Financial Times’ Global MBA Ranking for 2024

The 2024 Global MBA Ranking by the Financial Times provides a detailed look at the performance of business schools across a variety of important metrics, reflecting the evolving priorities in business education. This year’s ranking highlights several key trends and shifts that are shaping the landscape of global MBA programs.

Regional Highlights and Top Performers:

  • In the United States, the dominance of traditional powerhouses like Wharton, Columbia, and Kellogg continues, with these schools showing strong performance in several areas including faculty research, alumni salaries, and career progression​ (Clear Admit)​.
  • Europe’s business schools show a strong presence with INSEAD and SDA Bocconi leading the pack. Notably, SDA Bocconi’s rise to the top reflects its strong focus on international diversity and effective career services, which have been significant factors in its climb in the rankings​ (Clear Admit)​​ (MBAGRADSCHOOLS)​.
  • Asian institutions are also making their mark, with CEIBS and the National University of Singapore highlighted for their strong regional influence and substantial improvements in their global standings​ (Clear Admit)​.

Key Factors Influencing the Rankings:

  • Salary increase continues to be a major factor, with many top schools demonstrating significant career progression and financial uplift for their alumni post-graduation​ (Yahoo Finance)​.
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has adjusted the way rankings consider alumni outcomes, particularly those who graduated around 2020. This adjustment has caused some fluctuation in rankings as schools with stronger pandemic-era support systems tended to fare better​ (Clear Admit)​.
  • Sustainability and corporate responsibility are increasingly significant, influencing the curriculum and institutional practices. Schools like Columbia Business School are noted for their advancements in sustainability and social responsibility initiatives, which are becoming more influential in the ranking criteria​ (Yahoo Finance)​.

Strategic Insights for Prospective Students: For prospective MBA candidates, the rankings offer insights beyond mere numbers. They highlight the importance of aligning one’s career goals with a school’s strengths—whether those be in sustainability, international business, or technological innovation. Additionally, the rankings underscore the importance of a robust alumni network and strong career support services, which are critical for post-MBA success.

The trends among Japanese applicants for US MBA programs in 2024 highlight several key dynamics. There has been a general decline in the number of Japanese students applying to US business schools, a trend observed across other Asian countries except China​ (​. This decline could be influenced by various factors including geopolitical shifts, economic conditions, and changes in visa policies.

Despite these declines, the US continues to be a highly sought-after destination for MBA candidates from Asia, largely due to the prestige and perceived value of US business education​ (​. However, the global landscape is changing, and business schools are adapting to these shifts by offering more flexible program formats and integrating new technologies like AI into the admissions process, which could potentially attract a more diverse applicant pool from around the world, including Japan​ (My MBA Path)​​ (Poets&Quants)​.

It’s also noteworthy that the application process itself is evolving, with schools increasingly requiring video essays and interviews to get a better sense of candidates’ personalities and capabilities beyond what can be conveyed in written essays. This change is partly due to the rise of AI tools in drafting application materials, prompting schools to seek more genuine interactions with applicants​ (Poets&Quants)​.

For Japanese applicants and international students in general, these evolving trends underscore the importance of understanding not just the academic offerings of MBA programs, but also the changing admissions landscape and what these schools are looking for in their candidates.