IE Business School came first in The Economist’s biannual ranking of executive MBA programs in a list that records strong gains for Europe’s schools, buoyed by alumni wage increases.
IE of Spain rose from second place in 2013, followed closely by Oxford's Saïd Business School in the UK which climbed two spots to second place this year. The Kellogg School of Management of the US had four programs in the top 15 — its EMBA, which came third, as well as joint programs with York University in Canada, WHU in Germany and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Elsewhere at the top for Europe, the European School of Management and Technology in Germany is eighth in this year’s ranking.
EMBAs were once seen as important ways for companies to train promising managerial talent. But the number of companies that pay for managers to attend EMBAs has fallen over the past decade. In 2005, 69% of students surveyed by The Economist were sponsored by employers; this year just 39% were.
Gaining a return on investment is important. Salaries, which are important to do so, have seen some schools climb to the top. Students on the Global Executive MBA offered by IE enter the course earning an average of about $144,000 in annual salary. A year on from graduation this has risen to $260,000.
Some 85% of IE’s students surveyed by The Economist also said they received a promotion soon after graduating. All of the schools at the top of the table reported similarly strong figures.
Graduates of UCLA Anderson’s and NUS Business School’s joint executive program, ranked fourth overall, earn about $270,400 in average salary, up from around $172,000 pre-EMBA.
Many schools offer joint programs, such as the Global Executive MBA run by ESADE Business School in Spain and Georgetown's McDonough School of the US.
Joint degrees that are separate from business schools’ standalone EMBA programs are ranked individually. Schools that operate a single EMBA across several of their own campuses are treated as a single program.
The Economist ranks EMBA programs based on two factors: personal development/educational experience, and career development.
About 80% of the data are collected through a survey of EMBA students and alumni. They are asked about salary and career progression among other things. The remaining data are gleaned from business schools, on topics such as alumni networks and cohort make-ups.
IESE Business School in Spain, ranked in the top-25, came first for student diversity in terms of the number of industry sectors from which students applied.
A joint program offered by ESSEC Business School of France and Germany’s Mannheim Business School came one place below IESE at 26 in the ranking.
European schools are represented well, although the majority of the 62 ranked EMBA programs are offered by US business schools.
French school Grenoble Ecole De Management is at 54 in the ranking, while Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, TiasNimbas Business School of the Netherlands and HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management in Germany are also included.
To see the full ranking, visit: http://www.economist.com/whichmba/executive-mba-ranking/2015/