Often the only way to justify spending tens of thousands of dollars on business school is the promise of a high starting salary post graduation.
We took a look at our list of the 50 best business schools in the world and re-evaluated them on a ratio of starting salary to tuition to determine which schools give you the best bang for your buck. The higher the starting salary and lower the tuition and fees, the better the school fared on this ranking.
Because our ranking is globally focused, we only considered out-of-state tuition, ignoring the discount those who live close to the school may receive. Residency discounts would naturally make some schools an even better bargain for students eligible to take advantage of them.
Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management came in No. 1 on our list, with grads going on to earn average starting salaries of $102,800, more than twice the $47,900 cost of tuition. Coming in at No. 2 is Nanyang Business School, where the cost of tuition ($39,100) is only half of what grads, on average, will make at their first jobs ($80,300).
Fourteen of the 24 schools on this list are located outside the US. One possible explanation for this strong international presence is that many of these schools offer one-year MBA programs in lieu of the standard two-year US program, minimizing tuition costs but still resulting in significant starting salaries.
Out of the 50 best business schools in the world, here are the ones that offer the most for your money.
Editing by Alex Morrell with additional research by Andy Kiersz.
24. Ramon Llull University--ESADE Business School
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Average starting salary: $72,400
Program tuition and fees: $65,300
ESADE offers a bilingual--English and Spanish--graduate degree in business that provides students the flexibility to heighten their career prospects in a time frame that suits them. The customized program can be completed in 12, 15, or 18 months to allow time for other personal and professional commitments. The 12-month program provides an accelerated MBA degree, while the 18-month program leaves students time for internships, academic exchanges, and other opportunities while completing academic requirements.
23. University of Notre Dame--Mendoza College of Business
Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
Average starting salary: $108,200
Program tuition and fees: $96,600
Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business has one of the largest alumni networks in the world, putting students in touch with a wide variety of networking opportunities and business connections. The MBA program's "interim intensive" pairs students with executives at well-known corporations to shadow and help solve real business problems. Mendoza also has a one-year accelerated MBA program for exceptional students who have an undergraduate degree in business or relevant work experience.
22. Michigan State University--Eli Broad College of Business
Location: East Lansing, Michigan
Average starting salary: $101,400
Program tuition and fees: $89,800
At Michigan State, MBA candidates aren't confined to their immediate surroundings. The globally focused curriculum draws on MSU's worldwide programs and recruitment efforts to explore how business practices vary worldwide.
Broad's class of 2015 accepted full-time positions at a multitude of influential companies, with top employers including Apple, Ernst & Young, Intel, Dell, and General Motors.
21. Emory University--Goizueta Business School
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Average starting salary: $113,300
Program tuition and fees: $100,200
Goizueta Business School is named after Roberto C. Goizueta, the late CEO of Coca-Cola who led the company from 1981 until he died in 1997. The school, which was founded in 1919 and started offering an MBA in 1954, took Goizueta's name in 1994, and his business philosophy is now a central part of the school's mission: to develop professionals who will add value to their companies by changing the way business is done. The prep pays off: The business school has a 94% job-placement rate within three months of graduation.
20. Indiana University--Kelley School of Business
Average starting salary: $107,000
Program tuition and fees: $93,100Indiana's Kelley School of Business not only provides students with a rigorous academic curriculum, but it also builds leadership-development opportunities, such as student clubs and peer coaching, into each semester so students can grow their soft skills.
Kelley touts itself as the largest business-school alumni network in the world and has a 94% job-placement rate within three months of graduation. Top employers include Google, JPMorgan Chase, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Amazon, and PepsiCo.
19. Oxford University--Saïd Business School
Location: Oxford, UK
Average starting salary: $87,700
Program tuition and fees: $75,500
MBA students get a truly global experience during their time at Oxford. For one, the cohorts are diverse --international students make up 95% of the class of 2016--bringing together viewpoints from a variety of cultures. On top of that, many students also participate in student treks during their year at Oxford, in which they travel to a certain part of the world for a week or two to meet potential recruiters and alumni, gaining a firsthand understanding of what it's like to do business there. Past classes have ventured to Dubai, Singapore, and Silicon Valley.
