Business Schools Ranking

As you wade through pages of information about your potential business schools, you will probably see the phrase “Ranked third in the nation!” or something similar. What does it mean if a business school is ranked? It may be obvious that a high-ranking business school is the best choice in which to invest your time and money. Let’s unravel the mystery of business school ranking.

What is Business School Ranking?
A few major publications rank business schools according to certain criteria that they deem important to the success of students. These publications include Business Week, U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, Hispanic Business, Entrepreneur magazine, and Financial Times, among others.

In today’s economic climate, generally the schools that fare the best are the ones that land students in gainful employment. Not only does a degree from a higher-ranked school carry more clout, but that school is more likely to help place you in a job following graduation.

Another related factor often involved in business school ranking is the ratio of return on investment. Ranking agencies calculate the salary you’ll receive after graduation minus your tuition and the salary you lost while you were attending business school. Many times, programs that you can complete in one year rank higher than two-year programs, simply because you lose far less salary while attending school.

Business school ranking agencies gather their data by surveying several thousand business school alumni. Graduates were asked questions about their current employment, including wages and benefits. The results are compared with the cost of attending school. Adjustments are usually made for cost-of-living expenses and other factors.

The results of these rankings demonstrate to you as a potential student what your risk and potential gain are if you attend a specific school. A degree from a higher-ranked school is far more likely to land you a good job with a high starting salary.

To find out if the business school you are considering is ranked highly, you can pick up a copy of the ranking issue of the publication, or you can visit the publication’s website. Some good resources include U.S. News & World Report's “America's Best Colleges,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 2010 online rankings of undergraduate business specialties, and The Princeton Review’s “Best 301 Business Schools.”

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