Financial Times Ranking Methodology

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Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jan 22, 2021 15:46 IST

Going to a business school can be a costly affair, so, students rely heavily on global ranking publications. In our series of explaining methodologies of top-ranking providers, in this article, we will discuss the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings, Masters in Finance, and Masters in Management. Financial Times is one of the most trusted names when it comes to looking for an MBA or business schools rankings. FT has been ranking full-time MBA programs since 1999, so, there must be no doubts about the authenticity of the rankings produced by it. Financial Times provides 7 rankings annually. The methodology used for these rankings is similar. 7 rankings produced by Financial Times are

  • Global MBA
  • Executive MBA
  • Masters in Management (MIM)
  • Masters in Finance
  • Executive Education
  • European Business Schools
  • Online MBA

The Financial Times uses 20 separate data parameters that are further divided into nine indicators each weighting differently.

FT Ranking Indicators






Faculty quality


Employment outlook


Gender parity




Return on investment


Alumni opinion


Career services rating


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Compensation: FT considers MBA alumni salary three years after their graduation. FT determines the average MBA graduates’ salary three years after their graduation and adjusts it with different sectors for variation. This component gets the maximum weightage by FT for calculating MBA rankings. FT also considers the average difference in the salaries of MBA grads three years after their graduation and before MBA salary.

Internationalization: Top higher education institutes worldwide are analysed based on this important factor. This indicator takes into account the citizenship of graduates and the countries where they worked. FT also takes into account the citizenship diversity of the current MBA class of the institutes. FT also considers the citizenship diversity of faculty of the business schools. In this factor, FT also measures the study tours, research projects, student exchange programs, and internships abroad.

Faculty: With this factor, FT analyses the percentage of full-time faculty having a doctorate and the number of articles published by the faculty in 45 internationally recognized academic journals.

Employment Outlook: This very important indicator analyses the difference in the level of jobs of MBA grads before MBA and after three years of completing their MBA. FT also looks into the employment rate of the MBA class three months after finishing their MBA program.

Gender Parity: Although this is not a major deciding factor while considering schools for pursuing business courses, however, FT takes into account the percentage of female faculty of an education institute. Schools having 50% female faculty get the highest score. Apart from faculty, FT looks at the percentage of female students enrolled in the current MBA class.

Learning: Time taken to teach about social factors like CSR activities and environmental issues.

Return on Investment: The most important factor that analyses the salary of MBA grads three years after their graduation.

Alumni Opinion: This interesting factor takes into account the opinion of the alumni and asks them about three schools from where they will recruit MBA grads.

Career Services Rating: Beyond teaching, this indicator measures the school's career service in terms of internships, networking, recruitment, or career counseling. This additional service is an important aspect of an MBA grads' career.

How Financial Times select schools?

Every ranking publisher has different criteria for listing schools for rankings. FT includes the programs which are at least four years old and must be accredited internationally and have at least 30 graduates annually. Also, the school should meet the minimum response rate of 20 percent of FT's annual alumni survey.

Key takeaways

  • 21st year when Financial Times has come up with best MBA ranking
  • Data collected from MBA grads three years after their graduation
  • Research component is given 10% weightage
  • Papers written by the faculty of each school in 50 academic journals from January 2017 to August 2020 were considered

Almost every 2 candidates out of 3 in Western Europe use FT rankings. Apart from the US and Canada, it is the most used raking in almost every region.

About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio


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