The Financial Times' 2012 ranking of European business schools is out. Top of the list is Madrid-based IE, formerly known as Instituto de Empresa - not to be confused with Barcelona-based IESE, which ranks 6th.
Having beaten off the likes of INSEAD and London Business School, IE evidently has a lot going for it. According to the FT, IE MBA alumni earn an average of $157k per annum in the three years after graduating. This is $4k a year more than London Business School alumni and $12k a year more than MBAs coming out of INSEAD. In fact, IE MBAs are the best paid of the lot: on average, the IE MBA course increases its students' pay by 139%.
Should you be applying to IE if you want a pay fillip, therefore?
If you work in financial services, the answer is probably no. IE tells us that only 21% of its most recent MBA graduates went into finance jobs and our own database is notably lacking in CVs from IE MBAs. Instead, our own data suggests that most financial services professionals study at a handful of European MBA schools: INSEAD, London Business School, Cass and HEC in Paris. An MBA recruiter at an investment bank in London tells us the only Spanish MBA school she looks at is IESE, and that they've stopped visiting the IESE campus this year and are targeting students from afar.
Daniel Macedo, a former IE MBA now working as an analyst at Maritime Strategies International, a shipping consultancy, says that when he studied at IE in 2008 many of the students were either Spanish or from Latin American countries. "It was a great experience and the money was well invested - they have great quality teaching," says Macedo. But he adds that, even in 2008, some of his fellow student struggled to find a job: "It was the start of the financial crisis and a difficult time."
The location of IE's alumni clubs suggests many of its alumni stay in either Spain or Portugal. The state of the Iberian economy may make it hard for the school to repeat its careers success in 2013. On the other hand, IE also has plenty of alumni in Central and Latin America, which may prove helpful if you intend to build a career in the fastest growing investment banking market.