Faculty strength and alumni success push Auburn Executive MBA to rank among the world’s best

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The Auburn Executive MBA in the Harbert College of Business now ranks among the top 100 EMBA programs globally by the Financial Times.

The Financial Times’ Executive MBA Ranking 2020 places the Harbert College of Business among the world’s best based on alumni opinions and success measures. Last ranked in 2010, the Auburn Executive MBA re-enters the ranking this year at No. 99 and is No. 21 of programs housed exclusively in a U.S. business school.

“I am proud to announce that the Auburn EMBA program has been included in the Financial Times 2020 ranking,” said Stan Harris, associate dean of graduate and international programs in the Harbert College of Business. “It speaks to the continued efforts of our faculty to provide business students a world-class education that enhances their skills and prepares them to lead and innovate in their business organizations and industries.”

Ranking criteria include accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or Europe’s Equis. The Harbert College of Business is among the 5 percent of U.S. business schools with AACSB accreditation. Programs are also required to be cohort-based, with students enrolling and graduating together. Rankings are based on two surveys, one completed by the school and the second by alumni who graduated three years prior.

The ranking organization’s methodology favored programs like Auburn that have 100 percent of faculty holding terminal degrees. Auburn EMBA alumni gave the program high marks for helping them achieve their goals for pursuing a graduate degree, as well as advancing their careers. Auburn scored high for career progress, a category based on changes in seniority since graduation.

“Over the past 20 years, we have focused on providing students a dynamic educational experience that builds core business skills while allowing focused studies in the areas of leadership, operations, health care and, most recently, cybersecurity management,” said Kim Kuerten, executive director of Auburn Graduate Executive Programs in the Harbert College of Business. “We do this by using a flexible delivery that blends online classes and short residencies so busy professionals can gain a degree without interrupting careers.”

This ranking comes at a time when executive MBA programs are growing in part due to COVID-19. Rising uncertainty during the pandemic has encouraged business professionals to add a graduate degree and expand their skillsets. Auburn Executive MBA applications for the 2020 fall semester increased 22 percent from the prior year to achieve near-record enrollment.

Executive MBA students often cite a desire for increased earnings among reasons for pursuing a graduate degree. The Financial Times survey shows that salaries of alumni from the top 100-ranked schools rose during the three years after graduation. During that same period, Auburn Executive MBA alumni reported an average 41-percent salary increase.

The Financial Times is a global news organization providing a broad range of information and services for the global business community.

The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University is a nationally ranked hub of undergraduate, graduate and continuing business education that is inspiring the next generation of business leaders. World-class faculty deliver unparalleled academic rigor in the classroom, while research-driven scholarship advances thought leadership and best practice in emerging business disciplines. The college’s alumni, friends and corporate partners actively support and engage faculty and students to integrate business theory with practical experience and instill the level of professional proficiency and personal integrity demanded by employers around the globe. Learn more at harbert.auburn.edu.