Choosing a B-School: Rank Is Not All

by Vault Education Editors | May 31, 2011

Here we present part eight in our nine-part series, Selecting Your Target MBA Program. This week, we discuss why choosing a business school based solely on rankings could be a decision you may live to seriously regret.

How many readers moved to Norway, Australia or New Zealand last year? (Stick with us—we swear we are going somewhere with this line of thought.) Maybe a handful, but how many of this handful moved because the United Nations (UN) determined that people who live in these countries have the highest standard of living in the world? (The United States moved from 15th to 4th.) We are guessing that not one person moved from country to country after reading those rankings. Why? Because decisions about where you live require you to consider matters that are practical, emotional, professional, etc. These are complex decisions—Norway’s top ranking lacks context, because it measures some variables that may not be terribly important to you and likely does not measure others that are (for example, your proximity to your family or the quality of the bar scene or weather in Oslo). So, when you rationalize the score against your personal considerations, you will likely determine that running to the local consulate and immigrating to Norway would not make much sense. Furthermore, these data are static, and real events continue to individually shape each country (for example, Iceland was number for several years and has been hammered by the global credit crunch), making the UN’s rankings out of date upon publication—possibly even before.

So, why are we telling you all of this? READ MORE


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