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The definitive list of the world's 25 MBA programmes with the best-paid graduates

Emma Haslett
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Class Of 2009 Graduates From Harvard University
Harvard is one of the world's top business schools (Source: Getty)

When it comes to choosing an MBA, return on investment is always going to be a major factor.

Now salary benchmarking site Emolument.com has put together a list of the business schools with the best-paid graduates - and the UK fares pretty well (which is a relief, considering most grads aren't earning the "graduate premium" they were told about).

At the top of the list is Chicago Booth, whose graduates earn a median of £167,000 in salary and bonuses. And with tuition fees of £51,000, that also gives it the best return on investment of any of the top 25 business schools.

Second in the ranking for return on investment is Warwick Business School. Although its grads earn a low-ish £87,000, its £35,600 fees are also a bargain compared with some of its rivals (the MBA programme at Wharton, for example, costs more than £112,000). That gives it an ROI of 1.4 (NB. Stanford isn't included - but Tyra Banks hasn't started her lectures yet...).

The world's top 25 business schools by ROI

Business school Salary* Bonus* Total MBA cost ROI
1 Chicago Booth School of Business £114,000 £53,000 £167,000 £51,000 2.3
2 Warwick Business School £82,000 £5,000 £87,000 £35,600 1.4
3 NUS £63,000 £12,000 £75,000 £35,000 1.1
4 Baruch College £64,000 £4,000 £68,000 £32,250 1.1
5 HKUST £82,000 £16,000 £98,000 £53,078 0.8
6 Cass Business School £60,000 £10,000 £70,000 £39,500 0.8
7 IE £65,000 £4,000 £69,000 £38,428 0.8
8 INSEAD £90,000 £16,000 £106,000 £63,187 0.7
9 Said Business School £75,000 £8,000 £83,000 £52,000 0.6
10 HEC Paris £71,000 £8,000 £79,000 £48,142 0.6
11 Columbia Business School £114,000 £46,000 £160,000 £104,325 0.5
12 Judge Business School £117,000 £39,000 £156,000 £100,910 0.5
13 Harvard Business School £106,000 £36,000 £142,000 £96,565 0.5
14 London Business School £86,000 £17,000 £103,000 £70,800 0.5
15 EDHEC £51,000 £0 £51,000 £35,247 0.4
16 Stern School of Business £106,000 £27,000 £133,000 £100,982 0.3
17 ESSEC £48,000 £2,000 £50,000 £38,686 0.3
18 Wharton School £104,000 £30,000 £134,000 £112,223 0.2
19 Kellogg School of Management £106,000 £66,462 £125,000 £100,791 0.2
20 Johnson Cornell University £96,000 £19,000 £115,000 £93,394 0.2
21 IESE £67,000 £11,000 £78,000 £66,797 0.2
22 ESADE £61,000 £5,000 £66,000 £53,902 0.2
23 Ross School of Business £94,000 £64,500 £104,000 £97,816 0.1
24 Manchester Business School £74,000 £10,000 £84,000 £82,000 0
25 Hult International Business School £49,000 £3,000 £52,000 £53,078 0

* Median salary and bonus

Read more: These are the UK's 10 best-paid jobs for graduates

But what if your ambitions are less about salary, and more about career progression?

The analysis suggested those with ambitions in the finance sector should look no further than Oxford's Said Business School, where 65 per cent of graduates end up in the finance sector.

That's followed by New York City's Columbia, with 57 per cent (although with total compensation of £160,000, Columbia grads earn almost twice what former Said students can expect).

Business school with the most grads in finance

Business school Total Compensation % working in finance
1 Said Business School £83,000 65%
2 Columbia £160,000 57%
3 Chicago Booth £167,000 52%
4 Stern £133,000 51%
5 Harvard £142,000 49%
6 Judge Business School £156,000 47%
7 Cass Business school £70,000 43%
8 Wharton School £134,000 40%
9 NUS £75,000 40%
10 Johnson Cornell University £115,000 37%
13 Ross School of Business £104,000 36%
14 IE £69,000 31%
16 Kellogg School of Management £125,000 29%
18 Zicklin School of Business £68,000 29%
19 HKUST £98,000 28%
20 ESADE £66,000 28%
23 LBS £103,000 25%
25 University of Wales £40,000 21%
26 INSEAD £106,000 21%
27 ESSEC £50,000 20%
28 IIM Lucknow £25,000 20%
29 IESE £78,000 19%
30 HEC Paris £79,000 19%
31 Warwick Business School £87,000 16%
32 EDHEC £51,000 15%
33 Manchester Business School £84,000 13%

However, Alice Leguay, Emolument's co-founder, pointed out many MBA students don't place as much importance on salary as you'd think.

"MBAs provide a strong financial boost, but most alumni are more likely to emphasise the friendships and opportunities as the ultimate return on their investment," she said. Ahhh.

Looking to do a degree first? These 30 European universities have the highest-paid graduates.

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