Businessweek MBA Rankings 2016: Money can help Rankings

best mba programs in the world businessweekBloomberg BusinessWeek full-time MBA ranking is perhaps the most influential ranking in MBA Admissions. After the publication discontinued their biennial rankings for the more current annual ranking, the influence of current students on the rankings have taken up 15% of the total score. With the change in the frequency of ranking, there have been a few casualties. The big names that saw its ranking drop out of top 10 include Booth, Columbia, and Ross.

For the 2016 ranking, Bloomberg gave Employer survey rank the highest weightage (35%), followed by Alumni Survey rank (30%), while student survey took a slightly higher weightage (15%), over Salary rank(10%) and Job placement rank (10%).

If you look at the Job Placement rank, the top 10 Business Schools would not even feature in the top 20 list. Part of this discrepancy can be explained by the brand affinity of the top 10 Business Schools and the type of candidates the school attracts. They don’t need any special training or spoon-feeding to match their post-MBA goals with the right employers. Most of the candidates in top Business Schools are self-starters who do not depend on the career service team to offer the big breaks. So if you are looking at Top Full-time MBA programs for job placement, filter them accordingly.

With a heavy emphasis on Employer and Alumni feedback, the status quo has been maintained except for a few casualties.

Top US Schools (2016)

• Harvard
• Stanford
• Duke Fuqua
• Booth
• Tuck
• Wharton
• MIT Sloan
• Rice Jones
• Kellogg
• Berkeley Haas

Ranking Index Score

Top 10 Business Schools according to Bloomberg BW Full-time MBA Rankings

More than the ranking keep an eye on the ranking index score.  Harvard is #1 with a score of 100. Stanford has an index score of 90.6. A difference of a few decimal points or 1-2 points is insignificant, but if the index score varies by over 3 points, the difference between the schools is significant.

What we found interesting

1) Harvard and Stanford rank comparatively low among Alumni and Current students.

2) Stanford does not rank in the top 10 reputed Schools among Employers (according to the Employer Survey). MIT Sloan ranks #2 for the same criteria, just behind Harvard

Haas, Darden, and Rice Jones feature among the top 3 schools that have the most satisfied alumni and current students

4) Money talks. Wherever Harvard and Stanford could not feature, the post-MBA salary compensated for all the weaknesses. Stanford is #1 and Harvard #2 while MIT Sloan is at #3.

5) Financial Services is back with a bang as the most preferred Industry (17.3%), followed by Consulting (17.0%) and Technology (16.4%).

6) Full-time MBA creates a big hole in your pocket.

The total cost (including opportunity cost) is at $248,000 for a 2-year MBA program. No wonder Stanford and Harvard rank in the top 3 despite an average showing in other ranking factors.

Median Base Salary (Stanford) = $130,000
Median Sign-in Bonus (Stanford) = $25,000
Median Guaranteed Compensation (Stanford) = $52,000
Total Median Salary = $207,000

Median Base Salary (Harvard) = $135,000
Median Sign-in Bonus (Harvard) = $25,000
Median Guaranteed Compensation (Harvard) = $32,000
Total Median Salary = $192,000

Total Median Salary (Stanford > Harvard) by $15,000

The growth in other guaranteed compensation is the reason why Stanford is beating Harvard by over $15k in post-MBA salary.

Reference: BusinessWeek Full-time MBA Rankings

Top US MBA(2016)Top US MBA (2015)Status
3Duke FuquaKelloggUp
4BoothMIT SloanUp
7MIT SloanStanfordDown
8Rice JonesDuke FuquaDown
9KelloggBerkeley HaasUp
10Berkeley HaasMichigan RossUp
On Alumni & Student RankingAverage Rank
1Berkeley Haas4.5
2Virginia (Darden)7
3Rice Jones9
4Duke (Fuqua)9.5
8Northwestern (Kellogg)16
9Dartmouth (Tuck)17.5
10Emory (Goizueta)19
Top US Schools 2016 (Salary)
3MIT Sloan
6Tuck Dartmouth
8Berkeley Haas
9Cornell Johnson
Top US Schools 2016 (Employer Reputation)
2MIT Sloan
6Duke Fuqua
8Tuck Dartmouth
9Michigan Ross