October 27, 2008 1:10 am

EMBA 2008 methodology

This is the eighth year the Financial Times has published its ranking of Executive MBA programmes, part-time MBA degrees for senior working managers.

The ranking is compiled using data from two sets of surveys; one is completed by alumni who graduated from the respective programmes three years ago, in 2005, and the other by the business schools.

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Some 7,300 alumni were contacted for the 2008 ranking and more than 3,870 completed the online questionnaire. The overall response rate was 53 per cent.

This year 109 business schools took part in the survey, compared with 107 in 2007.

Of these 109 schools, 101 had a sufficient response rate (20 per cent of alumni and a minimum of 20 responses in total) to be considered for the ranking of the top 95 programmes.

Data from alumni questionnaires are used to determine positions in five of the 16 criteria that make up the ranking; from “Salary today (US$)” to “Aims achieved rank”. The figures for these five criteria include data collected by the FT over three years.

The data collected in 2008 (from the EMBA class that graduated in 2005) carry 50 per cent of the total weight.

Data from the 2007 and 2006 rankings are each given 25 per cent of the total weight.

If only two years of data are available, the ratio is 60 per cent from this year’s survey and 40 per cent from the 2007 survey.

The first four criteria in the table examine the salaries and career progression of alumni from before they started their EMBA to the present day – usually a period of five years.

These four contribute 50 per cent of the final score.

The salary figure presented in “Salary today (US$)” is calculated in the following way.

To start with, salary data of alumni working in the non-profit and public service sectors, or who are full-time students, are removed.

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) rates supplied by the World Bank are then used to convert the remaining salary data to US$ PPP equivalent figures.

PPP rates are rates of currency conversion which are applied to iron out differences in purchasing power between currencies, in this case so that alumni salary data can be standardised and compared meaningfully.

After this conversion, the highest and lowest salaries are excluded before the average salary is calculated for each school. The data that are shown on the table are the US$ PPP figures.

The salary percentage increase, “Salary increase %”, is calculated according to the differences in average salary for each school from before alumni started the EMBA until today.

The next two criteria measure the career success of alumni before and after the EMBA. “Career progress rank” quantifies changes in the level of seniority and the size of the company in which alumni now work versus before the EMBA.

“Work experience rank” takes into account the seniority of alumni, the size of the company they worked for, the length of time they stayed there and any international work experience, all before they began the EMBA.

The fifth criterion, “Aims achieved”, assesses the extent to which the school has enabled respondents to fulfil their goals or reasons for doing an EMBA. It carries 5 per cent of the total weighting.

The next eight criteria, from “Women Faculty (%)” to “Languages” are calculated using data from the business school survey.

They measure the diversity of faculty, board members and EMBA students at each school, and the international reach of the EMBA programme.

These criteria contribute 25 per cent of the final rank. Of the final three criteria, two are based on data from the business school survey.

The last criterion in the table, “FT research rank”, relates to the number of articles published by faculty members in 40 international academic and practitioner journals.

The period for which publications are assessed is January 2005 to 2008.

For each publication, a point (or a fraction, if there is more than one author) is awarded to the school where the author is currently employed.

The final rank combines the absolute number of publications with the number of publications adjusted for the number of faculty at a school.

After all calculations have been applied to the data for each of the different ranking criteria, Z scores are applied on a column-by-column basis.

That is, for each criterion on the table, a separate set of Z scores is calculated.

Z scores take into account the differences in score between each school in that column and the spread of scores between the top and bottom school.

The Z scores in each column are then multiplied by the column weights (see the adjacent table key).

The multiplied Z scores are then added together to give a final score for each school. This is presented as the school’s overall rank for 2008.

All the criteria that contribute to the final ranking have underlying Z scores, but in the table the data are presented as US$ equivalents, ranks, percentages, or in the case of languages, the number of languages required on graduation.

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Key to the table (weights in brackets)

Salary today US$ (20) The average alumni salary three years after graduation.

This figure includes alumni salary data for the current year and one or two preceding years, where available.

Salary percentage increase (20) The percentage increase in average alumni salary from before the EMBA to today, as a percentage of the pre-EMBA salary.

This figure includes data for the current year and the one or two preceding years, where available.

Career progress (5) This is calculated according to changes in the level of seniority and the size of the company alumni are working in now versus before their EMBA.

Data for the current year and the one or two preceding years are included where available.

Work experience (5) This measures the previous experience of EMBA participants by examining seniority of positions held, number of years in each position, size of company, and any international work experience prior to starting the EMBA.

Aims achieved (5) The extent to which alumni fulfilled their most important goals or reasons for doing an EMBA.

Women faculty (3) The percentage of female faculty.

Women students (3) The percentage of female students.

Women board (1) The percentage of female members of the advisory board.

International faculty (5) The percentage of faculty whose citizenship differs from their country of employment.

International students (5) This combines two pieces of data.

The first is the percentage of participants who are resident in the country of the business school but whose citizenship is different to that country.

The second is the percentage of participants who are resident outside the country in which the business school is situated.

International board (2) The percentage of the board whose citizenship differs from the country in which the business school is based.

International course experience (5) The percentage of classroom teaching hours that are carried out outside the country in which the business school is situated.

Languages (1) Number of languages students are required to speak on graduation.

Faculty with doctorates (5) The percentage of faculty with a doctoral degree.

FT doctoral rank (5) This is calculated according to the number of doctoral graduates from each business school during the past three years.

Additional points are given if these doctoral graduates took up faculty positions at one of the top 50 schools as they appeared in the full-time MBA ranking for 2008.

FT research rank (10) This is calculated according to the number of faculty publications in 40 international academic and practitioner journals.

Points are accrued by the business school at which the author is currently employed. The total is weighted for faculty size.

Additional research by Database consultant: Judith Pizer of Jeff Head Associates, Amersham, UK

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