The rankings are based on 19,955 surveys from students, alumni, and recruiters, as well as compensation and employment data from each school. For the first time, the rankings also feature a diversity index.
Best schools per region
Stanford Graduate School of Business was ranked the top US business school, scoring highest in compensation, networking, and entrepreneurship. The compensation index not only measures pay right after graduation, but also weighs other factors such as the percentage of students employed three months after graduation, the percentage of a class receiving a signing bonus, and size of bonuses. Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business came in second, with Harvard Business School third.
Networking is one of the biggest benefits of business school. Bloomberg Businessweek focuses on the quality of networks being built by classmates; students’ interactions with alumni; successes of the career-services office; quality and breadth of alumni-to-alumni interactions; and the school’s brand power, from recruiters’ viewpoints. In the networking sub-ranking, Stanford ranked highest, followed by The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Hough Graduate School of Business in Florida.
IMD (Switzerland) once again topped the ranking in Europe, followed by IESE Business School (Spain), SDA Bocconi (Italy), and INSEAD (France). IMD achieved especially strong scores in the compensation, entrepreneurship and networking sub-rankings.
When it comes to starting salaries, MBA alumni worldwide earn roughly between USD 30,000 and USD 175,000, with European schools still mostly trailing their US counterparts.
In terms of networking, INSEAD scored highest among European schools, followed by IESE and Alliance Manchester Business School.
In Asia Pacific, CEIBS (China) ranked first, overtaking the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the National University of Singapore. CEIBS scored high in networking and entrepreneurship.
It’s curious that when it comes to networking, none of the top schools in the overall ranking found a place in the top three. The best networking scores were achieved by the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (China), followed by the Indian School of Business and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
The new diversity index
For this year’s rankings, Bloomberg Businessweek introduced a diversity index, which required US schools to provide data on race, ethnicity, and gender in their classes.
“We created the Bloomberg Businessweek Best B-Schools Diversity Index to assess and rank B-schools—which are developing the next generation of business leaders—based on the degree to which they are addressing the institutional racism and discrimination that have excluded certain minority groups and women from US MBA programmes,” Bloomberg Businessweek said.
The index showed that women had parity at only five of the 84 schools and Black and Hispanic students equalled their respective shares of the broader population at about 20 schools.
In the inaugural diversity sub-ranking, North Carolina State University and George Washington University—first and second, respectively—stood apart. North Carolina State University achieved a diversity score of 100, with its MBA programme being 35% male and 65% female. George Washington University School of Business’ programme was 55% female and 36% White. The school is one of 13 where White MBA students were in the minority.
How were the rankings compiled?
Graduating students, recent alumni, and companies that recruit MBAs have the biggest say in the Bloomberg Businessweek Best B-Schools ranking. The list is based on five indexes that capture key elements of business school education: compensation, learning, networking, entrepreneurship, and now, diversity, which is only for US schools.
Rather than assign the indexes relative weightings, as most rankings systems do, Bloomberg Businessweek lets the stakeholders decide. Survey takers can choose from various options such as “increase my earnings potential,” and “build my professional network”. Their answers determine the weightings of each of the indexes. Schools contribute with employment and compensation data. Read the full methodology.
Access MBA introduces prospective applicants to the best matching leading international business schools at flagship One-to-One events and media resources. We advise business school aspirants to gain an in-depth understanding of the methodology behind each ranking before deciding whether what it measures should actually impact their MBA selection and in what way.