New Ranking of the Best Executive MBA Programmes in 2021

Fortune reveals their top Executive MBA programmes to help business professionals build upon their skills in these turbulent economic times.

New Ranking of the Best Executive MBA Programmes in 2021

The ongoing health and economic crisis has tested the relevance of numerous institutions and services throughout the globe. Executive MBA programmes, however, have undoubtedly stood the test of time.

With Executive MBAs being in demand, Fortune invited over 30 schools to participate in their first-ever Best Executive MBA Programmes ranking – revealing interesting insights and suggestions for those pursuing exclusive professional prospects.

Get one step ahead: Gain insight and network with insiders from top-ranked EMBA programmes worldwide.

Fortune’s top executive MBA programmes explained

Fortune’s ranking included three criteria: Programme Score, accounting for 65% of the total ranking, Brand Score, representing 25% of the ranking, and Fortune 1000 Score, accounting for 15% of the ranking.

As those pursuing Executive MBAs are far along in their professional lives, Fortune took into account some interesting factors when creating their methodology. When calculating the Programme Score, three main metrics were explored: the average years of work experience, GMAT score, and GPA of incoming students. Regarding the Brand Score, in partnership with Ipsos, Fortune surveyed 2,500 business professionals about business school brands. Interviews were conducted in March. The last score, Fortune 1000 Score, looked at each school’s alumni working as executives, with titles ranging from CEOs through CFOs to CIOs.

Top 3 Executive MBA programmes

Fortune’s ranking triggered interest among professionals. The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) came first in the ranking, followed by Yale University’s School of Management (New Haven, CT) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan (Cambridge, MA).

For those interested in an Executive MBA provided by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, there are four application rounds, two per cohort start date (in January and September). GMAT or Executive Assessment scores are not mandatory for holders of a bachelor’s degree, while TOEFL scores are not required for international students.

Yale University’s School of Management, on the other hand, doesn’t require TOEFL either but requires applicants to submit a GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment score. Three application rounds – in November, January, and March – are available.

Holding third place, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) also has its own requirements. The school recommends taking the GMAT “if you feel your school transcripts do not adequately represent your academic abilities” and requires at least ten years of post-undergraduate professional experience to apply. Interestingly, the average Sloan EMBA student has a 3.48 undergraduate GPA, 730 GMAT score, and 17 years of work experience, as reported by Fortune.

Other prominent schools in the ranking include the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), University of Chicago (Booth), Columbia University, New York University (Stern), University of Michigan–Ann Arbor (Ross), and University of California–Los Angeles (Anderson).

Check out: Top of the Top: Which Are the Top 3 Executive MBA Rankings?

How does Fortune’s Executive MBA Programmes’ ranking compare to other rankings?

While the insights provided by Fortune are clearly curious, according to Poets & Quants, such rankings seem to show inconclusive results. Fortune’s ranking has received a degree of criticism due to the methodology employed, starting from the limited number of institutions included.

Most of the metrics, such as those employed to track the Programme Score, lack statistical value and do not account for the fact that many EMBA programs no longer require the GMAT to assess incoming students. Another aspect that undermines the quality of the results and the Fortune 1000 Score, in particular, is that the measure of success includes only publicly traded US companies, but not international corporations or private companies or start-ups.

Such criticism is not limited to Fortune’s ranking but Executive MBA rankings in general. To avoid falling victim to ranking challenges, prospective students should conduct in-depth research when choosing an Executive MBA programme – consulting different sources beyond rankings.

Because, in the end, pursuing an Executive MBA pays off at both individual and global levels!

Read more: Leading Through a Crisis with an EMBA