UPenn’s Wharton School vs. Columbia Business School

On-Campus Recruiting: If you want to work on Wall Street, an investment management shop, or a global financial services firm, getting your MBA punched at either Columbia or Wharton is as close to a guaranteed ticket to entry as you could ever get. Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan-Chase, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse overflow with Wharton and Columbia grads. All the major MBA employers recruit at both schools so there are no shortages of opportunity on the job front. We give Wharton a slight edge over Columbia in recruiting, given the school’s highly consistent superior showing in BusinessWeek’s recruiter polls. In the 2008-2009 year, 243 companies interviewed graduating MBAs on campus, 1,623 employers posted jobs on the school’s MBA Job Board, and 199 bought Wharton’s online resume books. Obviously, the Class of 2009 had a tough time in a difficult environment. At Columbia, 62 sponsored-students chose to return to their pre-MBA employers. Many others accepted jobs at small and mid-sized firms.

Alumni Network: Wharton claims the largest alumni network of any business school in the world: 85,000 alums in 140 countries. That figure includes Wharton’s sizable undergraduate output. It’s a sure bet that wherever you are in the world, however, you’ll find Wharton MBAs or even a Wharton Alumni Club to use as a networking base. Columbia alumni are fully entrenched in the financial, media, and business world of New York which essentially means that alums are a powerful and influential bunch. Of the 38,000 living alums, a figure that includes EMBAs, you can find a Columbia connection anywhere in the world. How tight are these networks? We give the edge to Wharton which has been able to generate a greater sense of community than Columbia over the years.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.