How Recruiters Rank Business Schools By Industry & Skill Set

TO SEE 2015 GRADUATE PLACEMENT AND SALARIES: WHERE CONSULTING FIRMS SCOOP UP MBA TALENT

DARDEN BEATS OUT NEW YORK SCHOOLS FEEDERS IN FINANCE

The financial sector reflects a similar dynamic. At 3.9, the highest recruiter score belonged to Indiana (Kelley), an honor that must be weighed against 25 responses. For more déjà vu, Notre Dame (Mendoza) and Washington (Foster) again earned high marks at 3.74 and 3.73. Again, these were grounded in nominal response rates of 50 and 15 surveys respectively.

As a result, you’d expect the top performer to be one of the renowned MBA finance programs: Columbia, NYU (Stern), Chicago (Booth) or Wharton. In fact, each school places over a third of its graduating classes into finance. In an upset, Virginia (Darden) actually posted the top recruiter score – a 3.8 based on 164 recruiter responses.

Mind you, finance is a big deal at Darden: 30% of 2015 Darden grads found jobs there. And they were compensated handsomely for it, earning $125,000 in median starting salaries – the same as the Big Four – along with an enviable $40,000 in median bonus.  That said, Booth lives up to its lofty reputation in the finance space, with 214 recruiters giving it a total score of 3.7. In fact, Booth shares one key trait with Darden: A rigorous academic bent. In terms of scoring, what’s differentiates Booth, known to cluster at blue shoe firms like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Citi, and Darden, which has finance grads everywhere but without the same deep imprint? That difference is 31 points. In other words, if 14% of recruiters who’d spent extensive time at Booth had given it an extra point, Booth and Darden would be equal. However, Booth was hamstrung by more than just stingy recruiters. Overall, 38% had giving Booth a score of three or lower in finance. In other words, Booth may not be churning out the across-the-board excellence in finance as they are in consulting.

TOP FINANCE SCHOOL SCORES CLUSTERED CLOSELY TOGETHER

Surprisingly, recruiters viewed Wharton (3.54 on 229 responses), Stern (3.54 on 214 responses), and Columbia (3.53 on 285 responses) as basically equivalent (though not one recruiter gave Stern its lowest score). How close were Columbia and Stern? Columbia needed just three more points – out of 285 responses – to equal Stern. That’s a statistical dead heat. And it reveals just how close some schools really are to each other from a recruiter’s perspective. That’s the difference between many schools in this data, with fewer recruiter responses creating hair-splitting differences in performance.

Overall, recruiters tended to slot finance programs in the 3.5 range, highlighted by the London Business School (3.58 on 98 responses), Stanford (3.55 on 95 responses), Tuck (3.54 on 135 responses), Haas (3.51 on 85 responses), and Ross (3.5 on 80 responses). Again, Harvard elicited the most recruiter interest with 296 responses, followed by Columbia (285), Fuqua (259), Wharton (229), Stern (214), and Booth (214). Surprisingly, Fuqua engendered d a rather pedestrian 3.41 score – another reason it may have fallen from 1st to 8th in Bloomberg Businessweek’s latest business school rankings.

TO SEE 2015 GRADUATE PLACEMENT AND SALARIES: WHERE WALL STREET GETS MBA TALENT

To see how recruiters ranked technology and consumer goods firms, go to next page.

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