Worst MBA Placement Records of 2012

Another perennial laggard is Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Ranked 96th by U.S. News this year, the school chronically puts unemployed MBA graduates on the street. Last year, 62.4% of the 117 MBAs seeking employment were jobless at graduation. Three months later, 39.3% of the class was still unemployed.

Those numbers are even worse than they were in the previous two years, despite an improvement in the economy. In 2011, 61.9% of the class was unemployed at commencement (33% three months later), and in 2010, 60.0% was jobless at graduation (36.8% three months later).

And Pepperdine, like Thunderbird, isn’t cheap. The annual tuition is $42,280 and more than half the graduates (56%) borrowed money to pay for their degrees. The average debt burden for a Class of 2012 MBA was a whopping $85,672.

It’s worth noting that the ranked school with the worst placement record a year ago isn’t even on the list (see Top-Ranked B-Schools With The Worst Placement Records of 2011). The Leavey School at Santa Clara University, which reported that 78.8% of the full-time graduates in 2011 were unemployed, decided not to provide the data to U.S. News. You can’t exactly blame the school for its decision. Why bring on more embarrassment to yourself when you can just refuse to fill out the questionnaire?

Those are numbers you might expect in the midst of the Great Recession, but are shockingly surprising given the economy’s recovery and the turnaround at many business school campuses. Although unemployment has remained stubbornly high, most MBAs have done quite well, thank you. But not at these 21 schools among 105 ranked in the latest U.S. News survey.

Top-Ranked Business Schools With The Worst Placement Stats of 2012


School                                             Unemployed At 2012 Graduation    Unemployed 3 Months Later
Claremont (Drucker) 87.5% 25.0%
Thunderbird 76.1% 54.6%
Rensselaer Polytechnic 66.7% 33.3%
University of Oregon 65.3% 26.5%
Pepperdine University (Graziadio) 62.4% 39.3%
UC-San Diego 62.2% 28.9%
Syracuse University (Whitman) 62.1% 37.9%
University of San Diego 60.9% 30.4%
St. Louis University 59.3% 22.2%
Fordham University 55.5% 45.0%
American University (Kogod) 55.3% 23.4%
State University of NY at Buffalo 50.8% 18.5%
University of Colorado 50.0% 31.8%
University of Texas at Dallas 50.0% 10.4%

Source: Business schools reporting Class of 2012 data to U.S. News & World Report

(See following page for unranked business schools with the worst placement stats of 2012)

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