Consultancy and banking remain prime destinations for MBA graduates, but the numbers going into ecommerce have risen sharply © FT montage; Corbis/Getty Images

The FT compiled its first ranking of the top MBA programmes for entrepreneurship in 2015, a customised spin-off from the MBA rankings. The 2017 listing included 50 schools.

Stanford Graduate School of Business has topped the table since 2015. Latest data show that slightly more than a third (36 per cent) of its alumni started a company during or after graduation.

$149,000Average salary for MBA alumni working in ecommerce

Alumni from Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College (ranked third for entrepreneurship) had the highest proportion — with 52 per cent of its graduates setting up a company.

But overall, appetite for start-up creation seems to have peaked in 2015 when it reached 21 per cent. This was up from 18 per cent in 2013 and 2014. It fell back to 19 per cent in 2016 and 2017. Are start-ups on a downward trend or will they bounce back in 2018?

From our 2018 data, we can see that ecommerce and fintech account for 13 per cent and 5 per cent respectively of all start-ups.

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Also worth watching is the number of alumni going into ecommerce. Alumni data collected as part of the 2017 MBA ranking show that this sector attracted the most MBAs after they graduated, increasing from 1 per cent of jobs pre-MBA to 6 per cent after graduation.

Ecommerce went from the smallest of 16 sectors to the seventh-largest. Most alumni were previously employed in IT/telecoms (19 per cent); consultancy (16 per cent); and finance/banking (15 per cent).

Alumni in ecommerce had the second-highest salary on average ($149,000) after those in banking/financing ($154,000) and greater than those in consultancy ($145,000). They secured the highest pay increases, up 119 per cent on pre-MBA salaries, compared with an overall increase of 102 per cent.

Average salaries in ecommerce are flat in 2018, and are falling behind those offered in consulting roles.

Most graduates working in ecommerce are based in the US. In relative terms, they are disproportionately based in India, Germany and Luxembourg. Only 7 per cent of all alumni work in India but they account for more than a fifth of those working in ecommerce. Only 0.3 per cent of MBA graduates are based in Luxembourg, but they equate to 3 per cent of those working in ecommerce.

Among those in India, a third used to work in IT/Telecoms before enrolling on their MBA course. All are from India. By comparison, no graduates in Luxembourg are from the country, nor had they worked there previously.

The FT ranking of global MBA courses will be published on January 29

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