Alumni Love: The B-Schools Getting A Little Sugar Or Taking Their Lumps

McCombs at UT-Austin gets some love

McCombs at UT-Austin gets some love


Though Businessweek isn’t yet sharing all the data it collected on the alumni surveys, it has reported on the top and bottom five MBA programs whose share of alums say they are very satisfied with their current jobs. The schools with the lowest scores: 1. North Carolina State (62.9%), MIT Sloan (63.2%), Indiana Kelley (63.3%), Chicago Booth (63.5%), and Michigan Ross (63.6%). Of course, these percentages reflect the alums who are “very satisfied.” It’s possible that these schools could have more alums who are generally satisfied with their jobs than those in the top group.

And where was job satisfaction highest? UC-Berkeley’s alumni led the list, with 78.4% of them saying they were “very satisfied” with their positions. They were followed by Rice University (77.5%), Emory Goizueta (77.0%, Stanford (76.1%), and UCLA Anderson (75.9%).

More revealing than the scores themselves is how narrow the gap is on the question. The best school scored a 78.4% while the worst got a 62.9%–a difference of only 15 percentage points. And even here, the information is incomplete because Businessweek should have reported the percentage of alumni who are either satisfied or very satisfied. If it did, we believe the numbers would have no sex appeal at all because they would be so close to each other that it would be clear there was little to no statistical relevance to actually rank schools on the answers.


Finally, we tested BW‘s alumni survey results with The Financial Times‘ most recent alumni survey. There’s a key question the FT asks and provides actual data for: Would you recommend the MBA program to others (see below for the disparities between the two surveys). In terms of recommendations at least, the winners in the FT sample are 1) Harvard, 2) Stanford, 3) Wharton, 4) MIT, and 5) London Business School. Then it’s Kellogg, Columbia, Chicago, and Berkeley rounding out the top ten.

Quite a different lineup than the BW alumni survey. Three schools that make the Top 20 in BW‘s new alumni survey don’t even make the FT list at all. While Rice is third on the Businessweek list, the school is 48th on its recommendation score at The Financial Times. Even more wild, Washington University’s Olin School gets much love from BW‘s alumni results which put it at 17th best. The FT, on the other hand, has Olin at 74.

Ultimately. there’s a connection between love and money–which none of these surveys measure. On that score, the overwhelming winner is Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business whose alumni give more generously to the school than any other on earth. The percentage of Tuck alums who annually give money to the school is off the charts. Tuck’s giving rate in this past fiscal year reached just over 70% for the fifth year in a row. No other schools comes close to that rate of giving.

As for Businessweek‘s new alumni ranking? Love, it turns out, at least the love between a business school and its alumni, is not something you can easily measure–especially if your methodology and data collection is wanting.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.