The following schools scored much higher among recruiters than they did among academics: The University of Missouri (Trulaske) (+0.4), the University of Cincinnati (Lindner) (+0.5), Buffalo University (+0.9), the University of Alabama (Manderson) (+0.7), Texas Christian University (Neeley) (+0.4), Binghamton University (+0.6), Texas Tech University (Rawls) (+0.4), the University of Albany (+0.5), West Virginia University (+0.7), the University of St. Thomas (+0.7), and Mississippi State University (+0.6).
St. Thomas, in particular, appears to be a school on the rise. Despite ranking #100, the Minneapolis-based school managed a 3.1 recruiter score, equal to top 50 programs like Rice University (Jones) and the University of Rochester (Simon). With 91 students in the full-time program (and 774 students enrolled part-time), St. Thomas is best-known for poaching Michigan State’s dean earlier this spring. Graduates earn a respectable starting salary of $80,667 and a placement rate of 77.8%.
Similarly, Albany University’s 100 percent placement rate reflects employer satisfaction with their grads. However, the program comes with a major drawback: Starting salary for grads is $56,600.
The Big Takeaway: Reputation and Results Both Matter
So will academics and recruiters ever see eye-to-eye? In general, they already do, particularly in MBA programs, the lifeblood of so many companies’ managerial ranks. With MBA hiring on the rise, businesses are obviously buying what business schools are selling.
From looking at the peer assessments, one theme comes through: Academics seemingly believe the top 20 business schools have erected their gleaming centers on the shores of Lake Wobegon, where all the professors are cutting edge, all the students carry high GMATs, and all the employers are lining up to hire their grads. Compared to recruiter scores, these academic peer assessments are lax and bloated. And they create a two tiered system where higher-ranked schools are potentially propped up by brand and reputation, relegating the rest to being afterthoughts.