Sunday, January 27, 2008

Financial Times MBA Rankings 2008

Perhaps the best known and most quoted measure used to rank or select MBA programs is the Financial Times MBA rankings. Schools and potential students looking forward to the updated rankings need not wait any longer.

The 2008 Financial Times Rankings have been released and not that surprisingly, International schools have fared very well in the rankings. Wharton stills ranks as the top MBA program in the world, but coming in at number 2 is London Business School. Only 57 US schools are in the top 100, with the remaining 43 coming from outside of the States.

This year 6 Canadian schools managed to crack into the top 100, with the University of Alberta joining Rotman, Schulich, Ivey, Sauder, and McGill in the top 100. The University of Alberta actually scored incredibly well in rejoining the FT top 100, coming in at 88nd and ahead of both McGill and Sauder. Somewhat surprisingly, most Canadian schools actually fared worse in this years rankings than in recent years.

Rotman MBA FT Ranking 2008 - 40

Dropping down to 40th will probably not sit well with members of the Rotman (University of Toronto) MBA program. Reported salary figures for Rotman actually grew compared to 2007 and their Aims Achieved rank grew by a fair margin up to 42. However, Rotman fell by a large margin on value for money (down to 69th), placement success (down to 48th), and fell to 100 for career progress.

UofT will likely be somewhat disappointed to fall down to 40th overall, especially given the rise of other International schools at the expense of large American schools, but will be very glad to retain the highest ranking in Canada.

Schulich MBA FT Ranking 2008 - 48

Schulich (York University) is only one of two Canadian schools that moved up in the FT rankings in 2008. Granted they only moved up 1 place to 48th, but ranking ahead of Ivey as they fall down, will make the school fairly content. Total salary for Schulich grads increased slightly from last year and the school rose in value for money (28th), and moved up over 20 places in Aims Achieved.

On the whole, even though they didn't move up, Schulich will be quite happy to move ahead of Ivey and move closer to Rotman. After being the top ranked school in Canada in 2006 and falling substantially in 2007, Schulich will be content to rank 2nd in Canada.

Ivey MBA FT Ranking 2008 - 53

Ivey drops down 12 places to 53rd overall and 3rd in Canada in the 2008 FT MBA rankings. Ivey can take some solace in the fact that their grads still pull down the highest salaries of graduates from any Canada school, with the average salary rising to over $105,000 this year. Aside from an increase in salaries, Ivey essentially held the course relative to their peers this year, with little movement up or down in any of the other main categories. However, they did manage to drop over 10 places in value for money down to 42nd.

Ivey will not be pleased to drop down to 53rd overall in the rankings, which is a very low ranking by their normal lofty standards. They have actually been on a downward trend in recent years and its a safe bet that program administrators will try to reverse the trend in the FT survey in the next couple of years. On a bright note, they still score fairly well on other MBA rankings.

University of Alberta FT MBA Rankings 2008 - 88

The UofA will be quite pleased to not only rejoin the FT top 100 in 2008, but to move in as the 4th school in Canada and as the top Canadian school outside of Ontario. The UofA has always been a school to score very well on research and program quality rankings, it has historically been grad salaries that have held the school down in the rankings. While they still rank on the lower end of salaries ($74,250) they have closed the gap considerably against rival Canadian schools and 2008 represents an increase of roughly $10,000 in salary from last year. Part of that is undoubtedly attributable to the falling American dollar, but the booming economy in Alberta certainly helped matters.

With the highest value for money ranking of a Canadian school (27th) and an FT research ranking of 37th, Alberta will certainly be pleased to sit as the 4th best MBA program in Canada according to the Financial Times.

Sauder FT MBA Ranking 2008 - 92

Sauder (University of British Columbia) will be somewhat disappointed to fall to 92nd in the MBA rankings. They will be somewhat more disappointed to rank 4 spaces behind Alberta, especially since Alberta is tied with 3 other schools, leaving Sauder one real place behind but 4 places in the rankings. The largest drop off that led to Sauder falling in the 2008 rankings was value for money, where UBC dropped 28 places, down to 40th overall. With Value for Money representing both the gains from and opportunity cost of completing your MBA, that's a fairly high drop off over a single year. Aside from Value for Money, UBC essentially held the course in most other categories and manage to move up in the alumni recommend rank.

McGill (Desautels) FT MBA Ranking 2008 - 96

McGill is another Canadian school that didn't seem to a whole lot different from 2007, but has fallen in the rankings. Salaries are around the same level, however like Sauder, their biggest drop has come in Value for Money. Similar to UBC, and most other Canadian schools, this is most likely attributable not to any change in the program, but in the increased tuition cost as the Canadian dollar has come close to par with the American dollar.

Falling 6 places in the rankings isn't the end of the world, especially since McGill remains in the FT's top 100 MBA programs and retains the exposure that comes from ranking in the top 100. However, the biggest disappointment has to be ranking behind not only the big 3 schools in Ontario, but also coming in behind Alberta and UBC from the West.

Detailed Summary of Current/Past FT Rankings for Canadian Schools
Part 1 - Overal Rankings & Salary
Part 2 - Salary Increase, Value for Money, Career Progress
Part 3 - Placement Success, Alumni Recommendation, International Students & Mobility, Research

Updated Link: 2009 Financial Times MBA Rankings

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