Bloomberg Businessweek conducted its 2018 survey of 10,473 MBA students, 15,050 alumni, and 3,698 recruiters about their business school experiences and their goals. Their answers, in addition to information about salary and job-placement data from each school, combined to create each school’s rank. The ranking of non-U.S. programs will be released in December 2018.
Rankings were determined by how well each school did in each of the four weighted indexes: Compensation (38.5%), Networking (27.9%), Learning (23.1%), and Entrepreneurship (10.5%). These weights were determined by questions asked about the importance of each one to responders of the survey.
Bloomberg Business changed its ranking methodology since the 2017 ranking. Therefore a comparison between 2017 and 2018 rankings is not possible.
Here are the top 25 business schools in the survey:
|3||Harvard Business School||91.9|
|6||UC Berkeley Haas||86.7|
|7||Columbia Business School||86.5|
|10||Cornell S. C. Johnson||82.8|
|12||Carnegie Mellon Tepper||82.5|
|22||UT Austin McCombs||74.7|
|25||Brigham Young Marriott||70.7|
A Few Thoughts About the Bloomberg Businessweek Rankings
- The top 10 in the overall Bloomberg Businessweek rankings is not much different from the top 10 U.S. News rankings. Yes, the order is a bit different. Ross and Tuck are included in USN’s top 10 and are not in BB’s. BB includes Darden and Johnson. However, we are not talking about significant differences.
- Things get much murkier if one filters into the main components of the Businessweek rankings. So if you look at “Learning,” William and Mary is #1, Utah’s Eccles School is #2, and UT Dallas is #3. Stanford is #10 and Harvard is #53. That’s not a typo. But it still doesn’t make a lot of sense.
- If you filter for “Networking,” the results are more plausible, but still hard to perceive as truly credible. So for example, Howard is #7, right after Chicago Booth, ahead of Northwestern Kellogg, UC Berkeley Haas, and 18 spots above Dartmouth Tuck, which has one of the most active alumni networks in the world.
There is some objective data (salary, GMAT score for example) in the Businessweek rankings. However, much of the ranking relies on surveys, which can be gamed. It’s also very hard to compare subjective elements like “Networking” or even “Learning” especially given that most responding, specifically the students and alumni, have really only experienced one program. Finally, students and alumni know that their responses to these surveys influence the value of their degree. They have an incentive to rate their schools highly.
Critically examining these rankings as a measure of quality, it’s hard to view them as credible both because the component rankings are head-scratchers and because they rely so heavily on surveys of people who have a vested interest in ranking their school well.
So where is there value in the Bloomberg Businessweek rankings? In the data that BB provides about the individual programs, specifically average salary in different industries and the ability to filter that data for geography, industry, and your GMAT score.
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