18. University of Texas at Austin--McCombs School of Business
Location: Austin, Texas
Average starting salary: $113,800
Program tuition and fees: $97,700
The McCombs School of Business has an entire team of staff members dedicated to connecting students with recruiters and helping build their networks. Graduates go on to positions at top companies like Apple, GE, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase. Not to mention, an MBA from UT Austin comes with a network of more than92,000 McCombs School of Business alumni around the world, bonding graduates to a lifelong community.
17. IE Business School
Location: Madrid, Spain
Average starting salary: $77,700
Program tuition and fees: $65,600
IE Business School offers a 12-month international MBA, where students from 90 different countries acquire management experience and expand their cultural intelligence. As the first business school in the world to implement entrepreneurship standards for MBA students, IE reports that 15% of students start their own companies through the school's incubator, Area 31. IE also primes students for careers in consulting and finance--fields in which 38% of 2014 graduates accepted jobs.
16. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign--College of Business
Location: Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Average starting salary: $91,200
Program tuition and fees: $76,400
While the first year of the MBA program at the College of Business at Illinois focuses on fundamentals and coursework, the second year can be customized with courses inside and outside the school, allowing each student to plot their course to pursue their ideal career. An Illinois MBA is particularly prestigious for those looking to go into consulting. The school's global-consulting program provides students experience with emerging markets and an international business network.
15. Alliance Manchester Business School
Location: Manchester, UK
Average starting salary: $77,200
Program tuition and fees: $64,600
Alliance Manchester’s full-time MBA program includes a six-month live project, during which students work in teams to built a product for a real company. Throughout the final project, students receive immense access to senior executives and unparalleled networking opportunities. Nearly 50% of 2014 graduates entered careers in finance or consulting at companies like EY, American Express, Accenture, and Credit Suisse, and graduates report an average 92% salary increase within three years of graduation.
14. University of Washington--Foster School of Business
Location: Seattle, Washington
Average starting salary: $110,000
Program tuition and fees: $90,900
University of Washington MBA students are mentored by some of Seattle's leading business talent, who foster an out-of-classroom learning experience for the students. Companies that frequently hire students out of the Foster School of Business include Seattle natives Amazon and Starbucks, as well as Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey & Co., and Northwestern Mutual, among others.
13. International Institute for Management Development--IMD
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Average starting salary: $102,000
Program tuition and fees: $82,600
IMD carefully selects just 90 students for each class of its one-year MBA program, and the program proves career altering for almost all: 94% of the 2014 graduating classchanged job function, industry, or geographic location. More than two-thirds of graduates go on to accept jobs in industry positions like manufacturing, technology/media, and consumer products, and the top-hiring companies include Accenture, Amazon, and Cisco Systems.
12. Georgia Tech--Scheller College of Business
Average starting salary: $103,500
Program tuition and fees: $83,400
Given Georgia Tech's broader focus, it may not be the first place one looks for an MBA, but its Scheller College of Business provides a well-rounded business education applicable to a variety of industries, not just tech. Still, the public university uses its tech focus to give students a leg up with a more modern and relevant business education that keeps pace with the way technology is changing and influencing business. In 2015, 35% of graduates went into consulting and 22% landed jobs in tech.
11. China Europe International Business School--CEIBS
Location: Shanghai, China
Average starting salary: $76,200
Program tuition and fees: $60,600
Shanghai is China's top economic and financial powerhouse, and CEIBS puts students in the heart of it all. Two-thirds of graduates stay in Shanghai, and 21% go into financial services. CEIBS, established in 1994, has been dubbed mainland China's leading business school for its global focus and wide variety of tailored electives. The school also partners with Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy for students who want to pursue degrees in hospitality management, health administration, and law, respectively.
10. University of Navarra--IESE Business School
Location: Madrid, Spain
Average starting salary: $93,000
Program tuition and fees: $70,000
A degree from IESE Business School makes a noticeable difference in graduates' earning potential. The average starting salary before entering the program is $45,000, but that number rises to $93,000 for grads, according to the school. And with IESE'sbilingual program, students can become fluent Spanish speakers through the multilingual campus environment and intensive classes and by experiencing daily life in Spain.
Location: Fontainebleau, France
Average starting salary: $94,100
Program tuition and fees: $69,700
With campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi, INSEAD's accelerated 10-month MBA program teaches students to lead and innovate across cultures. At $69,700 for tuition and fees, INSEAD is one of the best-value business schools in the world. Last year, 42% of graduates entered the corporate job sector, and an increasing number of grads accepted jobs in tech, with Amazon and Google both as top-10 recruiters.
8. Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Business School
Location: Hong Kong
Average starting salary: $97,200
Program tuition and fees: $69,900
HKUST Business School offers an Asia-specific business instruction in one of the world's top banking and finance hubs, which is home to 70 of the global top-100 banks and more than 6,000 multinational companies. The full-time MBA program can be completed in 12 or 16 months with an option to participate in an exchange program at one of 60 business schools around the world. Eighty percent of 2014 graduates accepted jobs in Asia after earning their MBA, and 38% started careers in banking and finance.
7. HEC Paris
Location: Paris, France
Average starting salary: $87,000
Program tuition and fees: $61,300
Since its founding in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, HEC Paris has become one of the most selective graduate schools in Europe. Its alumni havegone on to run Fortune Global 500 companies like Best Buy, Havas, Michelin, and L'Oréal.
Ninety percent of students accept job offers within 90 days of graduation, and top recruiters for the class of 2014 included Amazon, LinkedIn, and Google.
6. University of Cambridge--Judge Business School
Location: Cambridge, UK
Average starting salary: $108,900
Program tuition and fees: $73,500
Though 89% of students are employed three months out of school, 95% have received job offers within that time period. The one-year MBA program offers a global immersion in traditional business, finance, and other corporate settings, as well as Cambridge's own surrounding tech startup community--charmingly known as Silicon Fen. The MBA class is a diverse one, with students coming from six continents and more than 40 countries.
5. University of Wisconsin--Wisconsin School of Business
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Average starting salary: $100,700
Program tuition and fees: $61,300
Recent graduates from the Wisconsin School of Business typically landed salaries greater than $100,000, and 90% secured employment within three months of graduation. The small program--WSB hasfewer than 200 full-time MBA students--gives students individualized attention from the school's experts: professors, staff, guest speakers, and others.
4. University of Warwick--Warwick Business School
Location: Coventry, England
Average starting salary: $90,800
Program tuition and fees: $52,500
The University of Warwick's business school offers a 12-month MBA program for students with a global-business mind-set that includes an intensive schedule of core and elective modules, a consultancy project, and optional studies abroad. Within 90 days of graduating, 97% of students secured a job in 2015--one of the highest placement rates on our list. Warwick's top-recruiting companies include Amazon, American Express, Citibank, and Goldman Sachs.
3. Texas A&M--Mays Business School
Location: College Station, Texas
Average starting salary: $100,700
Program tuition and fees: $57,300
Mays Business School took its name in 1996--35 years after its founding--when Lowry Mays, founder and former CEO of Clear Channel Communications, gave a $15 million endowment to the school. At just $57,316 in tuition and fees for the 16-month full-time MBA program, it's a sound investment for students, who on average make nearly twice that figure after graduating. Projects like the MBA Venture Challenge, in which students evaluate startup firms' commercial viability, ready them for careers in tech. Forty percent of grads who accepted jobs in 2015 went into the technology industry.
2. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore--Nanyang Business School
Average starting salary: $80,300
Program tuition and fees: $39,100
Nanyang's double MBA and master's degree programs allow students to earn a simultaneous degree from partner business schools, such as a second MBA from Waseda University in Tokyo or a master's in management from France's ESSEC Business School.
All students complete a weeklong Business Study Mission, locally or overseas, in which they attend seminars with industry leaders, meet with local business associations, and visit businesses. The study mission gives students an opportunity to build professional networks and apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world environments.
1. Brigham Young University--Marriott School of Management
Location: Provo, Utah
Average starting salary: $102,800
Program tuition and fees: $47,900
Named for the family that founded the world-famous chain of hotels, the Marriott School of Management aims to train students for business-leadership roles. The Mormon-affiliated school has five concentrations--entrepreneurship, finance, global supply chain, marketing, and organizational behavior/human-resource management--and at less than $50,000 for the entire program, it's among the most affordable MBA degrees available.