The MBA Programs Recruiters Love

Temple University, Fox School of Business

Temple University, Fox School of Business


What does this mean? The averages are complicated by U.S. News failing to disclose the number of recruiters who scored each school (or complete surveys in general). As a result, this data can be interpreted in two ways. Since the highest ranked business programs receive the most attention from recruiters, it could mean that the average scores for schools below the Top 10 are potentially derived from fewer responses. In other words, a lower number of surveys means they carry greater weight in the overall average. More likely, as recruiters are battling harder for talent, the respondents are devoting more time and resources to MBA programs beyond their traditional haunts. This increased exposure has, in turn, produced higher marks.

That may also explain why 21 of the 24 full-time programs ranked 26-50 also earned higher recruiter scores, led by Temple University, which vaulted from a 2.1 score to 3.5 in just three years. In the same vein, University of California-Irvine rocketed from 2.4 to 3.4, while the University of Minnesota and BYU average sprang up by 0.6 and 0.5 point respectively. Of special note, 11 programs sported a 0.4 point increase over the past three rankings. They include the University of Texas-Dallas, USC, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Maryland, Boston College, and the University of Iowa.

When you look at the averages over a decade, however, the numbers tend to fluctuate less. The University of Minnesota, which jumped from a 2.8 to a 3.4 in the past three years, was actually a 3.0 in the 2006 rankings, meaning it had slipped (to an extent) in the opinion of recruiters before slingshotting back up. You’ll find a similar ebb-and-flow dynamic among many of the programs that made big gains in recent years, including Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, and Maryland.

However, recruiter opinions about the top programs, for the most part, remain relatively fixed. Since the 2006 U.S. News rankings, for example, MIT Sloan, Chicago Booth, and Dartmouth have gained 0.1 point, while Stanford, Wharton, and Columbia have lost 0.1 of a point.  Yale and Berkeley Haas remain the upstarts of the group, adding 0.3 and 0.2 of a point respectively during that time period. Beyond the top 10, Virginia Darden, Carnegie Mellon, and Washington University have slipped by 0.2 point in the past decade, with Indiana Kelley falling by 0.3 point. By the same token, New York University, Georgetown, and Emory gained 0.2 point, with Vanderbilt up another 0.3 point.

Go to next page to see how U.S. News and Bloomberg Businessweek recruiter rankings compare.

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