The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business has launched a masters in management © Alamy

Andrew Jack is the FT’s global education editor

Europe may be divided by its politics and disrupted in its economics, but the masters in management qualification, created by its business schools, continues to be a powerful asset at home and abroad.

The MiM, which normally lasts for one year immediately or soon after an undergraduate degree, remains a popular choice for European students. It is also a significant export item, attracting applicants from elsewhere and providing a template for rivals launching programmes in other parts of the world.

Compared to the classic two-year US MBA, the MiM is typically cheaper and brings fewer opportunity costs because of its shorter duration. Most who take the latter degree have little or no professional experience.

Yet that can be tempting to both students and employers. A MiM can be a way to shift towards professional skills after a broader and less applied undergraduate degree, or to defer the uncertainties of the post-pandemic job market at a time of lay-offs and restructuring, such as currently in the tech sector.

FT Masters in Management Ranking

View the 2023 ranking and report

That may explain why a growing number of business schools — including some in the Australia-Pacific region and even in the US — are launching their own versions, most notably this year at the University of Chicago’s Booth School, despite the potential cannibalisation of its MBA.

Covid-19 continues to play a role in business education: we report on disruptions to hospitality management as customers change their patterns of travel, work and leisure; and the resumption of student study options in China as its long-lasting lockdown has eased.

Digital tools and techniques that were widely adopted in teaching during Covid-19 remain important — although many younger students are keen to return to in-person learning. As we report, the Robert H Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland is launching a new Online Master of Science in Management Studies this year, while Audencia offers students the option of taking one semester in its degree fully online.

Others, such as Mannheim Business School, offer flexible options such as recording classes to allow students to watch later, helping to balance working part-time and juggling different professional commitments — even as intense as professional women’s football.

In Marseille, an innovative, student-led initiative is using football in a different way: to help open up routes into the country’s elite business schools for young people from underprivileged communities, helping to foster greater diversity.

Similar innovative spirit was shown by a Ukrainian graduate working in Ireland, who unexpectedly found herself applying business school lessons to found a NGO to help her compatriots back home.

We highlight insights in this report from a group of management researchers who analyse an important area of behavioural science: how “mental accounting” can distort judgments around time and money, and how it might be more widely applied in business and government.

We also include a mini business case study as a taster of the issues and formats widely used in many schools to teach topical dilemmas. In this case, we explore the ethical and supply-chain issues of cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mineral is essential for electric cars and batteries powering a trend towards sustainable energy, but often extracted by child labour.

This year’s MiM ranking includes a number of methodological changes in line with those the FT has introduced in its assessments of other business qualifications. The weighting for salaries has been reduced — although it still remains the single largest reference point as a strong proxy for outcomes and return on investment.

There is a greater focus on graduates’ overall assessments of their schools’ alumni network, reflecting the ongoing importance of continued training, insights, advice and careers guidance and support in their careers.

There is also more emphasis on whether schools are “walking the talk” around sustainability in their own operations, with an assessment of their commitment to net zero emissions, carbon auditing and the teaching of environmental, social and governance issues.

As always, anyone using these FT rankings should do so alongside other points of reference including our wider reporting, qualitative assessments such as the annual responsible business education awards and discussions with current and former students.

No single ranking can reflect everyone’s priorities, but our dedicated site allows readers to extract data and re-rank based on factors that are important to them: from location and duration to salary or gender balance. It can help guide students, recruiters and faculty alike in what remains a fiercely competitive market for business education.

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