M.B.A. Rankings Seen as Influential and Unreliable

Global survey of business school educators, students and alumni finds mixed feelings about ratings.

June 10, 2019

A new global survey of M.B.A. "stakeholders" -- defined as those who are students, alumni, educators and employers -- finds evidence of why many business school leaders care so much about M.B.A. rankings, and also why the rankings are so frustrating to many educators.

Key findings of the survey report, by the Association of M.B.A.s and Business Graduates Association:

  • Nine in 10 (90 percent) of those surveyed said that rankings have "at least a fair amount of influence" on the demand for a given M.B.A. program.
  • Only a little more than one in 10 (11 percent) said that they believed M.B.A. rankings reflect the performance of programs "very well."

The report suggests that one reason for the doubts about the quality of the rankings is their emphasis on salary data. Many rankings stress those data, but only 34 percent of those interviewed said that salary data should be one of the top two criteria for evaluating a program.


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