How The Wall Street Journal Plans To Rank MBA Programs

The outcome category, meantime, will take into account six separate metrics. Besides differences in pre-and-post salaries, which does not appear to account for sign-on bonuses or other guaranteed compensation, the survey attempts to measure:

  1. Salary difference (12%)
  2. Opportunities (5%)
  3. Worth (5%)
  4. Entrepreneurship (5%)
  5. Social good (5%)
  6. Network (6%)

The ranking will judge opportunities based on alumni responses to what they perceive to be the school’s impact on their careers. It will measure “worth” on alum’s perceive worth of their degree, and it will judge the school’s entrepreneurship efforts on alumni opinion of their school’s teaching skills relevant to starting a business.


“Although relatively few graduates directly start their own business, we did want to reflect how business schools are preparing people,” according to the presentation. “The number that starts a business is too small to build a reliable metric for individual schools.” Some schools apparently have suggested examining the number of courses on entrepreneurship or whether the program teaches entrepreneurship skills useful in a broader business context.

One of more intriguing efforts in the ranking concerns its attempt to measure social good. Ultimately, the ranking will do this by asking alumni how many hours of volunteer work they did in the past year. “This measures the degree to which a business school is inculcating the ethos of social good in its graduates,” according to the presentation.

But Pettit and Simons are telling schools they would ideally like to measure social good in greater detail. Schools have suggested asking alumni if their employers’ mission or record on social good influenced their decisions to accept a job, among other things.


And, finally, to measure the effectiveness of a school’s alumni network, alumni are being asked the following: “To what extent have you helped other alumni secure paid positions?;” “To what extent have you helped other alumni in matters beyond securing a new position?;” “How useful was your school’s alumni network in helping you secure a position?.” and “To what extent, beyond helping to secure a new job, have you used your school’s alumni network since finishing your degree?”

The least weighted section of the ranking will cover a category dubbed “environment,” meant to measure “the social and human environment the students find themselves in and how well the school will prepare them for the global market.” The section will include five different metrics, all provided by the schools, little of which has anything to do with the actual quality of a program.

  1. Economic diversity (2) based on first-generation students
  2. Faculty gender diversity (2%)
  3. Students gender diversity (2%)
  4. International staff (2%)
  5. International students (2%)

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