For the first time ever, the Wall Street Journal has published its own rankings of EMBA programs. The Top Five are:
- Northwestern University (Kellogg)
- University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
- Thunderbird School of Global Management
- University of Southern California (Marshall)
- University of North Carolina (Kenan Flagler)
The WSJ worked in conjunction with a research team to compile information from both employers and students regarding the schools’ abilities to develop managers and leaders. The WSJ Article, And the Best Executive MBA Programs in 2008 Are… reported that among the twenty-five schools that it ranked, two programs stood out: Kellogg and Wharton. Both schools received significantly higher marks than their competitors from companies, placing them in the first and second spots, respectively.
More interesting to me than the actual rankings or even WSJ’s reports on individual schools was WSJ’s survey of EMBA students. A few highlights:
- In choosing a school the top factor mentioned by students was the school’s reputation.
- 78% of students responded that they considered their school because of its distinguished faculty.
- Approximately 34% of students said that they paid for their full tuition; 30% said that they received complete financial sponsorship from their companies; 13% said that their companies paid between 51% and 99% of the program cost.
- Many students noted the rapid payoff of enrolling in an EMBA Program: 24% said that they were given both a raise and a promotion since starting classes and 26% expected such benefits upon graduation.
- Both student and corporate surveys reflected the need for continued improvement in EMBA Programs, particularly in the areas of practical application, technology, flexible scheduling and academic work load.
This ranking also represents a change in WSJ methodology. For its MBA rankings, it previously surveyed recruiters only, arguing that they are the best judges of MBA educational quality. For this year’s inaugural EMBA rankings, the WSJ, like BusinessWeek, which will publish its influential, bi-annual MBA rankings this month, sought the opinion of both students and employers.
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