FT Executive MBA Ranking 2020: Applications Remain Strong

Despite the turbulent times, or maybe because of them, executives are more willing to invest in themselves.

FT Executive MBA Ranking 2020: Applications Remain Strong

The Financial Times has released its 2020 Executive MBA ranking, noting that business schools can look back on a good year for the degree, which remained in robust demand among experienced business professionals.

Premier EMBA hosts select schools in the ranking for exclusive networking opportunities open to top executives in major business hubs. We have summarised what you should know about the 2020 FT EMBA ranking as you consider the best EMBA programme for your career growth and personal development.

MBA applications around the world surged during the crisis. And while Executive MBA programmes have not experienced such sharp application jumps, they have fared very well despite the wide array of Covid-related complications such as travel restrictions and the online delivery of classes.

Despite the turbulent times, or maybe because of them, executives are more willing to invest in improving their skills and expanding their network. The EMBA can help them do all these things while allowing them to work at the same time.

A reshuffle at the top

The joint programme run in partnership by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (US) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) regained the top spot in this year’s ranking, toppling HEC Paris (France), which slipped to third place.

The Kellogg-HKUST EMBA has topped four of the past five EMBA rankings. Its alumni earn an impressive USD 528,057 on average three years after graduation. The programme is also strong in the work experience category, which measures participants’ years of working experience before enrolling in an EMBA programme.

Shanghai-based CEIBS ranked second, becoming the top-ranked solo EMBA provider. Its alumni earn USD 482,674 a year on average three years after graduation, which is the second highest amount of all schools listed in the ranking. 

How is the table compiled?

To be considered for inclusion, the school must be accredited by either the US Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or Europe’s EQUIS. The EMBA must be cohort-based, with students enrolling and graduating together, and with at least 30 graduates each year.

A total of 129 programmes took part in the 2020 ranking process, including 13 joint programmes delivered by more than one school. The table includes two new schools.

The ranking is based on data from two online surveys -- one completed by participating schools and another by alumni who graduated in 2017. Alumni responses shape five ranking criteria: salary today, salary increase, career progress, work experience and aims achieved. Together they contribute 55% of the ranking’s weight. The first two criteria about alumni salaries each account for 20%. Information provided by the business schools shapes 10 criteria that collectively contribute 35% of the final ranking.


Don’t miss: Engage with top EMBA alumni and insiders with Premier EMBA.

International experience: TRIUM Global Executive MBA

The joint EMBA by New York University Stern School of Business (US), London School of Economics and Political Science (UK), and HEC Paris School of Management (France) is the number one international programme for the eighth time since 2010. The international experience category measures the percentage of classroom teaching hours that are conducted outside the country in which the business school is situated. The TRIUM EMBA occupied fourth place in the overall ranking, slipping one place from 2019.  

Top for work experience: IE Business School (Spain)

IE Business School, which ranked 12 this year, is top for work experience. This category measures the pre-EMBA experience of alumni according to the seniority of positions held, number of years in each position, company size and overseas work experience.

Biggest rise: EDHEC (France)

The French school jumped 24 places to reach 45th place, partly thanks to a rise in average salary as well as a better performance in the salary increase and career progression categories. 

Highest new entrant: IBS-Moscow Ranepa (Russia)

At 52nd place, the Russian school is this year’s highest new entrant. The high position is partly due to an average alumni salary of USD 316,000. The school, established in 2010, also achieved a good score in the diversity category, with women accounting for 50% of the faculty and 56% of the advisory board.