So Business Week released their 2012 MBA Program Rankings. Not surprisingly, the top five spots were allocated to Booth, Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and Kellogg. Each one is impressive, all with their own niche in terms of program focus.
Booth: Theoretical Finance
Harvard: Corp. Leadership
Stanford: Entrepreneurial Leadership
Wharton: Directly Applicable Finance
But that brings me to question. How important are these rankings released by news publications? People tend to discredit these rankings due to disagreeing with data source allocation, category weightings and data mining.
Like any other ranking of business schools, it is not flawless. Though BusinessWeek employs statisticians to comb through the data to verify its integrity, students come to each of these schools with very different expectations that can result in significantly different grades they award their institutions. There is also concern of widespread cheerleading by students who want to push their schools ahead in the rankings so their degrees have more prestige. These issues alone are in all probability what has kept Harvard and Stanford from ever placing first in the BusinessWeek survey.
Those students come to campus with high expectations and are less likely to care about how a ranking impacts the status of their degree. So they are prone to be more demanding and more honest in their answers to BusinessWeek's questions. They graduate with the highest starting pay packages and know that a Harvard or Stanford MBA can pretty much open any door in the world.
Source: Poets and Quants
So, how do you view business school rankings? Is your personal view based more on perceived prestige among academia or reputation within a specific industry?