The Best MBA Cities
Each year, thousands of students uproot their lives in order to start business school and potentially build a career for themselves in a new city. There are dozens of fantastic global cities with highly ranked business programs, but we’ve narrowed it down to some of the best cities for MBAs. In order to choose our top nine cities, we compared the locations of the top MBA programs against the locations of the companies for which business students say they would most like to work. We also used a recent study by the Startup Genome Project, which ranked the world’s cities for startups, and took this into account for our top choices.
This British city has the headquarters for numerous banks and financial institutions, many of which are packed into a central neighborhood of the city known as “The Square Mile.” International institutions like Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and HSBC are based in London, alongside dozens of others. The city is ranked #6 for top global startup ecosystems.
Where to Study: London Business School, City University London, Imperial College London, and The London School of Economics and Political Science, etc.
The dense city-state has an international reputation and a huge growth potential. The Asian-Pacific headquarters of PricewaterhouseCoopers, P&G, Apple, and Deloitte are located here. It’s ranked 10th best city for startups, the highest of any city in the Asia-Pacific region.
Where to Study: NUS Business School, INSEAD (Asia campus), National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, etc.
As the largest city in France by a generous margin, Paris brings in nearly a third of the nation’s GDP. Companies like BNP Paribas, Microsoft, and L’Oreal have their European headquarters here. It’s ranked as the 10th best city for startups, partly due the massive market reach.
Where to Study: INSEAD (Europe campus), HEC Paris, ESSEC Business School, Emlyon Business School, etc.
Seoul, South Korea
The second largest metropolitan economy in Asia (after Tokyo), this sprawling South Korean city holds more than half the population of South Korea. It’s home to tech giants Samsung and LG. Car companies like Kia and Hyundai also have roots in the city.
Where to Study: Seoul National University, Sungkyunkwan University, Korea University Business School, Yonsei University, KAIST Business School, etc.
This thriving Australian city is ranked 16th for best startup cities, and tied for Melbourne for the largest city in Australia, but there’s no doubt that Sydney is the financial headquarters for the Australian economy. It’s also one of the most multicultural cities in the world, over half the population are first or second generation immigrants. Ernst & Young and tech companies like Salesforce are among the city’s top employers.
Where to Study: University of Wollongong, Australian School of Business, etc.
Hong Kong is truly a global city and offers more economic freedom than any other country in the world. Financial institutions like Morgan Stanley and Citi have their Asia-Pacific headquarters there. It’s also popular with luxury brands. The city has over 8,000 skyscrapers, more than twice than that of New York City.
Where to Study: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
This cutting-edge cultural hub has undergone a great deal of change over the last decade and is quickly rising to become a major city for technology as well as business. Berlin is ranked as the 9th best city for start-ups, but it’s rising faster than any of the other cities on the list. When it comes to studying, the German university system is one of the best. Companies like Volkswagen and GE are based in Berlin.
Where to Study: University of Mannheim, Otto Beisheim School of Management, EBS Business School
San Francisco, U.S.
Silicon Valley continues to be the top destination for the tech world, and is becoming a powerful draw for finance as well. Major tech players like Apple, Google, and Facebook are based in the Bay Area, and it’s rated as the best place for startups as of 2015.
Where to Study: Stanford University, UC Berkeley, University of San Francisco, etc.
Boston has been a bastion of education for centuries, but it’s also home to a large number of technology and healthcare companies. Finance has always been a large part of Boston’s economy, and companies like Fidelity have roots in the city. Boston is also the homebase of management consulting firms like Ernst and Young and Boston Consulting Group. Boston is also ranked as the 4th best place for startups. However, LTG Exam Prep is headquartered in Boston, so we might be a little bit biased.
Where to Study: Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston College, Boston University, etc.