The Wall St. Journal has released its 2008 recruiter ranking of MBA programs. The WSJ surveys recruiters, not deans or students. It groups schools into 3 categories (National, International, and Regional). The recruiters rated the full-time MBA programs on 21 attributes and then ranked them in these categories.. To fully understand the methodology, please see “Recruiters Top Choices.“
- London Business School
- MIT Sloan
- Tecnologico de Monterrey (EGADE)
- HEC Paris
- Brigham Young University (Marriott)
- Wake Forest University (Babcock)
- Ohio State University (Fisher)
- University of Rochester (Simon)
- Indiana University (Kelley)
- University of Florida (Warrington)
- Louisiana State University
- Emory University (Goizueta)
- University at Buffalo, SUNY
- University of Maryland (Smith)
The Wall St. Journal rankings has been called the “silliest of rankings” by Jaymaven, who provides a comparison and critique of the rankings methodology, but I think that comment is more than a little harsh. Given my usual caveats that rankings are not objective measures of educational quality as much as surveys and data banks, I would say the WSJ rankings are subject to inherent conflicts of interest, but still valuable, especially for those who do now have flawless profiles. If you think you have a good shot at H/S/W you are pretty confident someone good is going to hire you and these rankings may indeed be silly, but if you have specific regional needs or if you don’t have what it takes to get into an elite program, then the WSJ survey can be a useful element in your research. Not the end-all and be-all, but a piece.
So what are the conflicts of interest? Your interests and the recruiters’ do not always coincide. For example Michigan slid in the rankings because recruiters perceived increased “arrogance” among Ross students and a little less cooperation from the Career Center staff, partially due to construction of a new facility. Frankly, the students were a little cocky because they could expect multiple offers — a sign of Ross’ success — and construction is an inconvenience not a reflection on the quality of the Ross education, teaching, or student life. Similarly HBS and Stanford don’t do well in this ranking, at least partially because they frustrate recruiters.
You as a sophisticated user of this information need to understand those limitations.
PS. The rankings are just part of a special section on MBA admissions that the WSJ is publishing tomorrow. I haven’t had a chance to read it all, but it looks good, especially “Battle for Fresh M.B.A. Talent Prompts Changes in Recruiting.”