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The Best North American B-Schools Ranked By MBA Recruiters

A survey of 30,000 employers has revealed that MBAs from US business schools are the most sought-after by recruiters – but Canadian schools' MBAs are beginning to make their mark.

Thu Nov 20 2014

A plethora of Canadian business schools are considered to be among the best in North America, according to a survey of nearly 30,000 employers, although United States-based MBA programs are still rated as the best globally.

A triumvirate of top-flight US schools – Harvard, Wharton and Stanford – dominated a ranking of business schools based on MBA recruiters’ opinions, all scoring 100% in employers’ criterion.

However, four Canadian institutions – including the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia – are in the top-20 of the ranking, which is based on a survey of 28,759 employers, 5,669 of whom are active recruiters of MBAs.

The QS Global 200 Business Schools Report found that US MBA programs are favoured globally by some of the most sought-after employers, including financial services groups Nomura, Bloomberg and BlackRock, professional services firms PwC and Deloitte, and technology companies Microsoft, Apple and Google.

Several US schools made huge gains in 2014’s ranking. NYU: Stern climbed 11 spots to 10th place, Michigan Ross rose four spots to eighth in the ranking, and McCombs of Texas climbed 10 places to 19th.

Comparatively, Duke Fuqua in the US and Canada’s Rotman School of Management both fell from the top-10 section of QS’ ranking to 13th and 14th places respectively.

There are new entrants. A total of 10 schools that were not ranked in 2013 were ranked in 2014, including seven from the US and three in Canada. Eller School of Management in Arizona, which entered the ranking 66th place, and Université Laval, which entered in 74th, are the highest-ranked of these programs.

Nearly 20 Canadian business schools are considered to be among the best in North America by employers, reflecting the country’s swelling business education market.

QS also surveyed 63,676 faculty members and academics to compile the list, of which 3,128 responses were used and combined with previous years’ responses to make up 15% of the weight of the ranking, with the remaining 85% made up of recruiters’ answers. In total, 7,187 academic replies were used in 2014’s ranking.

But academic scores fluctuate wildly in North America, according to the data. The bottom half of the list includes 10 business schools with academic scores that exceed the regional average of 42.5, including the Smith School of Business and the Carlson School of Management, both in the US.

The average GMAT score of all 90 North American schools rated by recruiters is 651 – but every school in the top 10 boasts a GMAT score of 700 or more, suggesting that there is a link between students’ test success and career prospects.

The top schools – Harvard, Stanford and Wharton, according to recruiters – all boast the highest GMAT scores of the entire list, at or above 725.

European schools are ranked separately, along with clusters of business schools from the Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific region.

The best business school in the Asia Pacific area is INSEAD, according to recruiters, which also scored highly in the European ranking as it has a campus in France.

Melbourne Business School and AGSM, both of Australia, are also in the top-10 of the Asia Pacific ranking.

China Europe International Business School scored highly among Chinese business schools.

NUS Business School and HKUST of Singapore were also in the top-ten of the Asia Pacific table.