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So what's your MBA worth?

January 24, 2001

WHARTON Business School has the best MBA programme in the world, but Harvard Business School MBAs make the most money, according to the Financial Times.

Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania beats Harvard and Stanford in a tight race as the world's best Master of Business Administration programme in the ranking of the top-100 graduate business schools.

The Financial Times surveyed three broad areas: career progression, including the value of the MBA in the job market, student body diversity and quality of research.

Famous Thai alumni of Wharton include Chulakorn Singhakowin, president of the Bank of Asia and chairman of the Thai Bankers' Association, MR Pridiyathorn Devakula, president of the Export-Import Bank of Thailand, and Pakawat Kovitpattanapong, former top executive of KGI Securities One.

Dr Kongkiat Opaswongkarn and Dr Virabongsa Ramangkura were awarded PhDs in operations research and macroeconomics from the University of Pennsylvania's economics department.

The Financial Times measured the impact or value of the MBA using such criteria as salary and salary increases, career paths and international mobility. For diversity of experience, the survey noted the proportion of foreign and female students admitted to the school. And finally, research capability was gauged against the British newspaper's own research standards and by the reputation of a school's doctoral graduates.

In its survey of 137 MBA schools, the Financial Times tracked members of the class of 1997 and tried to chart their career progression.

Harvard Business School came second in the 2001 ranking. Its 1997 graduates are now pulling in about US$173,120 (Bt7.5 million) a year, the highest average salary among all MBA schools.

Harvard Business School counts among its alumni in Thailand Ekamol Khiriwat, senior member of the Democrat Party, Dr Prasarn Trairatvorakul, secretary-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Banthoon Lamsam, president of Thai Farmers Bank.

Stanford came third, followed by the University of Chicago, Columbia University in New York, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Insead of France, London Business School, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and New York University.

Finance Minister Tarrin Nimmanahaeminda was one of the first Thais to earn an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. His younger brother, Sirin, former president of Krung Thai Bank, is also a Stanford MBA.

Paiboon Kittisrikangwarn, a Bank of Thailand official, graduated from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Dr Thanong Bidaya, former finance minister, and Dr Somkid Jatusripitak, a Thai Rak Thai Party advisor, attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern.





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