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My MBA Journey: Wharton Ranks First, Harvard and Stanford Experience Decline – Poets&Quants



Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

Wharton School Claims Top Spot in 2024 Financial Times MBA Ranking

In a surprising turn of events, the Wharton School has recaptured its throne in the 2024 Financial Times MBA ranking after a year of absence. The prestigious school’s return to the top comes as Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business suffer significant drops in the rankings.

Harvard Business School, a perennial top performer, plunged seven places to secure the 11th spot, while Stanford Graduate School of Business experienced a staggering fall of 19 spots, landing at a disappointing 23rd place. This is the lowest rank ever recorded for both institutions in the history of the FT ranking.

So, why did these celebrated institutions experience such a fall from grace? Numerous factors contributed to their decline, including drops in academic research, post-MBA salary increases, “value for money” calculation, carbon footprint, devotion to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, international mobility of graduates, and international course content.

However, despite their diminished positions, Stanford alumni still enjoy the highest salaries among MBA graduates. Nevertheless, the gap between their earnings and those of Harvard graduates has narrowed considerably.

Interestingly, it seems that Stanford’s fall in the ranking may be attributed to a statistical glitch. The school failed to provide data on the percentage of faculty members with an international background, raising questions about the accuracy of the rankings.

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Shifting the focus to European institutions, the top three business schools in the FT ranking are INSEAD, SDA Bocconi, and IESE Business School. These schools have managed to impress with their performance in various metrics, cementing their positions among the elite.

While the Financial Times ranking is highly respected, some critics have raised concerns about its credibility. The significant reshuffling of the top 10 rankings, with surprising entries and exits, has led to questions about the methodology used and the consistency of the results.

In terms of other notable rankings, Cornell’s full-time MBA program has soared to the ninth spot, surpassing esteemed institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, Booth, Berkeley Haas, Yale School of Management, and Duke Fuqua. This achievement highlights the exceptional quality and value offered by Cornell’s MBA program.

MIT Sloan and London Business School, on the other hand, successfully reclaimed spots in the top 10, showcasing their resilience and commitment to excellence. Meanwhile, Kellogg has managed to widen the gap between its MBA program and that of Chicago Booth, solidifying its position as a leader in business education.

Ultimately, Wharton’s ascension to the top spot can be credited to its strong performance in faculty research and the competitive salaries its alumni command in the job market. The school has proven once again why it is widely regarded as a powerhouse in the world of business education.

As the dust settles on this year’s ranking, MBA aspirants and academic communities alike eagerly await further analysis and discussions on the validity and reliability of these rankings as indicators of an institution’s true worth. One thing is for sure, the landscape of MBA programs is ever-evolving, and these rankings only scratch the surface of the rich and complex world of business education.

Dina J. Miller is an accomplished writer and editor with a passion for business and education. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has established herself as a leading voice in the MBA community. Her work can be found in a variety of MBA magazines and college publications, where she provides insightful commentary on current trends and issues in the field. Dina's expertise in business and education stems from her extensive academic background. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from a top-tier business school, where she excelled in her studies and developed a deep understanding of the complexities of the business world. Her academic achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into several prestigious academic societies.

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