Insider knowledge: How MBA degrees rank according to recruiters

Rankings |


MBA rankings can only give a limited picture of the success of business schools and MBA education. Which school is the right one for an individual student varies by the career he wants to choose, his previous experience and the industry he wants to work in.

Many rankings rate the increase in salary as well as the amount itself, amongst other aspects. This is one reason why US schools often outrank European schools as salaries in Europe tend to be not as high partly because the cost of living is also often lower than in the US.

Sometimes it helps therefore to look a bit deeper, into different sections of a ranking instead of just considering the overall winners.

Looking at the most recent Bloomberg Businessweek ranking from late 2017 for example Harvard Business School, Wharton School and MIT’s Sloan School of Management came up as the overall winners. Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (overall ranked fifth place) was the school that yielded the highest salary after graduation, whereas Columbia Business School turned out to be the go to school for the financial services industry. Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business made itself a name for MBAs having careers in the tech industry for example and a big portion of Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School is employed by Amazon. International business school Insead on the other hand is successful in placing MBAs in management consulting.

Looking only at what recruiters say about business schools, Harvard still came out top followed by MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Chicago’s Booth, Wharton School and Columbia Business School. Recruiters also favoured Duke's Fuqua School of Business, the Kellogg School of Management, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School. Ross and Tepper for example are not amongst the top ten in the overall ranking whereas Stanford on the other hand was only named at number 20 in the recruiters’ “insider ranking”.

Top US MBAs according to recruiters

1 Harvard

2 MIT (Sloan)

3 Chicago (Booth)

4 Pennsylvania (Wharton)

5 Columbia

6 Duke (Fuqua)

7 Northwestern (Kellogg)

8 Dartmouth (Tuck)

9 Michigan (Ross)

10 Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Overall Bloomberg Businessweek ranking in comparison:

1 Harvard

2 Pennsylvania (Wharton)

3 MIT (Sloan)

4 Chicago (Booth)

5 Stanford

6 Duke (Fuqua)

7 Dartmouth (Tuck)

8 Northwestern (Kellogg)

9 Columbia

10 Rice (Jones)

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