Best MBA Programme


So you’re thinking of getting an MBA, which is arguably a ticket to faster career advancement. What Business Times reported 2 days ago may interest you:

According to a report by Economist Intelligence Unit, NTU’s Nanyang Business School “has the best MBA programme in Singapore.”

But behind the nice wordings is the sad fact that NTU is ranked 72nd, while NUS Business School comes in rather closely at 94th.

It is interesting to note that both NUS and NTU do not feature at all in Forbes’ biennial ranking of global business schools, which quantitatively ranks the schools by the payoff that you can get. Forbes actually compares the before and after salaries of MBA graduates. The ratio of “profits” earned by graduates are divided by sum of the tuition fees and lost salaries (opportunity cost) to derive the “Ratio to Expenses”. Then, the schools are ranked by this ratio.

According to Forbes’ ranking, the best global MBA school is Switzerland’s IMD. If you study there, you will spend US$45,000 on tuition, but can expect to be “profitable” in just 2 years (i.e. 2 years to payback). The starting annual salary of fresh IMD MBA graduates is US$163,000, which includes sign on bonus and other compensation. (US$163,000 = S$240,000)

So, if you want to get an MBA, and can afford to go to Switzerland, try for IMD!


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  1. Masindi, the Forbes ranking is based very much on ROI, while the Economist one is based on a range of factors including increase in salary and potential to network.

  2. Thanks for the publicity for IMD, Lausanne, Switerland. I did my MBA there and while I agree that the payback period is very short, the more important aspect of an IMD MBA is the strong career and personal development provided by the program.

  3. Hi Admin,
    Personally, I would say it is true. Of course, this is just an average figure and so there is a full range from USD100,000 to USD300,000. However, what you must understand about the IMD program is that the average age is 31 and so most participants have over 8 years of working experience, as opposed to normal MBAs with 2 to 4 years. Naturally, you graduate, employers are keen to hire someone especially if that person has experience in the function, the industry and geography that the employer is looking to fill. On the other hand, many MBAs take the opportunity to switch one of the 3 criteria and hence might be willing to sacrifice some pay to work in a new industry or to work in a different country where the employer has to take a bit of risk on you.

  4. Pingback: MBA Not So Good After All? | - Your Salary in Singapore

  5. Hi Jasmine,

    From FT’s latest 2008 rankings:

    If you add a field named “Value” which is the closest proxy to ROI, then the following are the top 5 MBAs:

    1. University of Strathclyde Business School, overall ranking = 30

    2. University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, overall ranking = 71

    3. Lancaster University Management School, overall ranking = 22

    4. IMD, overall ranking = 14

    5. Leeds University Business School, overall ranking = 48

    Hence, IMD is the only MBA in the top 20 in terms of value.

    But rankings are only one aspect of the equation. Just like cost is one aspect. Look at each program’s strength and see if it matches what you are looking for in an MBA program.

  6. Please help with the B schools in UK

    Please help me with Returns as total expense would be around 15 lacs

  7. Pingback: Best MBA Schools 2009 | - Your Salary in Singapore

  8. hi glenn,
    im a engg. Graduate wid 18 months of xperience.I wish 2 study mba in international business.My budget is about 15 lakhs.Suggest me some best b-schools in uk and europe..Tel me the entry requirements needed

  9. Hi, could someone please advice on the best PART-TIME MBA in Singapore?
    I know i’ve got limited options but need your inputs as i have been listening to inconsistent feedback from co-workers. Many thanks.

  10. NTU is ranked higher than NUS for MBA but most people still have the tendancy to go for NUS because it is still a more popular brandname to local HRs/employers.

  11. Hello, my name is Andres.

    I am analyzing on doing an MBA in the next admission round. I would like to apply to the best ones, mainly in EU. My options are LBS, INSADE and IMD. I am strongly considering IMD because I am living at the moment in Switzerland and I would like to remain here. Can somebody help me in this selection. Main considerations, cost, years of master study, recognition after graduation, GMAT, and other selection criteria’s (I would need to take the exams) and practical knowledge (I have a background in Marketing, so I am not really interested in business content if not in practical approach to leadership and management).
    Also I am 31 years old, and some MBA are for 2 years, I would graduate with 34, I am also a bit concern about the age and to look job after 2 years of stop.
    I would really appreciate any comment,

    Thank you very much,

  12. Generally local MBAs are next to useless when it comes to career progression in Singapore and elsewhere. With top MBA programmes from INSEAD available here, who the heck bothers with local MBA.

  13. Hi All,

    can somebody throw light on the JCU MBA program in singapore. and How are the job prospects/salary growth after pursuing it?


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