The The Wall Street Journal and Fox News reported that several MBA programs are advising aspiring MBA candidates to stop considering academic rankings published by media outlets and that schools themselves stop participating. The claim is that such rankings are defined by an “overly narrow set of criteria.”
Here’s my take on business school rankings.
Why I love them:
All the information in one place.
When it comes time to choose a restaurant, car, or business school, there is a lot of information you need to digest. This is pretty hard to do. Rankings may not take into account the exact criteria you are looking for but they are pretty close or at least a starting point.
When we choose a restaurant or a car, we can find rankings, why not a business school?
There are good surprises.
One real value of rankings is to unearth schools that you may not have even considered, schools that may even be a better fit. If you are committed to a top-20 school, rankings may point you to schools you never even heard of — think Owen, Olin and Foster.
There are bad surprises.
You may only know some MBA programs from their broad, outdated reputations. Maybe they have great undergraduate programs whose gold star reputation rubs off on their surprisingly bad business school. This is something that is good to know and rankings will give you a sense of which programs may not be as good as you think. If you reach out, I will let you know who to be wary of!
No matter how much academics and the media may rail against the imprecision of business school rankings, it is something of a moot point. When it comes to how employers, employees, and fellow students look at your school, the reality is that published rankings are a yardstick that is frequently used to judge the school, and, by extension, you.
And tomorrow, why I hate rankings.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]