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Booth, Kellogg Top 2018 Economist MBA Ranking

Chicago is the place to be for an MBA, at least going by the Economist’s latest full-time MBA ranking. This year’s top two programs are both in the Chicago area. Overall, the top ten schools are: 

  1. University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  2. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
  3. Harvard Business School
  4. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
  5. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  6. University of Navarra IESE Business School
  7. University of Michigan Ross School of Business
  8. UCLA Anderson School of Management
  9. University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  10. Columbia Business School

This isn’t the first year that the Windy City has dominated the Economist’s MBA rankings. Booth and Kellogg were the top two schools last year as well, but in the opposite order, with Kellogg 1 and Booth 2. 

The 3, 4 and 5 schools – HBS, Wharton and Stanford GSB – are all holding steady in the same positions as last year. But the big winners in the top ten are IESE and Ross, which moved up eleven and five spots respectively.

To make way for these schools’ ascent, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business each fell four spots and out of the top ten. For more information on this year’s winners and losers, the Economist has a handy chart of which schools rose and fell. 

As with any MBA rankings, it’s useful to look at what exactly is being ranked. The Economist’s methodology takes into account five major criteria: career opportunities (35 percent), educational environment (35), salary increase (20) and networking opportunities (10). 

Each area draws on several different data points. For example, the Economist assesses the career opportunities a school offers by looking at whether grads receive job offers soon after graduation, go into a diverse range of industries, and come away satisfied with their career services experience. 

But the single most heavily weighted data point in the Economist’s rankings is the average post-MBA salary a school’s alums report. This figure accounts for three-quarters of a school’s “increase in salary” rating, or 15 percent of the school’s score overall. 

In a sense, the way media outlets like the Economist rank MBA programs is similar to the way MBA programs rate applicants: each ranking combines a large number of data points that are ultimately condensed into a single result. It can be hard to see in advance what that result will be. 

At EXPARTUS, we have years of experience on both sides of the MBA process. We can use that experience to tell you how the data points in your application fit together, and how they stack up against other applicants. For more information, ask us for a free MBA assessment!