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Reuters/Amit Dave
What’s your take-home?

Graduates of this Indian B-school make more money than Harvard or Wharton MBAs

By Devjyot Ghoshal

The Financial Times Global MBA Ranking is out, and the usual suspects remain at the top.

Insead leads the pack of the world’s 100 top B-schools, followed by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton, and the Harvard Business School. The surprise entry this year in the top five: Cambridge’s Judge Business School.

Indian School of Business, the best performing Indian B-school, appears some way down the list, ranked at 27. The Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, follows at the 29th spot, with IIM-Bangalore and IIM-Calcutta ranked at 49 and 95, respectively.

However, the thing with the FT’s rankings, based on surveys of the institutions and their graduates of 2013, is that a superior rank doesn’t necessarily mean better pay. In fact, if you look at the weighted salary of graduates, India’s second-best B-school delivers quite a performance.

2017 rank School Weighted salary (US$)
2 Stanford Graduate School of Business 195,322
29 Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad 181,863
3 University of Pennsylvania: Wharton 181,634
4 Harvard Business School 178,113
7 Columbia Business School 172,624
8 IE Business School 168,923
9 University of Chicago: Booth 168,200
13 University of California at Berkeley: Haas 168,163
1 Insead 167,657
13 MIT: Sloan 165,716

Here’s how the FT defined weighted salary: “The average alumnus salary three years after graduation, US$ PPP (purchasing power parity) equivalent, with adjustment for variations between sectors.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean that IIM-A grads get paid more than Harvard, Wharton or Columbia MBAs. But the salaries match up when adjusted for PPP i.e. the currency needed to buy the same amounts of goods and services in a country as a dollar would buy in the US.

Update: For these rankings, the FT only considers graduates of IIM-A’s graduate programme in management for executives (PGPX), a one-year course for experienced executives. Entry into the PGPX is partly based on GMAT scores, unlike the institute’s flagship post-graduate programme in management (PGP), which requires students to appear for the Common Admission Test (CAT).

Simply put, with their salaries, IIM-A grads get more bang for their buck than those with almost any other MBA in the world.