These are the best business schools for executive education
Executive education offers business professionals a chance to advance their career development goals. Source: rawpixel on Unsplash

Executive education refers to academic programmes for business executives, leaders and functional managers. Provided at graduate-level business schools, they are generally non-credit and non-degree-granting but offer business education for those serious about advancing their careers.

Customised programmes are the industry’s most popular segments, where business schools tailor a learning experience to executives of a single company; whereas open enrolment programmes refer to education offerings available throughout the year on selected dates and open to candidates from different companies and organisations.

This year, the Financial Times ranked Switzerland’s IMD and Iese Business School of Spain as the top two schools for open-enrolment programmes and customised courses respectively.

A former student of IMD said: “They know what they are doing at IMD.”

“I found the overall mix between training, teachers and participants highly relevant and extremely well thought-out and prepared,” he added.

IMD featured in the top three for eight out of the 10 criteria based on participants’ ratings. Iese retained its top spot for the fourth year running for the ranking of customised programmes – the Spanish school took top spot international clients and faculty diversity and second for overseas programmes and partner schools.

View of lecture room at IESE. Source: Wikimedia Commons/Alfredo Urdaci/PromoMadrid

One client said: “Working with Iese has been a great experience … Everything was possible and they understood our context and needs so well.”

The 10 criteria used for the twin rankings are: aims achieved; likelihood clients will use same school for future programmes; teaching methods and criteria; facilities; interaction between client and school; value for money; faculty quality; programme design; new skills and learning and extent of follow-up after participants returned to their workplaces.

These are the top 10 schools for each category:

Customised programmes

2018 2017 Country Country
1 1 Iese Business School Spain
2 3 Duke Corporate Education US / UK / Singapore / South Africa
3 2 IMD Switzerland / Singapore
4 6 London Business School UK
5 7 HEC Paris France
6 9 Insead France / Singapore / UAE
7 4 SDA Bocconi Italy
8 13 Stanford Graduate School of Business US
9 5 Harvard Business School US
10 12 University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler US

Open-enrolment programmes

2018 2017 School Coutnry
1 1 IMD Switzerland / Singapore
2 4 University of Oxford: Saïd UK
3 2 Iese Business School Spain
4 3 Harvard Business School US
5 7 Insead France / Singapore / UAE
6 9 University of Michigan: Ross US
7 13 Stanford Graduate School of Business US
8 19 University of Chicago: Booth US / UK / Singapore
9 5 University of Virginia: Darden US
9 6 Center for Creative Leadership US / Belgium / Singapore / Russia

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