At the end of June, The Economist released its latest edition of the well-known ranking featuring the best Masters in Management programmes of the year.

The leading business school in 2019 is the French HEC Paris which managed to keep its #1 spot from the previous edition of the ranking from two years ago. The University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and another French institution, SKEMA Business School, round off the top three business schools on the list. Interestingly, HEC Paris and the University of St. Gallen are also among the top three Masters in Management programmes in another ranking – the one published by the Financial Times.

What is the methodology behind the ranking?

To be included in The Economist Masters in Management (MiM) Ranking 2019, programmes had to fulfil nine requirements. All programmes had to:

  • Be full-time
  • Be taught in English (at least 50%)
  • Be taught mainly on-campus (i.e., not distance-learning)
  • Have a cohort of at least 40 students for both the current and the previous academic year
  • Have accreditation from AACSB or EQUIS
  • Be a general business programme open to non-business majors
  • Be aimed at candidates with little or no work experience (of less than two and a half years across the cohort)
  • Have no more than 40% of the degree focused on a single functional area
  • Be of international standing, with a good proportion of international students and faculty

The Economist distributed two surveys between March and May 2019 to collect the necessary details and rank the schools according to the final results. The first survey was completed by schools and examined quantitative matters such as the salary of graduates, the number of registered alumni, and the diversity of recruiters.

Read: Access Masters Tour - International Masters in English around the Globe

Schools also entered their three biggest employers and what they consider to be their three main strengths,” the official website explains, describing the methodology. This information can be very useful to current and prospective students who are targeting particular industries or organisations for their career. For example, the leader of the ranking, HEC Paris, listed strategy, finance, and entrepreneurship as its main strengths. The companies who recruit the most students are McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company. In comparison, Tilburg University (the Netherlands) pointed to change management, business analytics, and finance as main strengths, while its top recruiters are Friesland Campina, Nike, and Philips.

The second survey was designed for current students and recent alumni, who had to rate various aspects of their business school.

What are this year’s highlights?

Even a quick look at the ranking reveals that the majority of listed schools are European. This is hardly a surprise, considering that the MiM degree has strong traditions on the continent where it was established about a century ago. In this year’s ranking, 29 out of a total of 40 institutions are European schools. Experts from the industry say that the Master in Management as a format was created with the intention to bring students closer to the boardrooms of established companies. The importance of providing strong career opportunities is reflected in the ranking’s methodology which pays particular attention to recruitment outcomes and post-graduation salaries.

Despite the old continent’s dominance of the MiM, several US and Asian schools also figure in the ranking and their efforts to tap into the demand for the degree are notable. For example, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (US), ranked at #24, is a new addition to the ranking. “Duke Fuqua has been one of the pioneers of the MiM in the US, and its programme was launched as recently as 2014,” writes Seb Murray, editor at BusinessBecause. Nevertheless, “European schools still dominate the market, led by French institutions, which took four of the top 10 spots,” the article adds.

What about the highest new entrant in the ranking? This honour was claimed by SKEMA Business School. Although the institution is French, SKEMA also has campuses in China, the US, and Brazil.

Meet some of these schools and win a free campus visit

At the Access Masters Fall Tour in 2019, prospective applicants will have the unique opportunity to discover what makes some of these schools the best in the field. Students from countries in Europe, North America, Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East will be introduced to admissions directors of top universities to discuss their Masters application and career ambitions.

Attending one of these exclusive events has a lot more perks. In 2019, one lucky event participant will win a campus visit to the school of their choice anywhere in the world. The visit will be fully funded by Access Masters so make sure you give yourself a chance of winning it.

Good luck in your graduate journey!

Read: Making the Right Decision with a Campus Visit