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### Financial Times 2024 Ranking: IE Business School Secures Top Position for Online MBA

In a ranking renowned for the notable absence of major players in the realm of business education, the Financial Times has bestowed the title of the best long-distance MBA program in the world upon the online MBA program at IE Business School in Spain. Despite the vast array of over 350 online MBA offerings solely in the U.S., this exclusive list comprises a mere ten programs, with only two hailing from the U.S.

Annually, only a few institutions consent to partake in this somewhat limited ranking, thereby significantly diminishing its value for prospective applicants. In stark contrast, there exist over five times the number of online MBA alternatives, totaling 345 online MBAs. Surprisingly, the victor in both aforementioned rankings—Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business—fails to secure a spot in the FT ranking. Furthermore, the Financial Times list overlooks some of the most prominent European online options, including the disruptively priced long-distance MBA program at ESMT Berlin.

Following IE’s program, the British publication ranked two U.K. programs in the subsequent positions: Imperial College of London at No. 2 and Warwick Business School at No. 3. Subsequently, two U.S. business schools, namely the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business at No. 4 and Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business at No. 5, rounded out the top five positions.


This marks the second consecutive occasion that IE’s program has clinched the number one spot. The institution secured the top accolade last year, displacing Warwick’s Online MBA. IE has consistently performed well in this ranking, reigning supreme on the list from its inception in 2014 until 2018.

As per the FT, IE retained its leading position in the ranking by excelling in various metrics employed by the newspaper to evaluate programs. These metrics encompass a high percentage of international students, the diverse array of sectors in which students were employed upon admission, and the global mobility of alumni. Graduates lauded IE for its student diversity, which significantly contributed to enhancing their practical business acumen, personal development, and managerial competencies. The institution in Madrid also secured the second spot for program delivery, online engagement, ESG teaching, and its carbon-footprint rank.

The FT disclosed that a total of 25 schools provided data for inclusion in this year’s ranking; however, several failed to make the final cut due to an inadequate response rate to the FT’s alumni survey.

“Alumni of online MBA programs in North America incur the highest course expenses,” the FT stated, “yet they reap the highest salaries three years post-completion. Conversely, schools in the UK boast the lowest tuition fees; however, the average remuneration for their graduates three years after program completion falls just $1,000 short of that of alumni in the U.S. and Canada.”

Nonetheless, the limited participation in the ranking raises significant concerns about the validity of this conclusion, particularly since two of the most esteemed, disruptively priced online MBA options at the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business and Boston University’s Questrom School of Business abstain from partaking in the data collection for the ranking. These two programs afford students the opportunity to earn an MBA for a mere \(25,000, in stark contrast to the \)39,450 cost of Warwick’s Online MBA program.

The ranking is founded on 20 distinct metrics, with alumni feedback informing nine criteria that collectively contribute 59% of the total weight. Another 10 criteria rely on school data, constituting 31% of the evaluation. The remaining metric, the research rank, accounts for the remaining 10%. The average alumni salary three years post-program completion and the percentage increase in alumni salary in their current role compared to their pay upon program completion jointly contribute 24% to the overall ranking.

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