It’s officially fall, and you know what that means: falling leaves, Halloween candy, and business school rankings are all on their way. Just this week, the Economist released their ninth-annual business school rankings. How did your target schools fare?
The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business took the number one spot, following by Dartmouth’s Tuck, Berkeley’s Haas, Harvard Business School, and IESE Business School. Rounding out the top 10 were IMD, Stanford, Wharton, the HEC School of Management in Paris, and York University’s Schulich School of Business.
Several factors pushed Booth to the top of the list. First of all, their career services were ranked the highest of any program globally, and they placed grads in all sectors examined by the Economist. That’s a powerful pitch in a still-tough job market. The school also has a good bit of cash on hand, thanks to a $300 million donation made in 2008 by alum David Booth. Students are also positive about their overall experience, the writers report.
So how did the Economist arrive at these rankings? Here’s how the magazine describes its methodology: The Economist ranks full-time programmes on their ability to provide students with the things that they themselves cite as most important. It weights each element according to the average importance given to it by students surveyed over the past five years. That means 4 factors typically dominate the selection process:
- – opening of new career opportunities and/or furthering of current career
- – personal development and educational experience
- – increase in salary
- – potential to network
The Economist reports most students want to see more opportunities to network with alumni. In sorting through 19,000 questionnaires’ worth of comments, they found students repeatedly calling for more opportunities to network with alumni.
Finally, a caveat: The Economist based these rankings on information about the class of 2009. It’ll be interesting to see the Bloomberg Businessweek findings in November, which draw on data from the class of 2010.
There are lots of factors to consider when choosing an MBA program, from curriculum to size. But with more b-schools opening their doors across the globe, there’s another thing to think about: location.
The Economist reports MBA programs”especially abroad”are placing more and more emphasis on their location. Cass Business School trumpets its location in London’s Financial District. SDA Bocconi points to its home in Milan and talks up its connections to the luxury goods sector. Other programs suggest there’s inherent value for future leaders in experiencing another business culture.
For European students, that foreign business culture might be the United States. According to this bit from MBA Channel, multiple European schools have recently taken the big step of opening American campuses. Spain’s IESE Business School just opened a branch in New York City. France’s SKEMA is currently working on its US location, which will specifically target Europeans who want to study in America. For European students America is a dream, says Alice Guilhon, SKEMA’s dean. And an outpost in the US will boost SKEMA’s prestige, as well: To be well-known in America is leverage for the visibility of the school in the world.
But as the Economist points out, location could soon become completely irrelevant. Young people have grown up interacting and building relationships online, and modern technology threatens to make distance an obsolete obstacle. In 20 or even 10 years, students might not need to cross an ocean to learn international practices.
Even so, Skype can’t replace eating gelato in front of the Duomo or strolling through Hyde Park.