamped Compare MBA Rankings tool to research full-time MBA programs and compare them by their rankings positions, class size, course length, average GMAT, and tuition fees, to find the school that’s the right fit for you.

Your most-read stories

What did you like reading in 2020?

This year, you wanted to know how COVID-19 would impact your business school application; the latest news on campus closures; and the return on investment you can expect after a business school degree.

We told you which companies hire the most MBAs; which consulting firms offer the highest salaries; and EY’s chief recruiter told you how to get hired.

We asked: Are Coursera courses worth the effort? We told you which online courses to take before your MBA; we assessed the value of an online MBA; and we reviewed top online programs including LSE MBA Essentials, the Quantic MBA, and the Power MBA.

We listed the average GMAT scores for the top MBA programs; the top STEM MBA programs; and asked: Is an MBA still worth it?

Our BusinessBecause Presents webinar series took off in 2020 as we hosted webinars with top schools covering MBA careers and admissions Q&As; and we gave you the latest test prep tips in our GMAT video series.

We told you which notable alumni graduated from schools like Harvard and Stanford; we broke down MBA jobs and salary data for HEC Paris; and we reviewed INSEAD’s new Master in Management.

We answered your questions on Online MBAs, CFA vs MiF, jobs in consulting and more in our Applicant Question series.

And in our popular BusinessBecause Insights series, we covered hot topics like female leadership, working from home, Big Tech and TikTok, and COVID-19’s impact on developing economies, drawing on the expertise of the world’s top business school professors.

Read on for our 10 most popular stories of 2020...