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# MBA ranking methodologies: what is really IMPORTANT?

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BSchool Moderator
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MBA ranking methodologies: what is really IMPORTANT?  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2015, 13:24
2
There are many different rankings of MBA programs, and they can give quite different results. I was curious what actually goes into these rankings and why they are so different. Here are a few -

1) US NEWS:
Peer Assessment = 25%
Recruiter Assessment = 15%
Mean salary & bonus = 14%
Employment rates = 21%
Mean GMAT/GRE = 16.25%
Acceptance rate = 1.25%

2) THE ECONOMIST:
Recruiter diversity = 8.75%
Employment rate = 8.75%
Job through career services = 8.75%
Student assessment of career services = 8.75%
Faculty quality = 8.75%
Student quality = 8.75% (mean GMAT and Prior WE)
Student diversity = 8.75%
Student evaluation of educational experience = 8.75%
Salary increase = 20%
Networking/Alumni quality = 10%

Student satisfaction = 45%
Employer satisfaction = 45%
Faculty quality = 10%

Most people consider US News to be the gold standard, but I'm a little worried that is weighs "peer assessment" so heavily (25%!), without ever surveying alumni. Isn't peer assessment, to put it bluntly, pure bullshit? Not that there aren't problems with other rankings (it's difficult to place why class diversity should count so much for The Economist's list), but I wonder whether US News is more biased than we think. Booth, Tuck, Haas, and Darden consistently rank at the top of The Economist, whereas Stanford and Wharton get ranked down. Doesn't this tell us that, perhaps, students at Booth, Tuck, Haas, and Darden are getting a better experience? Where does that matter-of-fact prestige come in for the programs that always come at the top of US News?

Top ten according to each ranking -

1) US NEWS: Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, Booth, Sloan, Kellogg, Haas, Columbia, Tuck, Darden
2) THE ECONOMIST: Booth, Tuck, Haas, Darden, Harvard, Stern, Stanford, Columbia, Sloan, Wharton
3) BLOOMBERG BUSINESS: Fuqua, Wharton, Booth, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, Kellogg, Harvard, Ross

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Re: MBA ranking methodologies: what is really IMPORTANT?  [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2015, 11:25
Thanks for this post, it is very helpful. I find it interesting that Bloomberg doesn't take the employment rate or salary into account, to me that is not representative of what most people who pursue their NBA's are looking for. It is after all, a business degree, not a research degree in science.

It will be interesting to know how faculty quality is calculated. In the business world, a high school grad with his own business and broad connection might be a better professor for MBA students than a smart and published PhD in organizational behaviour that never really worked in the industry for a day.
BSchool Moderator
Joined: 23 Dec 2014
Posts: 286
Concentration: Social Entrepreneurship, Healthcare
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GPA: 3.3
MBA ranking methodologies: what is really IMPORTANT?  [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2015, 12:11
stevkang8 wrote:
Thanks for this post, it is very helpful. I find it interesting that Bloomberg doesn't take the employment rate or salary into account, to me that is not representative of what most people who pursue their NBA's are looking for. It is after all, a business degree, not a research degree in science.

No problem. I think you'll like the Forbes list, which was recently updated, that ranks MBA programs by ROI solely.

The top 20 is mostly the same, but some schools shift:
1) Stanford
2) Harvard
3) Kellogg
4) Columbia
5) Tuck
6) Booth
7) Wharton
8) Haas
9) Sloan
10) Johnson
11) Yale
12) Fuqua
13) UNC
14) McCombs
15) Ross
16) Darden
17) Anderson
18) Stern
19) Tepper
20) Kelley

For me, I consider a combination of ROI (Forbes), student satisfaction (Economist), and prestige (US News) important. You're right, this is business school - a fun program without the ROI is a bad choice. But a program with good ROI that will be unpleasant for two years is a downer. I personally find Tuck great for a lot of those reasons (good brand name, high compensation, and high-level professors and facilities).

Poets and Quants made a list in the past aggregating several lists, but I haven't seen it updated in a couple years. Wish it were.

stevkang8 wrote:
It will be interesting to know how faculty quality is calculated. In the business world, a high school grad with his own business and broad connection might be a better professor for MBA students than a smart and published PhD in organizational behaviour that never really worked in the industry for a day.

"Faculty Quality" is based on peer assessment in US News but on alumni surveys in The Economist.

EDIT: This is what Bloomberg says about faculty quality, "To rate the level of research expertise at each school's faculty, we counted all articles published by faculty in 20 top business journals from 2009 to 2013. After all points were assigned to each school, we divided each school’s total by its full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members to arrive at the final intellectual capital score."
MBA ranking methodologies: what is really IMPORTANT?   [#permalink] 01 Oct 2015, 12:11
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# MBA ranking methodologies: what is really IMPORTANT?

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