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Where to study an MBA if you want to get paid. The best business schools in the US, Europe and Asia

If you’re embarking on an MBA and want to impress top employers, is it really worth the investment? And, if you’re one of the (diminishing number) of business school graduates with an eye on working in the financial sector, will the top-ranked universities impress a potential employer? The answer, it seems, relies principally on where in the world you decide to study.

Two large MBA employment reports have landed today – one from GMAC and another from research firm QS. Both suggest one thing – if you want to enhance your employment prospects with an MBA, it’s probably worth studying at a US business school.

Firstly, GMAC, which suggests that 87% of US MBAs on a two-year programme, 83% completing their degrees over one year and 98% of those studying part-time were in employment within three months of graduation. Aside from India – where 97% of MBAs received job offers, but median pay was just $25.2k – the US is where you are most likely to find employment soon after completing your MBA this year.

The US is also where you will earn the most – median salaries for one and two-year MBAs were $84k and $94.5k respectively for the class of 2014. This compares with $75.9k in Europe, $75.6k in Canada and $36k in Asia-Pacific.

However, assuming you have ambitions to work in finance, Asia-Pacific schools are your best bet. 26% of graduates chose to work in accounting or finance, compared to 22% in Canada and 16% in the US, says GMAC. In Europe, the largest proportion – 32% – went into consulting and finance didn’t feature among the preferred occupations.

We’ve pulled out the tables from the QS rankings below, by region. Again, they suggest that US schools are more respected among employers – the top five schools get close to a perfect 100 ‘employer score’ and those in the top ten are not far off this. In Europe, only the top two – London Business School and INSEAD – received the same score and this drops swiftly after the top ten. Few schools in Asia (aside from the top-ranked INSEAD) command the same level of respect.

QS-US

QS-Europe

QS-Asia

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