Your education is a critical component of your resume and naturally, most prospective employers and investors look closely at where you went to school. Right or wrong, they will use the quality of your education as a signal of your potential value and these rankings most often shape the perceived quality of your education. The B-School Rankings is a valuable tool for gauging the quality of a school but they are completely different in terms of how they evaluate Universities and their programs.
Looking at B-School rankings, in order to evaluate an institute, one needs to look beyond its numbered position. The criteria used by each publication to compile its best can be drastically different so its important for one to just decide which factors are most important in the school selection process. Then a choice of ranking systems that best reflects those specific factors to get the most accurate comparison for applicants needs. The complex part about B-School rankings is that each student has different preferences, needs and goals.
If Student A is looking for a program that will allow him/her to maintain a flexible schedule and keep his/her tuition costs low, he/she may well be looking at different programs than Student B, who are looking for hands-on experience and academic pedigree. Plainly stated: you have to choose a program that is right for you, so it’s important to prioritize your needs, predilections and resources as much as possible and as soon as possible.
Many trusted resources rank MBA programs according to a list of key criterion and release the reports throughout the year. These rankings give individuals a better understanding of which MBA program offers the most comprehensive education. Most MBA rankings are released by journalism and media outlets and there is a large discrepancy between the various rankings and raking institutions.
While many students make ranking the most important criteria for selecting their business schools, it would not be the most important criteria. If rankings really were the all-important metric, then more than 80% of MBA students are not going to be satisfied, because very few applicants actually get into a top 10, 20 or even a top 30 program these days.
It is very important to understand that every ranking has its own criteria. One need to analyse what the rankings are for and who they are aimed at. Remember the ranking should just be one of the factors for selecting your chosen school and it also makes sense to pay just as much attention to the course, content, location, cost, type of university and student experience. Rankings are never the sole criteria. In fact, rankings keep changing every few years.
Many students apply to an MBA program because of its higher ranking which is a common thing to do for MBA aspirants. But in case if one is looking for a career or be a leader in social enterprise, then some schools would meet your needs better than those ranked high. Hence, thorough research about MBA program’s course curriculum, career prospects, alumni network etc. should be done before applying.
If as an MBA aspirants, you think that studying in top-ranked MBA program would fulfil your goals, then go to such schools. But if you feel that you need only MBA Knowledge than higher rankings would not matter you much. Before you put the top schools of B-School rankings list at the beginning of your list, know what all factors should also be considered before applying to any of such schools…
- PREFERENCES – Whatever your preferences, begin your research with an understanding of what you need so that you can move through the business schools ranking with clarity. Perhaps you are interested in graduation with expediency or a mentorship program or a degree with ethical focus or a prestigious degree. Make a list of no-compromise preferences & stick to it.
- FLEXIBILITY– For many students flexibility is crucial to success. Timings, course types, internships and many more issues to be taken into account for deciding upon any MBA programs besides its ranking.
- TARGET COMPANIES– Companies recruit at many schools, not just the top few. If you have target companies in mind, look at which schools they generally recruit at and just not at the MBA rankings.
- ACADEMIC QUALITY– This category will help you develop an understanding of the strengths, program requirements and unique characteristics and opportunities of top business schools like distinctive program offerings, convenience & competitiveness on the job market.
- REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE– This is an objective category that based on the schools offering for experiences such as the internship, faculty members, business experience in corporations & post graduates job placement data.
- COST– Students pursuing a degree should become very familiar with the cost of individual class hours, digital education, general extra costs for schools (like textbooks & meal plans ) & weigh their resources against these costs per semester and per year, taking into account that the cost of education tends to increase year to year.
It’s not enough to pursue a couple lists and declare complete knowledge of a given program. A potential student must spend time discerning how the business school rankings are presented, how the best schools are determined and what makes one program better than a program of a lesser stature. This will ensure you, the student, apply to programs knowing what to expect.
Do not consider them the ”be all end all”. Plenty of applicants with a higher than average GPA or GMAT won’t get in each year and many with lower than average stats find their way in. The whole package matters so use their numbers only as an initial guide. By diligently researching and extracting personally relevant data, a prospective student will be able to make an informed choice of business school and in selecting a school suites to their individual requirements will have vastly increased the likelihood of an enjoyable, productive and satisfying experience.
While reputations is a legitimate consideration in the selecting process, placing a heavy emphasis on B-School rankings can actually become a distraction for some applicants. Of course, B-School rankings are important, but applicants should not blindly apply to MBA programs just by reading higher ranking published in any publications. The MBA program that is being selected should suffice their personal and professional criteria.
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