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The New Economy

Five things you don't know about top MBA programs

Top-flight business schools are in high gear from California to Hong Kong. Here are five things to consider from the Economist's study of the top 100 MBA programs.

By Contributor / October 26, 2009

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband (center) arrives to deliver his address to MBA students at the China Europe International Business School (ranked 95th in the Economist's most recent MBA program rankings) in Shanghai on Feb. 26, 2008. Here are five things you didn't know about top MBA programs like the China Europe school.

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The Economist recently released its annual rankings (subscription required) for the world's top MBA programs. While weighing the relative merits of titans like the Sloan School at MIT and the Haas School at the University of California-Berkeley is tough enough, adding international programs from Spain to Singapore muddies the waters that much more. By combing through the numbers, though, several interesting facts come to light.

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1. You've never heard of the most competitive MBA program:

What? Everybody knows it's Harvard/MIT/Chicago/Wharton. Good guesses. All wrong. With 680 applicants for every one of its 297 spots, the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India is the world's most competitive MBA program and 99th best worldwide. While most of its graduates go on to careers in India, its career services placed 8th of all MBA programs and boasts McKinsey Co. and Monitor Group (alongside now defunct Lehman Brothers) as its principal recruiters. With a price tag of just over $20,000 per year (versus over $50,000 at Stanford), maybe even some American MBA students will be looking to a new eastern locale for their graduate education. (Editor's note: This paragraph has been corrected to reflect the correct spelling of the name of the institution.)

2. The best program is ... affiliated with Opus Dei?

The IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Barcelona took home the Economist's top spot. The Opus Dei connection has more to do with business ethics than Dan Brown-esque intrigue, though. While European business students tend to have twice as much work experience as American students, according to the report, IESE came in second on immediately boosting students' incomes from their pre-MBA level. (The Joseph M. Katz school at the University of Pittsburgh was first.) The cost? Writing seven admissions essays and plunking down a cool $99,813 for the 19-month program.

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