New Business School Rankings Identify the Best Global Programs

Ready to pursue a graduate degree in business, but in this global economy you’re unsure where to do it? This week, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings published four new rankings of the world’s best business master’s programs in specializations of high employer demand: management, finance, business analytics, and of course, business administration, or M.B.A.



QS will update its business school portfolio annually.


Now You’ll Know Where to Go


QS evaluated more than 350 business schools in over 50 countries using a unique methodology comprising five metrics:

  • Employability
  • Entrepreneurship and alumni outcomes
  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Thought leadership
  • Diversity

To determine ROI, Nunzio Quacquarelli, QS CEO and developer of the new rankings, says, “We’ve asked schools to provide average graduate salary information three months after graduation … to facilitate a like-for-like comparison.”

Some highlights from the rankings:

  • London Business School ranks first for the master’s in finance
  • HEC Paris ranks first for the master’s in management
  • MIT (Sloan) ranks first for the master’s in business analytics
  • Harvard ranks first for the M.B.A.


M.B.A. or Business Specialization?


Quacquarelli says the demand for business master’s degrees is growing fast—but the choices can be confusing. That’s one reason his team developed the rankings, to help guide prospective students in their selection process.

He also says that the specialist master’s degree “is typically for pre-experience candidates who may have only recently completed an undergraduate degree.” The M.B.A., he says, is more of a generalist degree for those with two to eight years of working experience.

A specialist master’s, on the other hand, “would be solely focused on helping a student to gain the toolkit required to succeed in a specific functional role.”

What’s really exciting is a mobile app expected to be available on iOS and Android by Dec. 10. It will allow users to develop a personalized ranking based on their own preferences.

Quacquarelli endorses the idea of the individualized ranking. “Any particular weighting that we apply to the criteria is a kind of subjective judgment, and we don’t want to imply that our ranking is definitive,” he told me.

Users of the rankings can filter by country, region, or their own criteria. Quacquarelli also says that getting into a top-ranked program isn’t as important as other considerations, for example, employability, or studying in the country where you want to work.

To see the full rankings and to learn about program costs, go to