ie business school online mba

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

Why IE Business School’s Online MBA Is The Best In The World


By Niamh OUpdated April 21, 2021

What makes IE Business School’s online MBA programme so special to take the number one spot for yet another year? We spoke with IE faculty to find out more.

IE Business School’s Global Online MBA programme reigns supreme for yet another year in the QS Online MBA Rankings 2021.

Released today, the QS Online MBA Rankings 2021 assess the online MBA offerings of 57 business schools worldwide. You can find out more about the methodology used to produce the rankings here.

But what sets the number 1 programme apart from other available online MBA programmes? TopMBA spoke with Martin Boehm, Dean of IE Business School to find out more.

Global Online MBA

IE Business School scored a perfect score for the Employability indicator (the online programme in the global ranking to do so), we asked Boehm why he thought that was. He said: “IE’s Talent & Careers Department understand how important the career path is for all our students and graduates. The department is made up of a growing team, from all over the world, who work closely with more than 3,500 international recruiters.”

But it wasn’t just the employability indicator that proved successful to the business school, IE also scored very highly for the faculty and teaching and class experience indicators.

Boehm said: “The faculty teaching on IE’s Online MBA programme have a distinctly international profile – one which mirrors that of our student body – and they are dedicated to excellence in their research as well as their teaching and professional activities, and they bring this passion and knowledge into the online classroom.

“Furthermore, the faculty are trained in the special art of teaching online and are focused on building connections and fostering participation between students.”

Boehm also noted that the small class size on the Online MBA programme is another advantage to the course and business school itself. He said: “None of our classes cater to more than 35 students which allows students to build very tight relationships with their peers and to benefit from an intense interaction with our faculty. I really feel this high touch approach has been our secret of success.”

Online education continues to develop and grow – and IE Business School’s approach to online education is one such model to look out for. Even today, many programmes have needed to be changed and tweaked amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boehm said: “Twenty years ago, IE Business School pioneered online education in Europe with the launch of our blended programmes.

“This background and expertise of our faculty and staff has enabled us to accelerate our to remain 100 pandemic active even during the severity of the COVID-19 crisis.

“This current virtual environment that we all now find ourselves in thanks to lockdowns around the world and people working and studying from their homes shows just how important it is to have digital literacy and skills. This is how we will live and work moving forward and thus it is essential to learn how to navigate between face-to-face and online environments.

“This is a particular strength of our online MBA students and alumni; and from this point forward, these skills will be a strength for IE students and alumni.”

IE Business School has earned itself the number 1 spot in our Global Online MBA Rankings for a fourth year in a row – which is quite the accolade in itself. What does Boehm think though? He said: “QS has been a respected source of rankings, one with a particularly necessary global perspective, since its founding, and so it is indeed a great honor to be ranked #1 in the latest Online MBA rankings.”

But what can we expect to see from the future of IE’s Global Online MBA programme?

Boehm said: “Innovation is part of our DNA. Thus, we will constantly adjust the content as well as the pedagogy of our Online MBA to meet the needs of our recruiters. Next academic year we will be strengthening even more the international scope of our programme by introducing dedicated streams for the Americas and Asia.”

A little more about IE

IE Business School’s Global Online MBA achieved the highest score in the rankings for both employability (a perfect score) and faculty and teaching.

IE is proud of its unique approach to the online MBA programme with both online and offline methodologies combined to ensure a hybrid learning experience.

It is made up of three core online periods, one Global Immersion Week (locations include Shanghai, Los Angeles and Mumbai), plus three face-to-face weeks in Madrid. Teaching includes working in interactive small groups on real-world, industry-based case studies. The programme has an average length of 18 months.

The class profile of the 222 students is made up of 95 percent (up from 86 percent last year) international students, 40 percent women (up from 34 percent), and an average of 10 years’ work experience (the same as last year’s cohort). Fees for the 2020-21 academic year are €51,200 (approx. US$61,524.48).

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