The Top 10 Schools for Career Services
Working in career services isn’t for the faint of heart (or thin-skinned). When placement or rankings slip, the career center is where administrators instinctively look first. In business, career services would be like the sales department, a catch-all laboratory for fuzzy schemes that aim to “maximize” or “leverage.” Like sales, the career center is also an easy scapegoat when students and leaders would prefer not to look in the mirror.
Didn’t get the interview? Obviously, your advisor didn’t accentuate your strengths on your resume. The right recruiters don’t come to campus? They must not like the director! Don’t have a job at graduation? Yeah, those lazy associates must not have been burning up the phones.
Not that this should surprise anyone. More than any other graduate program, business school is predicated on helping graduates land better jobs. And that means building relationships with (and connections between) students, alumni, and employers. And that, in a nutshell, is a career center’s mission.
Luckily, business is probably the one program where students don’t overlook career services until the very last minute. These days, MBA programs are integrating careers into the curriculum more than ever. At schools like the University of Wisconsin, for example, first years are learning about business etiquette, negotiation, person branding, interviewing, and job hunting before foundational courses even start. With career centers gaining greater exposure (and more responsibilities) than ever, they are becoming critical components of the MBA experience – and true differentiators between schools.
So which school centers are the best? The Economist recently attempted to address this issue, using data derived from their latest MBA rankings. To produce this global ranking, it weighed four metrics: “the number of different industry sectors in which MBAs found jobs, the percentage of students who were employed within three months of graduation, the percentage who found their jobs directly through the school’s careers services department, and a student rating of that department.”
While American schools housed eight of the ten best career centers, the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad ranked number one using this formula. Here’s how: The school held the top spots in both the percentage of students who received job offers within three months of graduation (100%) and the percentage of students who found jobs through career services (95%). And who is hiring their graduates? The Economist reports that Accenture, Amazon, and The Boston Consulting Group are the top employers of IIM Ahmedabad talent. The school also maintained a strong employment mix, with placement in all 11 industry sectors measured by The Economist. However, when it comes from direct feedback from graduates, the school’s career center doesn’t fare as well. In a survey where graduates gave their center a score on a five point scale (with five being the highest score), IIM Ahmedabad’s career services only averaged 4.42, 7th best among all schools ranked.
According to the student survey, the top career center is actually based at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Ranked number two overall, Booth’s center averaged a 4.63 score among students. However, Booth’s ranking was hobbled by its three month placement (an impressive 94%, which only ranks 24th according to The Economist’s global data). Similarly, only 77% of Booth grads found jobs through its career center, which ranked 22nd overall.
The Dartmouth Tuck School of Business, which ranked second overall, also provides the third best career center. Unlike IIM Ahmedabad and Booth, none of Tuck’s rankings stand out (aside from placing graduates in all 11 industry sectors). However, it was solid across the board, with its lowest ranking pertaining to career centers coming in placement (11th). Founding out the top five were Emory University’s Goizueta Business School (finishing second in placement) and Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business (with a career center that ranks 23 spots better than its overall ranking of 28th).
Which schools missed out on the top 10? Try Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Kellogg, and HEC Paris. Stanford grads gave their center a 4.24 score, with only 50% finding work through their center (good for 91st). At Wharton, 64% used their career center for jobs. However, students also gave their center a 4.16 average. Similarly, 81% of MIT graduates landed jobs through their center. That said, they gave their centers a 3.88 average, lower than Kellogg (4.28), Ross (4.21) and Yale (4.09) and higher than INSEAD (3.53).
Here is how each school ranked in these categories:
|Career Center Rank||Economist Rank||School||Placement Rank (Overall)||Found Jobs Through Center Rank (Overall)||Student Assessment of Center Rank (Overall)|
|1||48||Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad)||1||1||7|
|2||1||University of Chicago (Booth)||24||22||1|
|3||2||Dartmouth College (Tuck)||11||6||10|
|4||17||Emory University (Goizueta)||2||13||15|
|5||28||Ohio State University (Fisher)||28||9||9|
|6||3||University of Virginia (Darden)||36||11||11|
|7||6||Harvard Business School||20||NA||13|
|8||10||Columbia Business School||3||21||8|
|9||29||Vanderbilt University (Owen)||29||38||5|
|10||5||IESE Business School||10||2||61|
Source: The Economist
Source: The Economist