Why another Ranking?

Since the turn of this century, international MBA programs have gained a lot of traction among Indian students. An international MBA, with its best-in-class curriculum, promising post-MBA employment prospects, and global networking opportunities, is often the primary choice for Indian MBA aspirants with rich, professional backgrounds.

The ‘Admit Square Top 50’ has been conceived and designed precisely to cater to the specific needs and aspirations of this exclusive group of Indian applicants; making available, a reliable tool to benchmark global MBA programs against parameters that Indian applicants would attach most importance to.

The Admit Square ranking table identifies the top 50 international MBA programs that promise the best possible MBA experience for candidates from India. This first and one-of-its-kind ranking enables Indian aspirants to align the right fit of business schools, with their aspirations. It objectively evaluates school profiles, post-MBA return on investments, student facilities, learning and cross-functional opportunities, etc. from the perspective of Indian applicants. This ranking also benchmarks the one-year programs of prestigious Indian business schools such as the Indian Institutes of Management and the Indian School of Business, against leading international schools, given the high overlap among the pool of applicants.

Ranking Methodology

The ranking table incorporates three main parameters, which further explore 11 sub-parameters. To arrive at an authenticated ranking system, Admit Square engaged 500 Indian MBA aspirants in a survey and each parameter was assigned a weight, based on its relevance, prominence on the popularity index of information seekers, and the degree of importance assigned to it by applicants. Under each parameter, sub-parameters were also assigned weights based on the survey results. Thereafter, school-specific data was collected for each sub-parameter, to calculate the Composite Index (CI) Score.

Ranking Parameter Sub-Parameter Weightage Sub-Weightage
Employability Index School Location( Country + City + Work Visa) 50% 35%
Brand Value in India* 25%
% Employed 3 months post graduation 20%
Alumni Network 20%
Peer Group Index Mean GMAT Score 35% 30%
Acceptance Rate 30%
Diversity(% of international students) 25%
Mean Undegrad GPA 15%
Student Satisfaction Index Return on investment (Cost of attendance vs starting salary) 15% 40%
Facility on campus + student clubs + industry/ international treks 35%
Inter - diciplinary Opportunities 25%

Employability Index

Post-MBA Employability is an important factor, especially for Indian students, most of whom would have taken substantial loans to fund their MBA. Employability Index, therefore, has been awarded the highest weightage, at 50% of the overall score.

For Indian students, a crucial factor is the eligibility for obtaining a work visa in the host country. For example, the work visa requirements are generally less stringent in Canada, than say, in the United States. Even within the US, there are MBA programs that are STEM classified, thus providing a 2-year OPT extension, versus others that aren’t STEM classified yet. Besides, schools publish data of students employed 3 months after graduation, which allows a fair assessment of the probability of securing employment post MBA.

The location of the school adds a pertinent dimension to the application decision, as a school in the middle of an urban city, such as Singapore or New York City, with the presence of large numbers of corporate offices, ensures students better access to networking and recruitment opportunities.

Many Indian MBA graduates plan to move back to the country either in the short term, or in the long term. The brand value that the school enjoys in India, therefore, remains a key enabler for strong career prospects in the country. Through People Labs Pvt. Ltd., Admit Square conducted a thorough survey among over 80 recruiters from diverse industries and organizations. The survey helped categorize all ranked schools in defined levels of brand recognition, alumni success, and recruitment interest, based on inputs from experienced recruitment managers.

Schools often boast of a strong alumni network that evolves as a life-long asset to graduating students. Employability in the host country as well as in the home country is well supported by an established alumni network. The alumni network score was calculated by taking into account the class size and the expected number of alumni produced in the last 25 years.

Peer Group Index

The second key parameter is the Peer Group Index, carrying 35% of the overall score. In this categorization, a candidate can evaluate a school with reference to its selectivity, entry barriers and class diversity. The peer group is a vital element of the MBA experience, because students tend to forge symbiotic relationships with their cohort and supplement their classroom learning with peer learning and insightful interactions outside the classroom. The mean undergrad GPA and GMAT scores represent the initial checkpoints in any application process. High GPA and GMAT scores indicate the rich aptitude and analytical acumen of the students that constitute the cohort and consequently, the peer learning opportunities and competitive potential in a classroom.

Class diversity in the form of multiple and varied perspectives from different parts of the world fosters innovation and multilateral thinking. Top business schools rank a candidate’s ability to fit within the school’s culture as one of the most important criteria. As such, it becomes imperative for a school to ensure vivid diversity in terms of gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, socio-economic status and pre-MBA industry exposure, in its student body.

Similarly, low acceptance rates reflect the competitiveness of the program and positively impact the quality of the class the school is able to put together, with the admissions team having access to a relatively higher number of applicants to choose from.

Student Satisfaction Index

The third and the last primary ranking parameter is the Student Satisfaction Index. In this category, the first key area that has been mapped is the return on investment. Instead of using the absolute starting salary numbers, the starting salary against the cost of attendance has been calculated, to achieve better parity across programs. The immediate post MBA salary is an important but an incomplete measure of the return on investment – hence the limited weightage that has been assigned to this component. Some countries, such as Canada, present lower starting salaries compared to the USA or Europe, but career growth and salary levels in the long term may be on par. Similarly, the long term success of a candidate may not solely depend on the starting salary levels, and often, candidates prefer to pick their post-MBA roles based on the industry or function of their choice, even if it means starting at a relatively lower salary.

The remaining score under the Student Satisfaction Index is distributed across academic and non-academic facilities on offer on the campus. While the quality of student life, activities through student clubs, recruitment fairs and treks, social life, etc. constitute the non-academic aspect of life on campus, the academic facet is largely reflected in the number and genre of electives on offer, the student centers, and the inter-disciplinary opportunities.

In conclusion, while other global rankings may not consider the demographic attributes of a candidate, the Admit Square Top 50 Ranking takes into account the fact that the importance of ranking components may vary depending on the applicant demographics, thus impacting the entire process roadmap, from selecting the right universities, to developing strong applications and eventually, to securing post-graduation employment. Therefore, through this ranking, specifically designed for Indian applicants, Admit Square aspires to foster more informed decisions among Indian students.