The MBA has become one of the most popular master’s programs and arguably the branded management program worldwide. The popularity means huge global demand for MBAs which is met by thousands of business schools offering an equally wide range of different programs. B-School rankings are highly influential for graduates when ascertaining the degree of respect that employers hold for their business school and subsequently their MBA degree.
Consequently, a lot of MBA aspirants browse through B-School rankings with a great deal of interest. Independent ranking systems can help inform your decision but it’s important to think carefully about what each ranking system means. These systems are controversial in the business school world, yet they have become a very popular way to compare different programs and their providers.
One way to narrow the search for an ideal postgraduate university is to look at its position in business schools rankings and the levels of accreditation each has attained. Both are valuable tools for gauging the quality of school but they are completely different in terms of how they evaluate universities and their programmes. You need to understand the difference between ranking, accreditation and overall reputation in order to use them effectively in your selection process.
When you look at b-school rankings in order to evaluate a university, you need to look beyond its numbered position. The criteria used by each publication to compile its list can be drastically different, so it’s important for you to decide first which factors are most important to you in school selection process. Then choose the ranking system that best reflects those specific factors to get the most accurate comparison for your needs.
How Much Do B-School Rankings Matter?
Plenty of people apply to a school because it has reached the summit of a best of ranking, just as many people will see a movie or buy a book after it wins an award. That’s human nature. We want to experience the best. But if you are looking for a particular type of career- as an entrepreneur or a leader in an enterprise for example- or you know that location will be important for your future job prospects, some schools will meet your needs should trump the seal of approval of any publication. You owe it to yourself do your homework on schools academic curriculum, career management efforts, alumni network and ability to put you in front of leaders who are shaping business today.
Useful as these MBA B- school rankings criteria might be, they cant reflect the wide range of reasons and preferences under pinning individual choice of program. In many ways, ranking potential MBAs of interest to you is a very personal process. Beyond the main elements listed in the systems discussed above will be of any number of subjective or personal factors which will influence your choice of program.
Top ranking MBAs may be important to someone wanting to gain wider international exposure but this isn’t necessarily right for anyone. The best MBA for you will be the one that best balances these features with your personal needs.
- Potential Salary — Important but how much increase will make the qualification worthwhile to you?
- Knowledge and Expertise — of the staff teaching the program.
- Curriculum — is the MBA general, executive specialised appropriate to your current and future needs.
- Career Potential.
- Quality and nature of the learning experience — it should always be high quality but is the delivery method appropriate for you?
- Potential to build a network.
- Regional or International exposure.
Above all remember that whichever an MBA you choose, you are the most important element of the program. Your attitude and desire to learn are fundamental to MBA success. Combine this with a good program and the learning to be gained from your peers on the program and you will really see the benefit of such a degree.
When choosing the best business school seems like a tricky task, rankings may look like a lifesaver. There are numerous organisations and publications that conduct comprehensive surveys and studies to rank colleges offering MBA programs. Unfortunately, no two rankings published in the same year look alike. This leads to the conclusion that there is no perfect measurement to help you determine the best college in the world for MBA program.
Rankings have become an essential shortcut in a world where there are hundreds and thousands of colleges offering MBA programs. It is practically impossible for a candidate to sift through the enormous amount of data available and choose the best education prospect. Ranking narrow down the number of colleges offering the best MBA program.
If a ranking methodology gives large importance to diversity, then admitting students of a wider background irrelevant of their abilities may boost a school ranking in the short term for instance. The bottom line is that MBA rankings can be helpful, but they are not foolproof. Applicants should not use them for much more than gauging the reputation of an MBA program. While MBA rankings can certainly be an important deciding factor, business school applicants should always select an MBA program that suits their personal criteria, not a publication.
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