New Entrants in the FT Executive MBA Ranking

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New Entrants in the FT Executive MBA Ranking

In October 2017, the Financial Times released their annual FT Executive MBA ranking. Although the occupant of the first place is unchanged since last year, there are other interesting movements within the list as well as new strong entrants on the EMBA scene.

It is the first time in the history of the business education rankings assembled by the Financial Times that a programme has been placed so high on its first participation. The EMBA-Global Asia, delivered jointly by Columbia Business School (US), London Business School (UK), and the University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), enters the FT Executive MBA Ranking of 2017 in second place in the first year it was submitted.

Only the joint programme delivered by Kellogg (US)/HKUST (Hong Kong) managed to hold off the new entry, retaining the top place it regained last year. In total, this is the eighth time that this programme has been ranked number one. The Tsinghua University (China)/INSEAD (France) programme that came top in 2015 drops one place to third.

Beyond the top three

Two other intercontinental joint-programmes complete the top five, underlining the strong performance of programmes taught in partnerships in more than one country. In fourth place is EMBA-Global Americas & Europe, the sister programme of EMBA-Global Asia but delivered by Columbia and London Business School only; and in fifth place is TRIUM, delivered by HEC Paris (France), London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (UK), and NYU Stern School of Business (US), which was number one in 2014.

Sloan School of Management at MIT (US) also did well on its first participation, entering the ranking in 11th place. This is one of the best performances by a new single-school programme since INSEAD was ranked ninth in 2007.

This is the 17th edition of the FT global executive MBA ranking of the best 100 programmes worldwide for working senior executives. EMBA programmes are typically modular where participants keep a full-time job while attending classes once a month or every other month. The ranking is based on data collected from the business schools and their alumni who graduated in 2014.

Top scorers offer the highest average salaries

Alumni of the EMBA-Global Asia programme, which was launched in 2008, have one of the highest average salaries at USD 319,000, an increase of 78% on their pre-EMBA pay. Its alumni are in the top 20 for their career experience before enrolling, as well as for career progress. More than 80% of graduates from the class of 2014 held senior positions from the level of department head upwards. They also have one of the highest satisfaction rates, at 83%.

The programme’s alumni also value the global perspective they gained from studying on three continents. The school is ranked seventh for international course experience. One of the graduates commented:

Hong Kong university was a surprisingly excellent addition [to its sister programme]. It gave a thorough overview on the most recent developments in Asia.

Alumni from Kellogg/HKUST still have by far the largest average salary at USD 478,000. They also have one of the highest satisfaction levels, at 82%. The quality of the faculty was singled out by many graduates. One of them explained:

The academic level was simply formidable. Teachers were very experienced in both the academic and industrial side, contributing the right mix of theoretical and practical experience.

More about the FT ranking

HEC Lausanne (Switzerland) saw the greatest progression, rising 26 places to 70 after dropping 13 places last year. Positions in the bottom half of the ranking are more volatile than at the top.

Nine other schools are ranked for the first time or returned to the top 100. Among these, Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (US) is back at 36, up seven places from its 2015 rank. Both Norway’s NHH in 88th place and Melbourne Business School (Australia) at 60 were last ranked in 2010.

An EMBA requires a deep personal commitment besides a financial one. In addition, the modules of the most international programmes take place in very different locations in order to provide a global view of business which can be challenging. One graduate commented for the FT survey:

It was extremely hard work to balance the gruelling schedule and workload of the EMBA, a full-time senior job, and a very young family. Collaboration and study groups are essential.

Make it to your dream programme

If you are already considering starting an Executive MBA programme, the newly released ranking by the Financial Times can be an excellent start for your B-school research. You can also meet those responsible for some of the top ranked programmes during the specialised Premier EMBA or Access EMBA events. In addition to finding out the details about the curriculum focus, academic calendar and international exposure and networking, you should look into the eligibility requirements of different programmes.

Check out: School Finder for detailed EMBA programme profiles

Business schools usually require at least five years of professional work experience. Managerial responsibilities can often be an additional requirement or an advantage for EMBA application. Planning your application well ahead will give you a competitive advantage, as you will have more time to prepare an outstanding application and demonstrate your skills in admission tests.

A quick look at the requirements of some of the 2017 FT Executive MBA ranked programmes can give you an initial orientation.  EMBA-Global Asia lists several options when it comes to aptitude tests: GMAT test score, GRE score or GMAC Executive Assessment score. While the GMAT has been a common requirement for MBA admission, the GRE has recently been gaining popularity as its alternative. The GMAC Executive Assessment  is the newest test option. It was launched in March 2016 by the creators of the GMAT exam and it is designed for busy working professionals applying to Executive MBA programmes. According to GMAC, it evaluates the business school readiness of applicants in the context of their career experience and helps EMBA programmes understand the programme readiness of candidates. The Executive Assessment requires minimal preparation compared to the standard GMAT exam and it is much shorter in length at 90 minutes.

Check out: What Is the Value of the GRE?

It is helpful to know that considerable work experience can be grounds to waive the test requirements. One such example is TRIUM – the programme offered by HEC Paris, LSE, and NYU Stern School of Business. It also requires applicants to submit GMAT or GRE scores, but aptitude test scores are necessary only for candidates with less than 15 years of work experience.

In addition to aptitude tests, EMBA applicants who are non-native speakers of English should also present an English proficiency test score such as TOEFL or IELTS taken within the last two years.

So, if you are convinced that the EMBA is the right next step for you, it is time to begin your school selection research, meet business schools and focus on test preparation.

Source: Financial Times

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