The most important objective of doing an MBA program is undoubtedly to get on to the fast track for career advancement. Naturally, people vie with one another to get admitted to top-rated MBA programs, assuming that these programs are also the best for job placement. However, not all top programs have the best employment rates. Some lesser-known programs may outdo their elite counterparts by a big margin.
According to a survey by US News and World Report, three of the ten schools that have the highest job-placement figures for 2016 (full-time MBA) are not among the top 50 of the US News’ 2018 Best Business Schools (BBS) rankings. The survey, which ranks 131 MBA schools that provided data to US News, records an average job placement rate of 88.3 percent among full-time 2016 MBAs three months after graduation.
First, let’s go to US News’ job-placement ranks (three months after graduation). The top spot goes to the Fox School of Business and Management, Temple University, Pennsylvania. Its score? A boast-worthy centum. By the way, Fox has a BBS ranking of only 32 (tied rank; henceforth given as just “tie”).
Here’s the list of job-placement toppers:
Leaving out Wharton (topper in BBS rankings) and Tuck (BBS eighth), the other schools, given their BBS rankings, have gatecrashed their way into the top-ten job-placement list: Foster is at 27 (tie), Stevens is at 83 (tie) in BBS rankings, D’Amore McKim is at 54 (tie), and La Salle is in the “Rank Not Published” (RNP) category, as it appears only in the bottom one-fourth schools. The other schools in the top-ten job placement list have slightly better BBS rankings: Olin 21 (tie), Foster 27 (tie), Fox (32, tie), Broad 37, and Rutgers 50 (tie).
The lowest employment rate among recent graduates has been recorded by the MBA program at Bowling Green State University (RNP), where just 25 percent graduates found work within three months after graduation.
When evaluating performance in job placement, the number of MBA graduates that these schools offered for employment needs to be considered. Among the top-ten schools that recorded the highest placement rates, Wharton and Tuck had the largest pools of new MBAs seeking employment: 639 and 250, respectively. The number of new MBA job-seekers were much less in the other top-ten schools: Stevens 176, Olin 107, Foster 102, Broad 67, La Salle 55, Rutgers 54, D’Amore McKim 51, and Fox 37.
What magic do these lower-rated schools perform to ensure the highest employment rates for its new MBAs? Let’s look at the top three.
Fox has a curriculum that is industry-relevant and imparts skills that business leaders require in a global economy, according to the school website.
Expert faculty and administration staff design the curriculum after a survey of 300 corporate leaders on what skills MBAs need in order to succeed in the globalized economy. Students can seek the guidance of the Center for Student Professional Development for personal development, industry awareness, and impression management. The center also provides services such as resume critiques, interview preparation, and internship/job placement, besides organizing network events.
This year’s centum score is no flash in the pan for Fox. In 2015, it scored 97.4 percent, and found a place in the top five in the US News job-placement list. Forbes Magazine has also reportedly rates Fox highly.
In 2015, the top recruiters for jobs and internships at Fox included JP Morgan Chase, Walmart, Vanguard, Deloitte, AstraZeneca, Time Warner Cable, and Merck. Over 25 percent of the new Fox MBAs found finance and accounting jobs, according to Business Insider.
Foster, which had 102 new MBAs and ensured placement for 85.3 percent upon graduation, focuses on the “right fit” and team-driven problem-solving and learning techniques for the modern-day workplace. Graduates are trained in “a culture driven by performance before pretence.”
The average starting salary (MBA 2016) was about $112,000 and the salary range $45,000-$150,000. The average signing bonus was about $29,000 and the average “other guaranteed compensation” about $30,000. Top employers included Accenture, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Infosys, Intel, Microsoft, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Philips, and Samsung.
Stevens teaches students how to apply analytics and quantitative methods to business problems. The Field Consulting Program sharpens its new MBAs’ employability by pairing students with companies to help solve a business problem or evaluate a new opportunity. Stevens placed all of its new MBAs six months after graduation at an average salary of $68,000.
Conspicuously, schools in the top 25 in the BBS rankings are rather poorly represented in the top-ten schools job-placement list (three months after graduation). Wharton, which tops the BBS rankings along with Harvard Business School (HBS), Tuck (BBS rank 8) and Olin (BBS rank 21, tie), are the only three schools with a top-25 BBS ranking in the list.
Now for the top-10 BBS rank winners. Compared with the tenth ranker in the job-placement list—Wharton, placement rate 95.5 percent—HBS (BBS 1st) has recorded 90.6 percent, Booth (BBS 3rd) 95.2 percent, MIT Sloan (BBS 4th, tie) 92.5 percent, Kellogg (BBS 4th, tie) 95 percent, Stanford GSB (BBS 4th, tie) 82.4 percent, Haas (BBS 7th) 89.7 percent, Tuck (BBS 8th) 95.6 percent, Columbia (BBS 9th, tie) 92.3 percent, and Yale SOM (BBS 9th, tie) 89.9 percent.
