Top 20 Global MBA Programmes In 2011


To do an MBA or not is pretty much an endless debate but if you are of the view that an MBA degree does more good than bad, it is always worthwhile to know which colleges offer the best MBA programmes in the world.

Economist has been coming out with its list of top MBA programmes for a while now and it recently published the list of Top 20 MBA programmes!

Top 20 MBA programmes in the World

For someone who has been following the list of top global MBA programmes, let me tell you that this list by Economist comes across as a surprise. Dartmouth taking the top spot is a little surprising especially when the likes of Harvard, INSEAD, Wharton are way down in the list.

Ask anyone with remotest knowledge about MBA and even they will tell you that the likes of Harvard, Wharton, Stanford are indeed the top colleges to get an MBA degree from.

Economist claims to have built this list based on hard facts which could salary and placement data published by colleges. The point where the ranking methodology becomes open to interpretations is

  • Economist’s use of subjective marks provided by students for their college programmes (quality of faculty and peers etc.). Like with all survey based subjective parameters, the sample size and the demographic can skew the results significantly
  • Also, no Asian college finds entry into the Top 20. If you go over the top MBA rankings published by other reputed sources like BusinessWeek etc., ISB, Hyderabad almost always features in the top 20 colleges with best MBA programmes
Having said, Economist is a trusted source in itself and its ranking does carry weight.
Additionally, Economist seems to have allocated major weightage to job and salary prospects for ranking MBA programmes. Nothing wrong in that since these international programmes do not come cheap and students need to think about making enough money to make their MBA degree worth the money and the time spent.
However, the criteria for selecting a college for pursuing an MBA degree goes far beyond job and salary prospects.
There is location to be considered ( students with entrepreneurial future plans could consider choosing a college situated in or near the Silicon Valley). Then there is the teaching style used by colleges for teaching MBA classes (the best colleges often adapt a hybrid theory and case based approach but its still worth looking into the teaching methods at different colleges and which style works best for you). Also, international exposure is another absolutely critical factor to consider while choosing a college for MBA (most colleges publish the split of international and domestic students at their programmes). In addition, there is this emerging trend of MBA specializations wherein you can choose very specific courses and subjects you want to excel on
All said and done, Economist does provide a handy list to short-list colleges with best MBA programmes in the world. Used in conjunction with rankings on other parameters, this could be a good way to zero in on the perfect MBA programme.
What are your thoughts on Economist’s list of top 20 MBA programmes? Do you find the list way-off from your general perceptions and other publications who publish similar lists?

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