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BusinessWeek probably offers the most influential ranking system for MBA programs. One of the greatest aspects of the BW system is that it stresses customer-satisfaction. This is not a novel idea- if you want a good idea of which schools satisfy their student it seems logical to ask the students.
However, this strength can also be a significant shortcoming of the BW system. As we well know, survey participants are often less than fully forthcoming about their views, especially if they feel their honesty will be used against them. The BW survey places students in a somewhat awkward position in that strong criticism could lower the perceived value of the degree in the future.
A second, and probably more crucial shortcoming is the importance of expectations. Students who view themselves as the elite might expect far more from their schools schools than students with different perceptions of self. For instance, students at an ultralelite institution might be disappointed by a level of service that is extremely high on some universal scale but falls below the expectations of students (to use a finance analogy: the earnings were extraordinary but not as high as forecast) Accordingly, one should not assume that similar satisfaction levels necessarily mean the same thing at different schools.
Sometimes I just don't like the word "Elite", but it is thrown around these forums so often. It just implies that some people are better than others. And to a small extent this is true. However, we all have different talents and different circumstances. I for one am so glad more school are thinking about diversity. What I really love about BW's rankings are the column that shows Minority Representation. It truly shows that this is something important. I don't know that exact percentage for minorities in the U.S., but I believe I tried to calculated... and it was around 25%!!! There figures change and that was just Hispanics and African-Americans. Yet some of this schools are showing shameful percentages like 4%!!!.... talk about Elitism in the 21st century. I think it should be Meritocracy, but with a helping hand. I don't know the exact solution to the problem -- I wish I did. But I like the trend at some schools. I hate the upward trend to requiring super High GMAT scores. I think they are not indicative of actually anything. I think GPAs should be looked at closer. And the top schools require high GPAs... but also other things like entrepreneurial spirit will we be ever able to test that? Look at some of the richest men & women in the world they totally skipped B-school: Bill Gates (no college degree), Michael Dell (no college degree), Sir Richard Branson (I think no MBA), Donald Trump (bachelor's from Wharton), Oprah Winfrey (I think she's got a journalism degree). Anyways I think schools should come a lot closer to represent the percentage of minorities in the U.S. I am still no closer to a solution, but at least a vented a little. Thanks
I agree that we should be careful about elitism. However, I would like to draw a distinction between the elite schools and "elitism." Academic ability is just as much a talent as sports ability or musical ability. Those who possess this talent are valuable assets to society and have perfectly legitimate reasons for wanting to interact with others with similar talents. On the other hand, being a virtuoso does not in any way imply that you are morally superior to others or that your life is more important.
I also agree that schools should exert great effort so that classes represent the diversity of the nation and the world in general.
Yes that is the elitism I am deeply afraid of! [#permalink]
12 Jan 2005, 01:02
Yes, our skills are different and well I'll admit I don't know the people at the schools personally, but just by reading a few articles as to how some of the recent MBAs basically were ??? stuck up???...
The word elite kinda brings just memorizes of Nazi Germany. BUT I can understand that intelligencia need to be near each other to spark the creative juices and "compete".
We do have an incredibly big contigent of international students... what I mean is mostly the minorities here in the U.S. but I think we are starting to see some progress.
Anyways, BusinessWeek does well in putting those figures up for public view.
I wonder if they are giving current students at the top universities MODESTY LESSONS? I guess they have to learn it in a slow economy!
Just a small note as to how BW draws its ranking:
Student's Opinion: 45%
Recruiter's Opinion: 45%
Intellectual capability of each school: 10% [intellectual-capital rating by tallying faculties' academic journal entries in 18 publications]
Just4Fun makes a good point regarding the BW ranking system. Note that the Intellectual Capital component is a relatively recent addition. The system c. 1990 consisted of just the graduate survey and the recruiter survey. The use of a recruiter survey is quite common in the evaluation of MBA programs (consider the WSJ ranking system); the use of a student satisfaction survey is more unusual.
Interesting study about the strength of academic research [#permalink]
19 Jan 2005, 18:23
Interesting study about the strength of academic research
There is a interesting paper that talks about the different academic research strengths at the different schools. This maybe more important for say Ph.D. students. However, it gives you an idea of what resources are being put into different areas. Some schools really surprise you.
However, for us future MBAs -- it is more effective to look at how MBA graduates are seeing in the career placement market. A research school could be cutting edge, but not teaching and preparing it's students to deal with the job search. This is another reason where BW rankings leads by having a column stating what grades are given for teaching:
There are 13 schools that got an A in teaching.
There were 16 schools that got an A in curriculum (would that be equiv to teaching)
In my opinion, I would concentrate on teaching -- although U.S. News has a "peer" assessment score???? who knows what that measures. It's extremely important though... Also look at perceived student quality in "recruiter assesment score"... I guess graduate quality and compare that to WSJ...
Wow so many rankings...
YOU REALLY HAVE TO PICK AND CHOOSE WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU!