Published today at, the QS Global Business Schools Report 2013/14 provides an alternative to traditional MBA rankings by highlighting the value of MBA programs around the world according to the qualification’s end consumer: the MBA employer.

The report is based on 4,318 responses from recruiters who actively hire MBAs, making it the largest survey of its kind.

Five schools received the maximum score for employer recognition, identifying them as the leading schools in their region: Harvard and Stanford (North America), INSEAD and London Business School (Europe), and again INSEAD (Asia-Pacific).

The report points to a leading cluster of 33 ‘elite global’ business schools spread across North America (18), Europe (13) and Asia-Pacific (2).

The US dominates the accompanying rankings in ten MBA subject specializations: Finance; Strategy; Innovation; Leadership; Marketing; Entrepreneurship; Corporate Social Responsibility; Information Management; Operation Management and International Management.

Harvard tops five of the ten subjects, with INSEAD; Kellogg; MIT Sloan; Stanford and Wharton topping the others.

“As key industries such as the finance sector consolidate their recovery from the economic crisis, the MBA is an increasingly in-demand qualification,” says.

Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS, “With graduates from ‘elite global’ schools in both North America and Europe now commanding average salaries in advance of US$120,000, the MBA remains one of the safest investments around.”

Graduates from top North American schools are shown to earn slightly higher average salaries than their European counterparts. Graduate salaries at US ‘elite global’ schools averaged US$123,239, compared to US$122,983 in Europe.

The school with the highest average graduate salary is the Swiss business school IMD (US$159,912), ahead of the US’s Stanford Graduate School of Business (US$156,265).

The top 200 business schools preferred by international recruiters, the full report  and methodology are available on