Financial Times 2018 Executive Education Rankings

Best Business Schools for Executive Education

The Financial Times has recently published its 2018 Executive Education Rankings, which looks at the world’s best business schools for executive education by analyzing their offerings in different areas. In this post, we summarize the ranking methodology, its structure, and – of course – provide an overview of the top rated schools.

The FT Executive Education Rankings actually consist of three different rankings. As the FT explains:

The first ranking features the top 90 business schools in the field of customised executive education — courses tailored to the training needs of the organisations that commission them. The second ranking includes the top 80 schools for open-enrolment programmes — courses on specific topics such as leadership that are directed towards professionals regardless of their employer. A third combined ranking … lists the top 50 schools for executive education, calculated from the customised and open tables.

For the purposes of the ranking, participating schools (this year 102 schools have been included) have to be accredited by recognized institutions and exceed certain minimum revenue thresholds. Those that qualify will then be ranked based on data provided by the business schools, corporate clients (in the case of customized programs), and individuals (in the case of open-enrollment programs). Corporate clients’ and individuals’ responses concern a broad range of indicators and are weighted based on their importance. Responses concerning an extended period of time (beyond simply one year) are collected to enhance the rankings’ continuity and reliability. Finally, schools that feature in both the open-enrollment and customized rankings are eligible for the FT’s combined overall ranking. The leading 50 business schools are then calculated using an equal weighting of the total scores achieved in both rankings.

The FT’s Top 10 Business Schools for Customized Executive Education are:

  1. IESE Business School
  2. Duke Corporate Education
  3. IMD (Lausanne)
  4. London Business School
  5. HEC Paris
  6. Insead
  7. SDA Bocconi
  8. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  9. Harvard Business School
  10. North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler

The FT’s Top 10 Business Schools for Open-Enrolment Executive Education are:

  1. IMD
  2. Oxford: Said
  3. IESE Business School
  4. Harvard Business School
  5. Insead
  6. University of Michigan: Ross
  7. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  8. University of Chicago: Booth
  9. University of Virginia: Darden
  10. Center for Creative Leadership

Commenting on the results of the rankings, the FT noted the superiority of two schools:

Switzerland’s IMD and Iese Business School of Spain retain their grip on the top spots in the FT’s twin rankings of executive education programmes in 2018. The Lausanne school is number one for open-enrolment programmes — available to all working managers — while its Barcelona rival heads the table of customised courses, tailor-made for corporate clients.

The Financial Times’ full rankings showing the best business schools for executive education as well as further FT rankings (including various MBA Program rankings) can be found here. For prospective applicants, we recommend to check out our overviews of the best GMAT books and top GMAT prep courses.

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