The 10 Best Business Schools in Europe According To Employers | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

The 10 Best Business Schools in Europe According To Employers


If you’re a business student or going to be one, then one of the most important parts of studying business is also landing a well-paid job after the course. The reputation of the school, as well as the employability, is extremely important for a student. At a job interview, a good business school can give you an edge you want to getting that job. Alumni from well-respected and good ranked schools tend to earn more than the lower ranked ones. It’s natural to want to know about the best business schools according to employers.

In Bloomberg Businessweek’s Best Business School Rankings for 2018, 3,698 recruiters were surveyed to get their perspective on the topic of reputation. They also ranked the best business schools for diversity.

Before we dive into the best business schools in Europe according to employers, EDUopinions will discuss why studying an MBA is important.

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Why should you pursue an MBA?

MBA is now considered as one of the most sought after degrees to pursue. The world of business management is diverse and very much in demand. An MBA helps students acquire the skills needed to either run a business or help others run their business. All areas of business are taught including accounting, finance, marketing, and human resources.


If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, then studying an MBA is the best thing to do. This helps in a well- rounded education about a business and all the facets of a business. MBA also teaches life skills, which you would love to have as an employee. There is no wonder that an MBA is one of the most sought after degrees to pursue all over the world.

Best Business Schools in Europe according to Employers

European schools are gaining popularity all over the world because of lower fees, shorter MBA duration and international bodies that govern the school. There are so many good business schools according to employers in Europe, but which is the best one?

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Even Bloomberg Businessweek has published a ranking of non-USA programmes which are the best in the world.  The ranking is based on surveys with employers, students, and graduates, plus their success at getting hired and earning decent a wage.  INSEAD from France topped this list, followed by London Business School (LBS) in second, and IESE Business School of Spain in third. They even classified schools on the basis of well-paid work which you get after graduation,  Germany-based Mannheim Business School topped this list.

According to a survey, more than 90% of graduates of Mannheim’s 12-month full-time MBA programme land jobs three months after completing the course. Which is a great statistic, to be honest. Even in these more than 75% are working in Germany. The industries hiring the largest number of MBAs from Mannheim are manufacturing, consulting, consumer products, and professional services.

1. INSEAD Business School

This is one of the world’s leading graduate and business school. INSEAD Business School offers a variety of Master’s programs, but it’s best known for it is MBA programmes. It was one of the first business schools to introduce the multi-campus model as a way of increasing international presence and essence of its faculty and students. Financial Times has also ranked INSEAD as the number one MBA program for two years in a row in its MBA rankings. As one of the world’s best business schools, INSEAD offers participants a truly global education and experience through innovative approaches and open-minded learning environments that bring together people of over 160 nationalities.

Around 50% of INSEAD MBA graduates go into the consulting sector. The median salary for INSEAD’s graduates is $108,000. Though this is an up slightly from the $102,500 reported by the Class of 2017. The highest earner at INSEAD was a graduate going into “Corporate Services” in the United Kingdom, who reported earning a base salary of $285,100. 

2. London Business School

Also continuously ranked as one of the top business schools in Europe, London Business School really stands out because of its central location right in the heart of London. Located in Regent’s park, the LBS campus has a number of facilities such as a sports centre, restaurant, cafes, and a library.

Apart from the campus facilities, London Business School offers a wide variety of programmes as well. But the top one is the MBA programme. This course focuses on developing future leaders and this program attracts students from all over the world. The Financial Times placed LBS ahead of Harvard and INSEAD and ranked it as 1st in Europe three times in a row in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

The London Business School combines academic excellence with professionalism and modern and innovative teaching methods. This programme covers a variety of subjects including finance, economics, strategy, marketing, and management and is taught by experts in the fields. LBS graduates are considered one of the most employable in the world. Top hiring firms along with McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group include Amazon, Bain, Google, and others often recruit from the London Business School.

96 per cent of LBS’ master’s in management 2017 graduates accepted a job offer three months after graduation, in various roles within finance, consulting and technology.

Post-MBA salaries attracted by London Business School’s fresh set of graduates came in at a median average of £75,276 (US$117,596 as at August 1 2015, the conversion date used in LBS’s report), up from £70,000 in 2014. This number is even higher in 2018, though an exact salary number isn’t available. The average student started the course with five years of work experience behind them and left commanding a base salary of $112,843.

3. Said Business School (University of Oxford)

Oxford University Landscape

The MBA at University of Oxford is taught at an undergraduate and graduate level. The aim is to blend both the new and old. The MBA programme here at the Said Business School is built on legacy. It provides a solid foundation in core business principles while developing a broadened mindset and understanding of the role of business in society. Here you will be able to connect to a global network, mix with a diverse group of students, interact with thought leaders and also have a rigorous academic experience. The class size is usually 315 with students from 62 nationalities and with a whopping 93% international students. Everyone has an average of 5 years of work experience as well. The professionals are from a range of industries, from finance to consulting, and tech to healthcare.

