MBA program rankings evoke a considerable public stir and excitement and are highly publicized. Generally, the chief criterion for the rankings is questionnaire answers, supplemented with many other different factors, like estimation of recruiters, scholars and / or alumni; GMAT scores; at graduation salaries or salary increases of graduates; the rating of the research; etc.
An overwhelming number of criteria used makes it wear some to compare between different MBA program rankings. Nevertheless, a number of select magazines (the Forbes, Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, Business Week and the Financial Times) provide the main MBA ranking surveys that are highly valued both by students and employers and are applied most often as a reference point to compare MBA schools.
The Forbes ranks MBA programs according to the so called ROI (return on investment). ROI means how much an MBA adds to graduates' salary and how quickly graduates earn back the cost of their education. The Forbes bases its calculations on salary information of the alumni before and after obtaining the degree.
The Wall Street Journal presents MBA program rankings of business schools, accredited by the International Association for Management Education, and builds its classification merely upon the opinions of MBA recruiters. The recruiters place schools on a ten-point scale for each of twenty seven criteria, concerning the quality of each school and its alumni.
The US News & World Report ranks full-time and part-time MBA programs, accredited by the AACSB (American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business). Full-time programs are ranked according to a number of criteria, including a program assessment by academics and a judgment by recruiters, an average initial salary, an average GMAT score and a post graduation job placement. Part-time programs are ranked only on the basis of nomination by business school deans and MBA program directors.
The Business Week publishes MBA program rankings for full-time, part-time and executive programs every two years. The Business Week creates its rankings on two factors: a survey of recent graduates from the schools being evaluated and a survey of corporate executives. It also provides some factual information about the schools, like a GMAT score, a salary of graduates, a percentage of applicants accepted and a size.
The Financial Times MBA rankings are accomplished every two years. The magazine ranks MBA programs on the grounds of over twenty aspects, the most significant being a current salary of alumni and a rate of the salary rise, a percentage of women students and a faculty, a percentage of international students and a faculty, a number of faculty with doctoral degrees and alumni recommendations.
Undoubtedly, you can strike your future employer by the reputation of the highly ranking school you have attended, but if you did not, do not be disturbed, as it often turns out that your school's ranking has nothing to do with your career. This is true, since first of all, high ranking positions do not obligatory mean a high quality education, and second, ambitious gifted and hard-working people are sure to achieve a success no matter what school they attended.