students at HEC Pars
Students at HEC Paris © Chris Gloag/HEC Paris

HEC Paris again ranks first among providers of “pre-experience” masters in finance courses, for students with little or no relevant professional history. The business school’s Master of Science in International Finance has come top every year — apart from 2017, when French rival Edhec edged it aside, and 2019, when the ranking was not produced.

Financial uplift for alumni is central to HEC Paris’s success: its students had the highest percentage salary increase three years after completion, and the third-highest average salary, at just under $173,000. The school also ranked second for its career service, and third for international work mobility — measured by changes in the country of employment between course completion and today.

As in recent years, French business schools dominate the top five places for this ranking, with ESCP in second, Skema in third, Essec in fourth and Edhec in fifth. This continuing success is rooted in their long history of running MiF degrees and their connection with the finance sector.

For the fourth year in a row, ESCP is ranked top for its careers service and international course experience. And, for the first time, the school is also first for international work mobility.

FT Masters in Finance rankings 2022

Students in a lecture at Cranfield School of Management, UK
The UK’s Cranfield School of Management is in our league table of postgraduate finance courses

Find out which schools are in our ranking of pre-experience postgraduate finance courses and post-experience programmes. Also, learn how the tables were compiled and read the rest of our coverage.

Analysis of the pre-experience programmes shows European schools had the lowest tuition fees compared with institutions elsewhere and their alumni had the highest average salary at $86,000. Alumni who studied in France, Germany or Italy have an average salary of over $100,000. The alumni data also reveal that students who moved to another country for their programme pay a higher tuition fee, on average, but also earn higher salaries than those who studied locally.

Corporate finance is the topic in which alumni feel schools are performing best, following the trends of the past five years. Commodities, compliance, and fintech have been rated poorly by students in the past three years.

Most alumni started their MiF to improve their career opportunities. Acquiring specialised skills and increasing earnings were also motivations.

McGill University: Desautels — the only school from Canada in the ranking — made the most progress, climbing 11 places to 25th. Last year, the school was the highest new entrant and alumni from both years appreciated the quality of its faculty.

The Portuguese University of Porto – FEP | PBS is this year’s highest new entrant, in 49th place. Graduates praised the good networking opportunities. The school is in the top 10 for value for money, based on alumni salaries today, course length, tuition fees, and other costs.

MIT: Sloan is joint ninth overall, and the top business school in the US. Its alumni earn $174,752 on average, the highest salary in the ranking. One alumnus said: “Passion, enthusiasm, professionalism and high quality are the words that come to my mind from this wonderful experience.”

Across all schools, the proportion of female students had increased steadily until 2018, with a decline in recent years to 36 per cent. This is low compared with the 40 per cent of female students on MBA programmes and 49 per cent on masters in management courses.

Most students who move to a different region for their MiF studies are from Asia-­Pacific, with almost all moving to the UK and Europe. European students tend to go to the UK, which remains the most popular destination for international students.

In the ranking of finance programmes for students already working in the industry, London Business School (LBS) remains top, ahead of the University of Cambridge: Judge and Singapore Management University: Lee Kong Chian.

LBS alumni have the highest percentage salary increase and the school is ranked number one for international course experience. It also has a high percentage of female faculty.

Cambridge: Judge scores highest for value for money, careers service and international mobility for work. Its alumni have the highest salary, at nearly $140,000.

Lee Kong Chian has the highest percentage of female students and is first for career progress. One student highlighted the professional insights and new ideas in wealth management gained from the programme.

The 2022 tables were compiled using data from business schools and alumni who completed their masters in 2019.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article