Study in New York | TopMBA

Studying an MBA in New York has obvious career advantages with huge multi-nationals and local US firms basing themselves in the famous city.

In fact, with well-known MBA employers in the financial and consulting sectors headquartered in the city, such as McKinsey and Company, J P Morgan Chase, CitiGroup, and American Express, New York boasts unparalleled opportunities for MBA graduates, or those seeking an internship to get their foot in the management door of a competitive industry.

MBA graduates in New York can also take advantage of non-traditional business school career sectors, as colossal brand names like Pfizer, PepsiCo, Time Warner, and Colgate-Palmolive recruit MBA graduates from the city’s business schools.

When asked about the city of New York’s most famous MBA providing institutions, most would reply with NYU Stern School of Business or Columbia Business School, rated 5th and 12th respectively in’s Global 200 Top Business School Report for North America. However, other business schools in New York City include Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, Fordham Graduate School of Business Administration, and Pace University’s Lubin School of Business.

Outside of the city, but still in the state of New York, MBA programs from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, University of Rochester’s Simon GSB, Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, and many others can be found.

Business schools in New York have a distinct advantage over their competitors in other regions. They are neighbors with Wall Street and smack in the middle of what is arguably the business capital of the world. Many multi-national organizations and local American firms are headquartered in New York. You're not limited to banks and financial institutions either. Well-known brands, media and entertainment companies, and even nonprofits call the place home.

As a result, the city attracts businesspeople from the world over and you'll find great diversity. This multiculturalism is a strength in any business environment, but it's also appealing outside the workplace. In New York, you'll find an array of ethnic restaurants and an endless number of arts and cultural experiences. Many who ultimately work in Manhattan live in the nearby suburbs, such as Connecticut, Westchester, Long Island, northern New Jersey, or one of the other boroughs of New York City, such as Brooklyn.

What business schools are in New York?

Columbia Business School, which is eighth in the QS Global MBA Rankings, and New York University Stern School of Business (19th) are the top schools in New York City. Columbia is located in Morningside Heights with a new Manhattanville campus, whereas Stern is in the heart of downtown near Washington Square Park. Both are competitive programs that attract top business students. Columbia has a larger population with more than 500 people in each class, whereas Stern has about 300 to 400 students per class.

Columbia Business School

The biggest difference between these two top business schools is Columbia is part of the Ivy League, which puts it in another stratosphere when it comes to its teaching. Only seven other universities are part of this group, which is notable for its historic significance and rigorous admissions standards. Acceptance here brings great prestige.

Other differences are subtler but related. Columbia positions itself as a bastion of intellect. Its faculty and its notable research are among the school’s biggest selling points. Granted, conducting research that aids top businesses in developing long-term strategies and improving practices elevates the school’s importance with employers. There’s no question that a degree from Columbia holds serious weight and can increase the employability of a graduate, but students might find a larger emphasis on theory than in other programs.

Then, there’s the location. Columbia is close enough to midtown and downtown Manhattan, where much of the business action happens. However, its uptown campus is a bit more removed than Stern. Nearby, you’ll find Riverside Park for biking or running. The famous Apollo Theater is in nearby Harlem, which has experienced a renaissance of sorts lately. Many promote the school as being the best of both worlds—a closed campus and a city school. After all, public transportation makes it easy to get anywhere in the city.

Stern School of Business

On the other hand, Stern School of Business is right next door to the financial district and Wall Street. The campus is in Greenwich Village, one of the most eccentric and charming parts of downtown Manhattan. Again, public transportation makes getting around and arriving at other parts of the city manageable and convenient. Many students say they chose the school because they were drawn to the location and the career opportunities in the area.

Stern is not part of the Ivy League, but its professors are renowned and well-respected and the school’s program is competitive and rigorous. Students and graduates alike applaud the school for the collaborative culture. This is also a program that does not just pay lip service to diversity, as, thanks to its location, it attracts students from many different places. It has a large group of international students and women compose 35 percent of its class.

While scholarship and intellectual debate are highlighted on Columbia’s site, Stern focuses on its practical approach to business education. Namely, the school points out its effort to help students position themselves in a global market dominated by advances in technology. Both Columbia and Stern are unique educational institutions, where aspiring MBAs can grow professionally and personally and take advantage of all New York has to offer.

More business schools

Of course, these two aren't the only schools in the city. Others include Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, Fordham Graduate School of Business Administration, and Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. Outside the city, but still in the state of New York, you will find MBA programs at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, University of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business, Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, and many others.

Even though New York is at the heart of the action when it comes to business, the entire tri-state region offers decent education options. For example, Yale School of Management, another Ivy League school, is in New Haven, Connecticut. Ranked 18th in the 2018 list of best business schools, it's well known for its sustainability programs, which were available before the subject was trendy, and it takes less than two hours to drive from New Haven to New York City.

Wall Street is the original home of the New York Stock Exchange and the largest banks and brokerage firms in the United States are based there, so it's understandable that many people come to study here because of a desire to work in finance. Some of the big names regularly hiring MBAs include McKinsey and Company, JP Morgan Chase, CitiGroup, and American Express.

Most of these organizations have hiring pipelines for internships and full-time positions. Because the executives live and work nearby, students and alumni in New York have plenty of opportunities for networking. The schools foster these relationships by connecting frequently with recruiters and planning events that bring these constituencies together.

As a wider range of industries recognizes the usefulness of an MBA degree, business school graduates find themselves seeking non-traditional roles. In New York, colossal brand names, such as Pfizer, PepsiCo, Time Warner, and Colgate-Palmolive, recruit MBA graduates. Therefore, students and alumni never feel limited in the types of jobs they can find in this city.

Some MBAs get sticker shock when they first look at prices in New York and the surrounding area. While it's one of the most expensive places in the U.S. to live, its employers also tend to pay MBAs the best. In fact, the US and Canada tend to be the best paying countries for MBAs, with an average of $98,900, increasing to $116,300 with bonus, according to the QS Jobs and Salary Trends Report 2018.

Looking at the salaries for graduates at top New York schools proves the region fits right into that data. The median base salary for Columbia's Class of 2017 was $125,000, and the median signing bonus was $25,500. Stern's Class of 2017 also reported a median base salary of $125,000, but the median signing bonus was slightly higher at $29,250. At Cornell's Johnson school, the mean base salary was $125,578 and the mean bonus is $31,604 for the Class of 2017.

New York provides a wealth of opportunity for MBAs and MBA aspirants. It's also just a cool place to live. New Yorkers are an eclectic bunch. They're artists, philosophers, and businesspeople, sometimes all at once. With one of the world's most famous skylines and a population ready, willing, and able to hustle, it's a dream for many thinking about business school.