Ranking is something which rankles all students while making a choice. Sorry I didn’t exactly want to sound poetic out here in case I do. But since I have been on different sides of the fence, seen how things actually work and analyzing all this years after my MBA; I personally feel that breaking one’s head over school rankings is extremely unwise.
Should you still go and check the business school rankings . Of course yes! Should you break your head over them. Absolutely not!!
Some business schools don’t live up to their rankings and vice versa. I would advise looking at ranks over a range of 4-5 years to determine the average ranking of a school. In the real world, ranking is actually dependent on unknown factors like how many alumni fill up a survey, data inputs ( which are obviously measured differently at different schools), salary data ( which is almost differently calculated in most places; not to mention differing on usage of statistical variables, etc) and few other factors which I can’t remember or don’t know :).
Most business school alumni spend a lot of effort and energy in trying to last through MBA and getting placed in their dream jobs. Then they need to focus paying off their student loans. Some people even try to time in a marriage during the same period to make it exciting. Obviously reconnecting with school falls at the bottom of the priority list. So you can figure out how eager they would be in spending 15 minutes of their precious time to respond to a survey. Of course there are few of us who still worry about the ranking ( and how it impacts the branding and hence our jobs 😉 ) and are try to fill in . However a not so active cum busy bunch of alumni can bring hell on the school in terms of rankings.
In my personal experience, we witnessed a sharp dip FT rankings for a very flimsy reason of not having enough alumni to complete required surveys! While we were rather indignant at the proceedings; over time, we realized that rankings weren’t that important. Over the years, a school attains an average rank, depending on its brand, students, faculty and final jobs. Also if it helps, the sliding effect on the rankings (both upward and downward) made no effect on the employers.
My opinion is that while you should definitely be aware of average rankings please don’t split hairs over them as there are far more important criteria to consider.
Some websites for you to check out global BSchool rankings ( please remember most of these are skewed to US Business Schools for obvious reasons). If you wish to check out business schools in Asia or Europe you will need to modify your search likewise. Also some websites offer rankings by categorization like International MBA, Executive MBA, etc (QS).
- Rankings on FT
- Best business schools from USNews ( this looks like a ranking of US schools )
- QS rankings
- Aggregated but old rankings
And if you are interested in knowing how reliable valid are these ranking, you might want to check out this article on USNews. This is again based on an article by Vanderbilt University professor Dawn Iacobucci. You can read the original article at her faculty profile page. ( Shared with permission)