How Recruiters Rank Business Schools By Industry & Skill Set


In addition to showing which industries prefer which schools, the data also – to a lesser extent – points readers to some of the reasons why. As part of its 2016 study, Bloomberg Businessweek also features which schools are “hitting the sweet spot’ (i.e. earning the highest marks in a given industry’s “sought-after skills”).

In consulting, for example, USC (Marshall) produced a 3.73 overall average – higher than Harvard and Kellogg. One reason why: Marshall inspired the high cumulative score in the all-important area of communication. While few would dub Haas as a “consulting” school – barely a quarter of their graduates end up there – the school delivers the best on the skill set that recruiter struggle mightlily to find in prospective candidates: Creative problem solving. And McCombs does a rare Texas two-step, ranking in the top three for both communication (third) and strategic thinking (first) – not a surprise for a program where over half of MBA students are looking to switch careers.

In financial services, Kenan-Flagler generated higher collective scores than Wall Street feeders like Columbia, Stern, and Wharton. On its face, you could consider this an upset – though Chapel Hill is little more than a two hour drive from Charlotte, the nation’s second largest banking outpost. However, Kenan-Flagler earned their scores the hard way: Giving employers what they want. Long known as a feeder school to Bank of America and Wells Fargo, Kenan-Flagler ranked #1 in both communication skills and strategic thinking. Similarly, Kellogg – which nearly matched Booth’s recruiter score in financial services despite placing nearly half as many 2015 graduates into the industry, solidified its status as a finance powerhouse by scoring in the top three among recruiters in both communication skills and strategic thinking (again, two of the most coveted and most difficult to find skills in that industry).

As you’d expect, Stanford tech dominance was rooted in earning the highest scores in the three key metrics for that sector: Creative problem-solving, strategic thinking, and communication. That said, McCombs – notice a theme here – ranked in recruiters’ top three for both creative problem-solving and strategic thinking.  In consumer products, Cornell (Johnson) receives half the attention as larger programs like Kellogg and Ross. However, its overall recruiter scores match those programs. More impressive, Johnson grad actually scored better than both schools where it mattered most to recruiters: Leadership and strategic thinking skills.

For additional detail on how recruiters ranked schools and skills in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2016 Job Skills Report, click here.


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