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FT's Executive MBA: Why Kellogg-HKUST beats them all

Rankings! It’s this time of the year again and prospective MBA students are showered with a plethora of data concerning business schools. The Financial Times for example delivers its 16th take on the 100 best Executive MBAs.

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Picture: Kellogg HKUST

In the top spot is the joint EMBA programme delivered by Kellogg School of Management and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Again. Its EMBA was ranked top five years in a row from 2009 to 2014. After that it has been beaten by Trium and Insead/Tsinghua University, only to come back this year. The programme is aimed at very senior executives. It is ranked fourth for work experience and its alumni have the highest salary on average three years after graduation at nearly 470,000 dollar, a 55 per cent increase compared with their pre-EMBA salaries.

The ranking rates the best 100 programmes worldwide for working senior executives. It is based on a survey of business schools and another of their alumni who graduated in 2013. The data measure how successful alumni have been in their career in terms of salary, seniority and achievements since graduating.

The strength of Kellogg-HKUST is the quality of its participants, say the FT's judges. Not only does its small cohort of about 50 allow the school to select highly experienced participants, it also creates a strong bond between them. “The students were very experienced,” commented one graduate. “Networking and interaction among everyone involved were key aspects of this programme.”

Its alumni enjoyed by far the greatest financial rewards, with an average salary of 469,000 dollar three years after graduation. “The programme has enabled me to take a quantum leap in my career and prepared me to take on a strategic C-level role right after graduation,” said another alumnus.

If a super-experienced cohort is not top on your personal wish list, the FT has a few other criteria worth exploring:

Top for career progress: ESMT Berlin

The Berlin school has been consistently placed first for career progress since it entered the EMBA ranking in 2012.

Top Latin American school: Incae

The Nicaraguan school is ranked 52nd, a large rise from its 91st place in 2013.

Going to China: Antai College of Economics and Management

Antai College in Shanghai was one of the first business schools in China to offer an EMBA degree. The school entered the ranking in 2013 in 32nd place and its programme has reached seventh this year.

Highest riser: Grenoble

The school achieved the highest progression in this year’s ranking, climbing 20 places to 67. This is despite its alumni having the lowest average salary at 114,589 dollar.

Most female faculty: Henley

Female students account for 30 per cent of participants in its EMBA course, matching the average for all ranked schools. However, it has the most gender-balanced faculty body with 47 per cent women.

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