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### IE Business School in Spain Maintains Position as Leading Online MBA Provider

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In her weekly newsletter, Roula Khalaf, the Editor of the FT, curates her favorite stories.

The landscape of business education has evolved significantly in recent years, particularly in the realm of online MBAs. The sector has been reshaped by the integration of advanced technology and the provision of more personalized learning experiences. While these advancements are noteworthy, it is the advantages such as flexibility, reduced costs, and improved work-life balance in comparison to traditional MBAs that are drawing students towards online programs.

IE Business School in Spain secured the top spot for the second consecutive year in the FT Online MBA ranking. Factors contributing to its success include a high percentage of international students, the diverse professional backgrounds of its students upon admission, and the global mobility of its alumni.

Graduates lauded IE Business School for its diverse student body, which played a pivotal role in enhancing their practical business acumen, personal development, and leadership skills. The institution also clinched the second position for program delivery, online engagement, ESG education, and its environmental sustainability efforts.

Moving up one rank to second place, Imperial College Business School in the UK boasts alumni with the highest average salary of $218,315. The institution excelled in career progression, as evidenced by the seniority of its alumni and the size of the organizations they currently work for compared to three years ago.

Securing the fourth spot, University of Southern California: Marshall School reported the second-highest average alumni salary at $209,900. The school leads in research output, based on the volume of articles published by its full-time faculty in prestigious FT 50 journals.

A newcomer to the ranking, Birmingham Business School in the UK claimed the ninth spot. The institution stood out in categories such as value for money, global mobility, and career services, which encompass job counseling, personal growth opportunities, networking events, and alumni recruitment effectiveness.

Participation in the FT ranking is voluntary and is open to schools whose alumni completed their programs in 2020. This year, 25 schools participated in the ranking, though some were excluded from the final assessment due to insufficient alumni responses.

Of the 683 alumni surveyed, over half completed their programs within two years, aligning with the duration of some full-time MBAs. Those who finished within this timeframe reported a more positive overall experience. Conversely, individuals taking longer than two years to complete their studies expressed lower satisfaction levels, particularly regarding their alumni networks.

Beyond satisfaction levels, alumni who prolonged their program completion duration also reported lower earnings compared to their peers. Interestingly, graduates in the US and Canada benefit financially from extended study durations.

Alumni of online MBA programs in North America bear the highest tuition costs but enjoy the highest salaries three years post-completion. On the other hand, UK schools offer the lowest tuition fees, with their graduates’ post-completion remuneration averaging only $1,000 less than their North American counterparts.

Nearly 80% of former students commended their schools for excellence in general management education. However, areas such as fintech, IT, and law were identified as areas for potential improvement based on alumni feedback.

Consistently across the last three rankings, personal development emerged as the primary motivator for pursuing an online MBA, closely followed by the desire to enhance career prospects. In contrast, endeavors such as entrepreneurship and international work opportunities were deemed less significant by alumni.

For more insights on the top 10 schools in the FT Online MBA ranking 2024, visit FT Online MBA ranking 2024 and explore the comprehensive coverage.