As for the schools ranked lower in the BBS rankings, Ross (BBS 11th) has scored 91.8 percent, Stern (12th, tie) 91.8 percent, Fuqua (12th, tie) 91.6 percent, Darden (14th) 90.2 percent, Anderson (15th) 87.7 percent, Johnson (16th) 90.1 percent, McCombs (17th) 89.2 percent, Kenan-Flagler (18th) 90.4 percent, Tepper (19th) 85.2, Goizueta (20th) 93.1 percent, McDonough (21th, tie) 90.3 percent, Kelly (21th, tie) 94 percent, Marshall (24th) 91.5 percent, Carey (25th) 95.1 percent, and Owen (25th) 90.1 percent.
|Top-rated schools (US News)||Toppers in job placement (US News)|
|1 (tie)||Wharton||95.5||1||Fox||100||32 (tie)|
|1 (tie)||HBS||90.6||2||Foster||98||27 (tie)|
|4 (tie)||Sloan||92.5||4||La Salle||96.4||—|
|4 (tie)||Kellogg||95||5||Rutgers||96.3||50 (tie)|
|4 (tie)||Stanford||82.4||6||Olin||96.3||21 (tie)|
|7||Haas||89.7||7||D’Amore McKim||96.1||54 (tie)|
|9 (tie)||Yale SOM||89.9||10||Wharton||95.5||1 (tie)|
Note: (1) Overall rank as per US News’ “2018 Best Business Schools.” (2) “Placement” means job placement three months after graduation.
What explains the lower rankings of some elite schools when it comes to employment rates three months after graduation? At Stanford, it is because the graduates are choosy, according to the Director of GSB’s Career management Center Maeve Richard, also Assistant Dean. Graduates get offers from many companies, but they defer their decision in pursuit of the ideal opportunity, she is quoted by P&Q as saying.
Stanford’s 82.4 percent (2016) job-placement rate (three months after graduation) is a fall from its 86.2 percent in the previous year, 2015. The corresponding placement rates of HBS, Stanford, Columbia, Olin, and those of seven others have also decreased in 2016 compared with 2015, though only marginally.
But the rates of Tepper, Haas, and Kenan-Flagler have fallen by about 4 percentage points. Meanwhile, Marshall’s has gone up by over 10 percentage points, Kelley’s by nearly 5, Carey’s and McDonough’s by 4, and Stern’s by nearly 3.
Another interesting piece of data is which of the top-25 b-schools have the best employment rate (three months after graduation). Olin is the top-25 school with the highest job placement rate (96.3 percent), points out Poets and Quants, using US News data. It is followed by Tuck (95.6 percent), Wharton (95.5 percent), Booth (95.2 percent), Carey (95.1 percent), Kellogg (95 percent), Kelly (94 percent), Goizueta (93.1 percent), MIT Sloan (92.5 percent), and Columbia (92.3 percent).
When it comes to job offers upon graduation, instead of three months after graduation (discussed above), how have some of the top-25 schools fared? Let’s look at the ten toppers in this list. As many as 86.8 percent new MBAs at Tuck received offers upon graduation, 85.8 percent at Wharton, 85.6 percent at Ross, 84.9 percent at Booth, 84 percent at Goizueta, 83.9 percent at Kelly, 83.1 percent at Fuqua, 82.8 percent at Kellogg, 82.1 percent at Stern, and 81.2 percent at Sloan.
Among those with lower percentages were HBS with 79.3 percent, Columbia with 77.3 percent, and Yale SOM and Tepper with 76 percent. Stanford GSB was again at the bottom of the list of job offers, with 62.8 percent securing jobs upon graduation.
Here as well, Fox, well outside the top-25 list, recorded the highest percentage of students receiving job offers upon graduation: 91.9. No other school in the top-50 BBS rankings had a score of 90 percent at graduation. The second position went to Tuck, with 86.8 percent students finding employment upon graduation, as mentioned above.
So do the elites deserve their top rankings, though they are not exactly leading from the front in job placement? They do, because job placement is not the only criterion for ratings. In fact it is only one of three main factors (quality assessment, placement success, and student selectivity, weighted 40 percent, 35 percent, and 25 percent, respectively) that decide the rating of MBA programs.
Further, in the 35 percent weight for placement success, starting salary and bonus account for 14 percent, employment rates three months after graduation 14 percent, and employment rates at graduation 7 percent.
Read these related posts:
– Types of jobs after MBA in Marketing, Finance, Operations, Technology
– Average MBA salaries after 10 – 20 years for USA and Canadian business school grads
– How average MBA salaries grew over time in USA, Europe, Asia
References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 | Image source: D’Amore McKim School of Business