Jun 21, 2011

The Ranking Puzzle!

Business School Rankings remain one of the hottest and most searched item in the entire B Schools Universe. No wonder these magazine sells so much whenever they are out with their new ranking of the year! With so many rankings around, everyone starts taking side; some quotes the ranking that puts their affiliated school in the best light while other slams the ranking for the most obvious reason - putting their school down in the ranking list. A recent article on Poets and Quants recently made a post about "Ranking the rankings" and here are few interesting observations:

1. Business Week

"Over the 12 biennial rankings published by BusinessWeek in the past 22 years, only three schools have been at number one: Kellogg topped the list five times, Wharton did it four times, and Chicago has been number one the past three times".. interesting after BusinessWeek was taken over by Bloomberg whose President is a UChig alum!
".. has since added an intellectual capital measurement, which gets 10% of the overall weight in the ranking."
"It does not include such factors as GMAT scores, undergraduate GPAs, or starting salaries, but makes the case that discriminating graduate students and the companies that hire recruiters are in the best possible position to judge the quality of a school"

" ..very small differences in MBA opinion could affect a school’s standing."
" ...the most recent 2010 ranking that placed Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business 12th, ahead of the business schools at Dartmouth, Cornell, Yale, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and New York University, among others. The finding justifiably stunned many observers. ".... " a full third of this year’s graduating class at Cox were without jobs three months later. That’s even worse than the 27% jobless number of a year-earlier, despite a fall of $6,000 a year in median starting salaries to $81,000 this year from $87,000 in 2009."

2. Forbes

" ... based on a simple but important metric: the return on investment MBA grads have achieved after five years in the market"
" It’s all about dollars and cents, measuring the worth of a degree five years after graduation."

" Forbes ranking is U.S.-centric"
"Return on investment, while interesting and important, is hardly a measure of the quality of the education or the experience you’ll have."

3. US News

" ... takes into account its own survey of b-school deans and MBA directors (25% of the score), corporate recruiters (15%), starting salaries and bonuses (14%), employment rates at and shortly after graduation (14% to 7%), student GMATs (about 16%), undergrad GPAs (about 8%), and the percentage of applicants who are accepted to a school (a little over 1%). "
"U.S. News is acknowledging that the differences are so small among these schools that it would be intellectually dishonest to say one is better than the other."

"60% of the ranking is based on data supplied by schools "
"The ranking is completely U.S.-centric "
"Why even bother to include the percentage of applicants accepted when you weight it at little more than one percent?"

4. Financial Times

"..based on data collected from business schools and from alums three years after graduation"
"..also includes a research component, weighted at 10%, counting papers written by the faculty of each school in 40 academic journals during the past three years"
"Arguably the single best global ranking of business schools "

"..data, reported to the FT by the schools, is being fudged by some schools who also include in the number their Executive MBA grads who already have high paid jobs."
" ..trying so hard to be global that it ranks many non-U.S. and European schools far too highly over institutions that have significantly better MBA programs"
".. includes in its ranking other factors that have no impact on quality, such as the percentage of women faculty at a school"
" FT’s own methodology fails to clearly explain all the data it uses to rank schools.."

5. The Economist

"..based 20% on student and alumni surveys and 80% on data provided by the schools.."
"..Takes a global perspective on business school education."

"..probably the most flawed, if not downright silly, of all the MBA rankings "
" ranking raise meaningful credibility issues with the methodology and the accuracy of the data.."
"..80% of the ranking is based on unaudited information from business schools"
"There are some incredibly peculiar results in this ranking, which raise significant credibility issues. "
"..does not provide an index to show you the differences among the schools at their ranks."

6. Wall Street Journal

"..surveyed recruiters on 21 different attributes, including students’ leadership potential and strategic thinking, their previous work experience, the faculty and the curriculum, and the career services office."
"..simple to understand, measuring only the views of the recruiters who come to campus to hire MBAs."

".. you’re surveying entirely biased people."
"stopped regularly doing an annual ranking with the September, 2007, list, probably because its flawed methodology led to quirky results and significant criticism"

So there you go! None of these rankings are black or white but they do sell the magazines!!!


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