Pursuing a career in business is a wise choice. The opportunities are endless, there’s always something new to learn, and with your transferable skills, you’ll never be short of new career prospects.
But choosing the right school can be a lengthy and stressful process. And that’s where we come in!
We’ve compiled a list of the 20 best business schools in the world in 2020, to make your choice a little easier.
20. New York University (NYU)
Location: New York City, US
NYU is a highly prestigious university where students can obtain a bachelor’s degree at NYU’s Stern School of Business. With numerous departments and concentrations to choose from, students can truly refine their areas of expertise.
Aside from core subjects, students can also take elective courses across NYU’s other schools. Furthermore, there is the option to complete a dual degree so you could combine business with law, mathematics or investment banking, among other subjects!
NYU Business School’s great location also means there are plenty of job opportunities for graduates. Plus, the university has excellent ties to many notable businesspeople. Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations, is one of Stern’s many alumni.
19. Yale University
Location: New Haven, US
Situated in the picturesque town of New Haven and firmly positioned in the Ivy League ranks, Yale University offers its students a unique educational experience.
The Yale School of Management offers a diverse range of MBA degrees tailored for aspiring young professionals and experienced executives. The school remains closely connected to its parent university, and their two-year MBA programme consists of an integrated curriculum.
18. Columbia University
Location: New York City, US
Columbia University’s core curriculum focuses on liberal arts such as philosophy, history, politics, literature, art, music, science and writing. Through a unique concentration on business management, subjects cover aspects such as accounting, financial reporting and economics principles.
Undergraduates develop their business knowledge through a series of elective courses curated by the Columbia Business School, where students can partake in research opportunities and co-curricular activities such as lectures, industry panels, informal mentoring and networking events with MBA students and alumni.
17. Erasmus University Rotterdam
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
As one of the youngest establishments on the list, Erasmus University Rotterdam has a long list of achievements. A steady presence among the top tier business schools in Europe, the university provides a wide range of specialised bachelors, MBAs and PhDs, as well as executive education programmes.
Its English Language Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration (BScIBA) programme consists of independent research and extensive academic training, while you can expect a taste of real-world experience through internships, international exchange programmes and collaborating with industry experts.
16. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
Location: Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong
This world-class research university offers students a cutting-edge education thanks to its superior teaching and research facilities. Established in 1991, HKUST is listed as a top business school for specific disciplines such as entrepreneurship, real estate and strategy.
While HKUST is relatively young compared with many of the other universities featured on this list, it hasn’t taken long for the institution to rise to international prominence. With a rich programme catalogue and a world-class faculty, HKUST Business School has devoted itself to a wide range of areas, from Chinese business and Asian financial markets to experimental business research and Asian entrepreneurship.
15. Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
Location: Frederiksberg, Denmark
This respected business school features an exceptional academic programme that strives to lead the way in responsible management education. Situated in the affluent area of Frederiksberg, CBS offers a substantial number of programmes and courses for its 23,000 students, who have the chance to study communication, economics, languages and politics, amongst other specialisations.
CBS’ teaching methodology is designed to teach students the leadership development skills they will need to pursue careers as executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. Students can also opt for customised development programmes, while the school prides itself on having close working relationships with some of the world’s leading businesses, including Deloitte, Google, KPMG and Maersk.
14. Northwestern University
Location: Evanston, IL, USA
Taught at the renowned Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University offers some of the best MBAs in the world. With a broad range of programmes to choose from, the school facilitates learning on different levels.
The school offers the opportunity to apply academic knowledge in real-world settings and encourages collaboration with experts in the field. Moreover, students can follow a cross-disciplinary path and customise their curriculum to suit their needs and interests.
13. National University of Singapore (NUS)
Location: Singapore, Singapore
The National University of Singapore, or NUS as is it more commonly known, has grown into a leading, multidisciplinary higher education institute, and its business school (which was founded in 1965) is often listed among the best schools in the world.
The NUS Business School offers a holistic BBA programme that fuses Western and Asian perspectives. Further, it provides its students with the freedom to design their curriculum and combine modules from different disciplines to encourage the development of diverse social and cultural perspectives.
12. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
Location: Berkeley, US
Based on the sunny West Coast, the University of California, Berkley is a well-established global institution, while its faculty includes 99 Nobel laureates, 23 Turing Award winners and 14 Pulitzer Prize winners.
The Haas Undergraduate Program offers its business majors a range of courses, and each programme uniquely combines business with other disciplines including engineering, global perspectives and biology. The curriculum covers a broad area of business operations through its core modules, while elective courses focus on subjects such as brand management, corporate finance and advanced accounting.
11. University of Oxford
Location: Oxford, UK
The University of Oxford is a globally-renowned educational establishment, and its business school, the Saïd Business School, is no different. It offers MBAs with a distinct focus on individual and collaborative research; amongst these is the 1+1 MBA, where you can opt to finish a master’s degree in your selected discipline before joining an MBA for your second year.
The school has also teamed up with Fortune 500 Company and global investment banking leader, Goldman Sachs, to offer the 10,000 Small Businesses programme.
10. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Location: London, UK
Known for its leading academics in cultural, social and economic disciplines, the London School of Economics is paving its way as the most prominent research institution in the UK. With students from over 140 countries, LSE prides itself as a truly international student community.
Its BSc in Management combines business with social sciences, as its curriculum incorporates economics, statistics, mathematics and psychology. The programme combines theory and practice, encouraging critical thinking through practical management competence, teamwork and data presentation.
9. HEC Paris School of Management
Location: Paris, France
HEC offers a wide range of business courses and was ranked the best in the world in the QS Business Masters Ranking in 2020. The school is led by recognised professors and continues to attract highly talented, innovative and ambitious individuals every year.
Students are encouraged to develop bold and creative mindsets that will stand them in good stead when they enter the world of work. With a blend of academic immersion and cultural diversity, the school has been praised for its unique variety of programmes, its pioneering research and its outstanding student body.
8. University of Cambridge
Location: Cambridge, UK
As a prominent, high-achieving institution, the University of Cambridge excels in multiple fields and disciplines, including business. Centred at the heart of the collegiate campus, the Cambridge Judge Business School offers a refined educational experience to its students.
Its one-year MBA programme, for example, is a broad management degree focused on developing a deep understanding of business functions, interpersonal skills and leadership abilities. The curriculum is split into four phases which offer students the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge and progress smoothly from their degree to their business career.
7. Bocconi University
Location: Milan, Italy
Located in the beautiful city of Milan, Bocconi University is an internationally acclaimed research institution.
The university offers a variety of courses focused around business, management and finance and students have a fair selection bachelor science programmes to choose from. Bocconi also offers specialised master programmes as well as a PhD course in business administration and management.
Upon entering the job market, students are given great support through the university’s strong connections, ensuring that its graduates can kickstart their careers successfully.
6. University of Pennsylvania
Location: Philadelphia, US
Instituted by one of the United States’ founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania is devoted to research and educational development. Business undergraduates studying at the Wharton School have an exceptional opportunity to learn from leading academics in the field.
The available undergraduate programmes address crucial financial concepts, discuss organisational management and focus on efficient problem-solving tactics. With your first year of studies focusing on core subjects, you are gradually given the opportunity to design your curriculum and develop in selected areas.
5. Stanford University
Location: Stanford, US
As one of the world’s top colleges, Stanford University emphasises the importance of a liberal arts education. This also applies to its MBA programme at the Stanford Business School, as the core curriculum fuses principles of social sciences.
Management functions are coupled with analytical skills development and creative thinking to encourage innovative approaches to leadership. Global experience is also integrated into every programme, and you also have the option of completing a joint degree.
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Location: Cambridge, US
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s mission revolves around the development of scientific knowledge and technological advancement. In true MIT fashion, its undergraduate management programme takes a scientific approach towards business.
The programme, taught at the Sloan School of Management, introduces its undergraduate students to varying business perspectives via three available majors and minors in management, business analytics or finance. Another critical aspect of this programme is its flexibility as you can specialise in a specific area of study or follow a cross-discipline path.
3. London Business School
Location: London, UK
Located at the heart of the world’s financial district, the London Business School is a global institution that offers elite educational opportunities. The school prides itself with the highest rate of employable graduates and a diverse student community, with over 100 nationalities represented on campus.
Their MBA programme includes core topics such as management science and operations, marketing, and organisational behaviour. Travelling is also integrated into every degree, and students are encouraged to exchange knowledge with their peers across the globe.
Location: Fontainebleau, France
INSEAD is an excellent institution that offers a globally-renowned Executive MBA that specialises in producing entrepreneurs. Studying at INSEAD will give you the foundations needed to excel in a senior leadership role. Thanks to the school’s innovative learning methods, students will develop a variety of leadership styles.
Their teaching methods also use the latest technologies, while students are encouraged to develop a close rapport with their instructors. The school has a multicultural student body, and students will benefit from access to a diverse global alumni network.
1. Harvard University
Location: Cambridge, US
Harvard University is synonymous with academic excellence. With a global reputation that precedes itself, the Harvard Business School offers a two-year MBA programme with a strong focus on general management and real-world experience.
The programme includes case method courses and field projects within its experience-based curriculum. There is also a strong focus on developing leadership and collaborative skills through small team projects and activities. During your second year, you’re free to customise your degree to your electives.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you have a wide selection of business schools to choose from. But whichever one you choose to apply to, make sure you pick the one that matches your ambitions.
Although ranking can be a critical element in any application process, it certainly shouldn’t be a determining factor. The right university will offer you a truly diverse set of skills and knowledge that will certainly come in useful in any career path you choose to follow.
What do you make of this list of the best business schools in the world? Are there any other universities you’re surprised didn’t make the cut? Let us know in the comments section below!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 16 Aug 2019 and contains revisions by Maria Charalambous.
Top Universities 2020-10-30