The MBA students are helped by the Career Development centre which arranges recruitment events with MBA employers, a Talent Development programme which includes career workshops, and student “treks” – student-led visits to particular regions to discover how business is done there. All of this helps the students to understand the work environment and best choose the job they would like to go for.

A majority of 26 per cent of graduates went into the finance sector, while the average base salary for its graduates across all sectors was $100,800.

4. IESE Business School

Spread over four campuses in  Barcelona, Madrid, New York, and Munich, IESE Business School is one of the oldest management institutes and is often ranked in the top 10 in the world. IESE is known to maintain its ranking because of its amazing professors, alumni and course structure. The IESE MBA is an immersive experience at one of the world’s best business schools.

It is known to transform perspectives and prospects of students. The program is built to give a practical approach to MBA with a real-world touch to understand how to put theory into practice. IESE’s also has strong links with top recruiters in Europe and worldwide will open doors for the students future.

The MBA is built to develop your analytical skills to make the student ready for the first job in management. The program’s core courses build a solid foundation of business management knowledge. Key themes range from marketing and finance to strategy and economics.

Students entered with approximately four years of work experience and left commanding starting salaries of $110,700.

5. SDA Bocconi School of Management

Located in Milano, Italy the SDA Bocconi School of Management has an intense program. This full-time MBA is for those who just don’t want to stop and are ambitious. This MBA programme aims to forge global leaders with an Aspiration to change and an Ambition to excel while being Aware that leadership also requires social responsibility. Located in Milano, this city is also a hub of culture and innovation.

This is the number 2 Global ranked MBA in Europe in 2019 and has marked a 124% salary increase! The highest paid Bocconi University & SDA School of Management alumni & graduates are Executive Management & Change professionals at $113,000 annually.

6. ESADE Business School

Located in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain the ESADE Business School is an international nonprofit university institution. They have more than 50 years of history and is one of the best business schools in the world. It was listed as the world’s best business school by the Wall Street Journal and ranked as 3rd in the list of top business schools by Financial Times.

ESADE has more than 5000 alumni who are working on leading positions in more than one hundred countries across the world, which says a lot about their education.

The average salary of Masters in management is $58,000, which the ones doing an Executive MBA will get around $68,000.

7. HEC Paris

Located in Paris, HEC Paris was founded in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The university is often ranked as the most prestigious and selective business school in the world. HEC offers great facilities and incomparable environment for students to study, get involved in many activities, and socialise. Students can benefit from 3 restaurants located on the campus, 2 cafeterias, and a wooded park with a lake.

HEC is known for its management and MBA programmes. It also offers stellar Executive MBA and was ranked as the 5th best Executive MBA programme by the Financial Times. Besides, HEC graduates are ranked the 21st most employable in the world. MBA graduates from HEC Paris doubled their pre-MBA salaries. The average base salary of graduates was around €86,300 (US$103,565), with around €17,500 (US$21,001) of annual benefits.

8. IMD Business School

An institution located in Switzerland, IMD Business School is one of the top management schools in the world. It offers a one year-MBA program It teaches leadership skills where the students are equipped to play a role in shaping our society. It also focuses on entrepreneurial skills where they teach about drive, passion and the mindset to be a successful entrepreneur. Average years of experience of students at IMD Switzerland is seven.

Switzerland’s IMD was one most coveted MBA school by international employers and attracted students with, on average, seven years of work experience. Graduates took home base salaries averaging $125,000.

9. IE Business School

Named as the 9th Global MBA in Financial times in 2019, the IE Business School MBA is their full-time flagship programme in Madrid. This transformational journey shapes professionals and entrepreneurs, turning them into leaders that generate impact and drive change around the world. 45% of this programme is customisable and it resulting in a personalised learning experience tailored to your professional needs. It’s a one year program and is located in Madrid.

Every year, IE’s students are recruited by some of the most important companies worldwide, ranging from the technology sector to FMCG and services. Students left in 2010 commanding base salaries averaging $81,900.

10. Cranfield School of Management

Located in the United Kingdom, it is one of the oldest business schools in Europe.  It was established in 1967, although its MBA can be traced back to its roots in 1964. It offers an MBA Programme in Economics that is ranked number 1, making it one of the UK’s top business schools.

Cranfield School of Management was ranked 7th in the UK and 30th in Europe by the Financial Times European Business Schools Rankings in 2017. The best paying degree at Cranfield University & School of Management is Executive MBA, with alumni earning an average salary of $132,000.

So, there it is, the best business schools according to employers. Based on the recruitment difficulty, average pay scale and best average pay, we have found out the top ten best European MBA schools in Europe. Go through each university and pick the best MBA programme that’s most suited for you!

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Nikita is one of the main authors at EDUopinions, specialised in Higher Education and focused on business studies analysis. She is a digital nomad who works while travelling.

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