Top MBA programmes for return on investment in 2023 |

Top MBA programmes for return on investment in 2023

By Aisha K

Updated Updated

An MBA requires significant time investment, the ability to handle an intensive study schedule and cover the high cost of tuition, so, naturally, many prospective students will want to know whether those high costs will have a worthwhile impact on their professional careers.  

The release of the QS Global MBA Rankings 2023 showcases the world’s top business schools for full-time MBA education and features over 300 institutions.  

One of the key indicators used in the rankings is the 10-year return on investment (ROI), which maps average post-MBA salaries against average salaries before enrolment, taking into account forgone salary as well as tuition and cost of living (using Mercer Quality of City Living Ranking). 

You can learn more about the methodology used for return on investment here.  

Here are the top 10 business schools for return on investment: 

QS Global MBA Rankings 2023: Top 10 business schools for return on investment 





HEC Paris 



SDA Bocconi 



Mannheim Business School 



ESCP Business School



WHU (Otto Beisheim)  


ESMT Berlin 


IESE Business School 


EDHEC Business School 


IE Business School 



Thammasat Business School 


To learn more about how top-ranked institutions are ensuring that the cost of their MBA degree is worth the investment, we spoke to WHU (Otto Beisheim), Mannheim Business School and ESCP Business School - all of which rank joint first for ROI.  

How do you help students find strong graduate outcomes?  

WHU: The WHU MBA career centre has developed what we call the ‘Triple M Career Roadmap Approach’, which guides our MBA students towards a career path that matches their personal ambitions.  

The ‘Triple M Career Roadmap’ is broken up into three parts: 

  1. The ‘me’ part, helps students to identify their VIPS (values, interests, personality, and skills). They are asked to complete a range of self-assessment tools and are offered individualised sessions with a coach who will support them throughout their MBA journey.  

  2. The ‘market’ part is all about getting to know the market and potential employers, especially in Germany. The students learn about the requirements of different industries, companies and about their cultures and hiring practices. They learn how to conduct research, network effectively and create a strong online presence.  

  3. The ‘match’ part is about matching students with the market. Once they know what their VIPS are and what they want their next career step to be, they learn how to create effective CVs and cover letters suited for the German market. Mock interview sessions with their coaches prepare them for real-world situations so that they can make their next career move with confidence. The MBA career center invites companies and alumni to online and offline events, making ample use of WHU’s alumni network and entrepreneurial ecosystem.  

Mannheim Business School: In order to join forces around our network, we merged the career services and alumni relations departments into a single organisational unit. As a result, we can offer optimum services from our network of participants, alumni and corporate partners to the benefit of all involved.  

Our alumni are now represented in more than 900 companies in Germany alone, companies which often seek to employ even more ‘Mannheimers’ because of the strict selection processes for our programmes and therefore the high quality of our graduates. 

ESCP Business School: ESCP’s MBA programme was designed with the understanding that students aim to accelerate their careers and change, in many cases, country, function or sector. 

Career services are fully integrated in the MBA programme, with all Wednesday afternoons dedicated to career events and workshops. This allows our MBA students to devote the necessary amount of time to their job search and encourages them to take full advantage of the events and activities organised throughout their 10-month journey. 

What are the most popular industries/job roles your MBA students work in post-graduation?  

Mannheim Business School: In recent years, the industries with the most appointments were technology/IT, consulting and manufacturing. But it is also interesting to note that more and more of our graduates are continuing their careers in the sustainable economy sector. 

What makes your programme different from other schools offering MBAs in terms of targeted career development?  

ESCP Business School: Our international ecosystem sets us apart from other MBA programmes offered. Our alumni, our professors and our partner companies have a high international profile and students can choose to study at ESCP’s six European campuses (Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Turin and Warsaw), benefitting from international partnerships in Latin America, North America and across the globe. 

How do you enable your students to take on the workplace with confidence and feel empowered about their career progression?  

WHU: Apart from what they learn in their courses, workshops and group activities, students benefit from the individualised career coaching described above and from personal assessments.  

One of our alumni, Abhijeet Kumar, who now works as a senior consultant at HRS Group, said: “The MBA career centre is an extremely valuable asset for full-time MBA students, especially those navigating the challenging and differing demands of the German and European employment market. Their consistent support during my entire application journey helped me to not just find a job but also to understand myself and what I would love to do after my MBA.” 

Mannheim Business School: The core of our network are clubs and regional chapters organised by the school (unlike many other business schools where they are organised by alumni or students). This means we can make sure there are regular events where current students can gain valuable insights from experienced, successful alumni or other executives and experts working in relevant fields.  

Because we have relatively small MBA cohorts, our career development team can also offer an individual and well-structured counselling system - for which we regularly receive excellent feedback. 

ESCP Business School: Thanks to our pedagogical approach that combines theory and practice with numerous simulations, group work and case studies as well as company consultancy projects (two projects in two European countries), students are able to develop their analytical, decision-making and leadership skills and their ability to innovate while in the programme.  

This is combined with the career and corporate relations activities, coaching and training we expose them to throughout the year. The 10 months of the MBA are full of challenges and simulations so that when it comes to the real thing, they feel comfortable and confident in progressing their careers.  


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