December 2, 2014
If you didn’t already believe that everyone wants in on the startup life, then the most recent rankings on the best MBA programs should hopefully put you in the believer camp. For the first time since 2010 (when the rankings were first compiled), Harvard Business School failed to take the top spot in Poets&Quants’ ranking of best MBA programs in the United States; in its place: Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Already renowned for top engineering and computer science programs, Stanford has stepped up its game in graduate business studies (although, I mean, it’s always had a top program). With an increased focus on and interest in entrepreneurship and startups, it’s no surprise that Stanford has beat out Harvard in these most recent rankings by Poets&Quants, the website that has become a leading resource on all things B-school. Indeed, again and again, Stanford beats out every other school every year in producing VC-backed entrepreneurs, and with professors and advisors with close ties to Silicon Valley, the decision to pursue a Stanford MBA can certainly pay off in the long-term if you’re aiming to push into the startup ecosystem.
But even if there has been a shift in ethos towards entrepreneurship, these rankings seem to be slightly disconnected from rankings produced by The Princeton Review and published in Entrepreneur in October. In those rankings, Harvard placed first among other top graduate institutions for people wanting to pursue entrepreneurship studies; Stanford placed fifth in those same rankings. One must consider, though, that not everyone goes into B-school with the intention of starting their own business – it just merely plays a greater role nowadays in some B-school applicants’ considerations. Overall, according to Poets&Quants, one can’t do wrong choosing to attend either Harvard or Stanford for B-school.
The rankings by Poets&Quants were compiled using business school rankings from other publications, including U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Financial Times, and The Economist – each given weight per their authority and credibility (according to the rankings, U.S. News was given a weight of 35%, Forbes, 25%, while both The Financial Times and Businessweek were given a 15% weight, and The Economist, 10% weight.) The website argues that this kind of ranking system provides a more reliable and stable overview of full-time MBA programs, capturing both quantitative and qualitative data such as surveys of corporate recruiters, MBA graduates, deans, faculty publication records, median GPA and GMAT scores of entering students, and the latest salary and employment statistics of alumni.
According to the Poets&Quants rankings, Penn’s Wharton School, Chicago’s Booth School, and Columbia Business School close off the top five spots (with Wharton beating out Booth for the first time). In a separate ranking of MBA programs outside of the United States, London Business School and INSEAD ranked first and second respectively.
Check out Poet&Quants’ ranking of best MBA programs below (top 25 shown):
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