Hey, did you see the list of schools that BusinessWeek thinks are the best? Here’s how they ranked them:
- Northwestern (Kellogg)
- Dartmouth (Tuck)
- Pennsylvania (Wharton)
- Cornell (Johnson)
- Virginia (Darden)
- North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)
- Duke (Fuqua)
- Chicago (Booth)
- Indiana (Kelley)
- Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)
- MIT (Sloan)
- UCLA (Anderson)
- Berkeley (Haas)
- NYU (Stern)
- Rochester (Simon)
What’s that you say? You thought that Booth was #1? What are they doing so far down the list?
Oh, right. That list isn’t current. That’s the first version of the BW rankings, as issued in 1988.
What’s most striking to us about this list isn’t the fact that Kellogg is at the top (no offense, Kellogg, but we’d never be putting you at the very top these days). Instead, it’s the fact that this is largely the same stack of schools that you ALWAYS see on the BW rankings list. The rankings are refreshed every two years – at least BW has the good sense to recognize that schools can’t change their positions on the list more often than that.
But every time the lists come out, we see the same schools on them. This just means that they’re juggling the same names and changing the relative order. It’s not like these 1988 schools ever fell off this list. In recent years, we have seen INSEAD and IE get added… but Indiana Kelley? They’re still there, currently hitting spot #15 (one level above NYU, we might add – hey wait, Kelley is ranked higher than NYU?!?? Huh.).
We understand the desire to have some authority tell you which schools are “better” – but please. You may as well put this collection of names on a dartboard and have a monkey throw bananas at it and see which order he hits them in. Do the rankings really tell you anything useful about School X compared to School Y?
Please share with us the utility that you find in these rankings systems.
Or are you just outsourcing your own critical thinking and decision making processes of where to apply to bschool to a major media conglomerate?