The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) has topped the Financial Times’ (FT) Global MBA rankings for the first time.
In achieving this ranking, Stanford became only the fourth institution to top the FT’s tables since the competition’s inception in 1999.The GSB’s rise came at the expense of the London Business School and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, which were joint winners in 2011.
The FT rankings combine assessments of MBA programs spanning 20 categories, but Stanford’s MBA program was primarily differentiated from rivals by alumni earning power. The average salaries earned by alumni three years after graduation have increasingly distinguished Stanford: GSB alumni have reported the highest post-MBA salaries of any comparable program for the past six years.
For the 2012 rankings, Stanford alumni salaries three years after graduation averaged $191,657– almost $14,000 more than the GSB’s closest rival, Harvard Business School, which came in first in 1999 and 2000. Higher salaries after graduation continue, however, to be accompanied by the steep cost of attaining an MBA, with the average total cost of studying for an MBA in the United States cited at $99,000 by the Financial Times.
The GSB’s triumph is more broadly reflective of a shift in influence and earnings potential toward American universities at the expense of European peer institutions, according to the FT article. American universities included in the FT’s rankings moved up between 2011 and 2012 at a significantly higher rate than their European counterparts. Top U.S. MBA programs also noted increases in the percent salary growth attained by graduates, which was tracked from enrolment to three years after graduation.
— Marshall Watkins