A new Masters ranking for 2019 was just published by the Financial Times (FT), confirming the popularity of the Master in Management degree in Europe.

The list of 100 top business schools from around the world reveals interesting trends in the international mobility, gender balance, and salary increase that graduates are experiencing.

Let’s take a look at the most notable changes in the ranking compared to last year’s edition.

Top 3 programmes

In 2019, the three schools that take the lead remain the same as the previous year. The University of St Gallen (Switzerland) ranks first while HEC Paris (France) and London Business School (UK) follow closely in second and third place. The reign of the three schools hints at the popularity of the Master in Management (MiM) specialisation in Europe, and taking a look further at the results confirms this trend. “Master in Management programmes have deep roots in Europe, where the legacy degree is sought after by European employers,” Deborah Somers, Regional Director for Europe at the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), told the Financial Times.

Eloïc Peyrache, Dean of Programmes at HEC Paris, believes that the MiM has become more attractive to students largely due to the uncertain times we live in. The degree can have a positive impact for students’ careers, while also giving them international experience and opportunities for social change – factors which today’s graduates are increasingly interested in.

Read: Are Business Masters the New MBAs?

Highest risers

The Financial Times points out La Rochelle Business School (France) as the highest riser in this year’s results, jumping 28 places to reach #66. “Previously [the school] had been held back by underperformance in the aims achieved and career improvement categories, which have now improved. A further significant boost came from the percentage of faculty with doctorates and a more gender-balanced student cohort,” explains FT author Jonathan Moules.

However, the full ranking shows that other schools have also managed to improve their performance significantly according to the business publication. Another French institution, IAE Aix-Marseille Graduate School of Management, and two UK schools, University of Bath School of Management and Durham University Business School, are among the notable risers.  

The Master in Global Entrepreneurial Management offered jointly by IQS School of Management (Spain), the University of San Francisco (US), and Fu Jen Catholic University (Taiwan) also made a leap forward by more than 10 places in the 2019 ranking.

Read: University Accreditation in Different Countries

International mobility

Researchers at the Financial Times describe “international mobility” as the “changes in country of employment in the three years after graduation”. So, prospective Masters applicants wondering which schools do a good job in preparing students for a career abroad can take inspiration from the new ranking. Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School (Ireland) is one such example, having retained its top place for international mobility according to the FT. Other institutions which successfully made the top 10 of this category include the non-European University of Sydney Business School (Australia) and Smith School of Business at Queen’s University (Canada).

In fact, schools located outside Europe show through their positive assessment in this and several other categories that the MiM degree is certainly not confined to the Old Continent. While not heavily represented, universities from countries such as China, Russia, and India form an important part of the ranking every year.

How is the ranking created?

Without a doubt, the new edition of this Masters ranking will help aspiring university students pick a strong programme for their future career. At the same time, having a critical perspective of its methodology and bias is paramount. Not all respectable schools can be included in the same ranking, while some of the featured ones may not be the best fit for students who are interested in another destination or a different study experience.

The ranking takes into account data collected through two surveys. The first survey is completed by business schools that meet strict criteria. To be included in this initial process, the programmes offered by schools must be full-time, cohort-based, and have a minimum of 30 graduates each year. In addition, the schools must be accredited by either AACSB or EQUIS.

The second survey is distributed among alumni who completed their MiM degree in 2016. The year of their graduation is important when analysing their employment history and success after university.

Once the data is gathered, the ranking uses 17 criteria to assess schools. The current average salary reported by alumni has the highest weight (20%) when ranking the final list of institutions. “’International course experience’ and ‘international mobility’ are two other significant criteria. They measure students’ international exposure during and after their degree,” adds FT editor Wai Kwen Chan.

In addition, the data collected from schools is used to assess the diversity of their faculty and students.

Read: What Masters Degree in Management to Choose?

Whether you have decided to pursue a Master in Management or a Masters in a different field of study, rankings can be useful as long as you consult them with caution. Go ahead and explore as many trustworthy sources of information as possible for your graduate school selection!