Despite the economic woes of the region, 2011 has been a record year for employment statistics among European business schools, which are supplying MBA talent not just to local employers in the region, but also employers across Asia, the Americas and the Middle East.
After a relatively slow adoption of MBA studies in Europe for the first 40 years after the Second World War, the last two decades has seen an explosion in the number of schools. The continent now hosts MBA programs in practically all of its countries.
Today, Europe has a large cluster of top-rated business schools, challenging the hegemony of US schools. The schools that take up the top 10 places have a longstanding and established reputation. These business schools consistently remain in the top 10 places, signifying a long-standing respect among employers of each institution’s MBA graduates.
The UK remains the leader in Europe, in terms of employer opinion of MBA graduates. The majority of business schools featured in the European business school rating are from the UK – a total of 22 out of 67 schools (33%). Furthermore, the UK is the country with the largest amount of business schools in the top cluster, with a total of four schools:
Spain and France also have numerous business schools that are favored by employers to hire MBA graduates from. Spain has three business schools in the top cluster, while France has two:
The hiring preferences of employers are reflective of the top three European destinations for MBA study among prospective students. According to the latest QS TopMBA.com Applicant Survey, 46% of prospective students want to take their MBA in the UK, 24% in France and 21% in Spain.
While German business schools are relatively young compared to other institutions in Europe, schools in the country are growing increasingly popular among employers. Though the majority of the business schools in Germany are in the second and third clusters, seven schools from the country feature in the European rating. Furthermore, a sample of over 40 companies in Germany indicates a 27% rise in MBA demand in 2011.
The German economy is usually the engine of MBA demand in Western Europe. Strong demand for German goods in Asia in particular has fuelled a demand for Asian MBAs to join German companies. Likewise, many service companies are desperate to recruit German MBAs to serve their successful German clients.
Italy and Switzerland also feature prominently in the rating, with four business schools located in Italy and three in Switzerland.
Europe has a number of up and coming business schools that continue to develop their business management profiles, and are gradually moving up the ratings. These include the three new business schools in the top cluster, all showing year-on-year improvements:
Although there are many business schools in Europe that have earned consistent employer index scores throughout the history of the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report, eight European schools entering the rating this year signify that the region is still evolving in terms of MBA employer opinion. New entrants to the European ratings include: