PROFESSOR: There's One MBA Ranking That Matters The Most

Seeing as some people say you should only bother with the top-5 MBA programs, business school rankings have pretty high stakes.

Yet there’s a massive amount of variation in the three most prominent rankings (Businessweek, US News, and The Financial Times ). Though Harvard, Stanford and Wharton cluster near the top, the rest is all over the place. 

That irked Dawn Iacobucci, a professor at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management, so she studied each year of the publications’ rankings of full-time MBA programs. 

She told Poets & Quants that the ranking she’d consult if she were looking for an MBA is US News & World Report. 

Moving up a rank in US News’ rankings netted graduates an average of $903.03 on their first post-graduation job, versus $605.27 for a rank in Businessweek, or $605.27 for the FT. 

According to Iacobucci, there’s too much variance in the latter two, because the FT is more geared towards international schools, and Businessweek uses a somewhat subjective student survey as part of its ranking, which adds a bunch of variability.

She found US News to be the most consistent and reliable over the 25 years that it has existed. 

Read more about Iacobucci’s research here

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