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What US News ranking system is more useful/reliable?

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Replies to: What US News ranking system is more useful/reliable?

  • Penn95Penn95 Registered User Posts: 2,321 Senior Member
    @insanedreamer @juillet I do believe there is something wrong with their methodology and/or data, probably with their employer survey. If you compare the job outcomes of a place like Wharton vs say Villanova or BC, there is a very big difference. There is no way that employers around the country place Wharton grads at #66 in terms of how the school prepares them for the job. If that was the case then Wharton grads would not have the kind of job and salary outcomes that they have. They would have a much harder time getting top jobs since business employers would not want them as much. So there is probably something fishy with the group of employers they selected. Maybe they do not select many elite firms? I do not know. But these figures kind of defy logic based on hard salary and employment facts.
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,997 Senior Member
    @Penn95 I take it you're a Penn Alum?

    What if Wharton really doesn't prepare you as well as other schools do? In the past when there was less access to information like all of these different college lists, it was a lot easier to say : The best schools in the US are Ivies, Stanford, etc and just be done with it. But now that data collection is more efficient and in depth, maybe Wharton isn't top dog anymore. Maybe, employers have really high expectations for it because it's been a top school for so long but their grads don't end up being more impressive than a school like Villanova or BC or Fordham or whatever.
  • universityjoeuniversityjoe Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    None. Trust your own judgement. The rankings are flawed and biased. Nobody looks at them after high school.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,673 Super Moderator
    Bloomberg gives a more detailed look at their employer survey methodology.

    To assess how well undergraduate business programs prepare graduates for the jobs they want, we surveyed recruiters from companies that hire undergraduate business majors. We asked schools to identify individuals recently involved in recruiting their graduates. We surveyed 1,079 recruiters at 582 firms that completed the survey....We asked recruiters to identify as many as 10 schools at which they had significant recruiting experience in the past five years. We then asked the recruiters to assess how well these schools’ graduates performed on specific qualities important to them when they recruit business students....Because the best business programs are well-regarded by a wide array of recruiters, the employer score was based equally on two components: its average rating by employers (a measure of the school’s quality in the eyes of recruiters); and the sum of ratings it received (a measure of the school’s reach).

    There's more that I edited for length, but another important point is that alumni ratings are excluded from the assessment, since alumni on average rate their own school more favorably.

    It wouldn't make sense that Bloomberg would exclude elite employers and recruiters. First of all, elite, high-paying firms are the ones who can afford to send recruiters all over the country to have a presence at universities every year, so if they excluded them, they wouldn't get data reflecting what they wanted. Second, if the point of the magazine article was to rank business schools - it would make the most sense to get evaluations from the employers students most want to work at. Nevertheless, they don't release the names of their employers, so that's a possibility - although I maintain it's unlikely.

    If we wanted to look for potentially valid reasons to discount Bloomberg's rankings, one thing that could (hypothetically) drive Wharton's and other elite schools' lower rankings is recruiters' gap between expectation and actuality. When you rank-order the schools by salary, the usual suspects come out on top. (Salaries are adjusted for region of the job.) One of the first things I noticed is that schools that did really well with the salary and internship ranks did not do so well in the employer surveys. In fact, there are only 5 schools that are in the top 20 for salary and also in the top 20 for employer ratings: Boston College, NYU, Indiana (Kelley), UT-Austin (McCombs), and Notre Dame.

    So one potential, very hypothetical example is that recruiters might be expecting amazing, off-the-charts performance from Wharton et al. because they are elite schools. Then when they actually get the new employees, they realize that they are like any other new business employee - they need training, to learn professional norms, etc. On the other hand, maybe they aren't expecting the Bentley, John Carroll or Bradley students to be as excellent as they truly are, so they rate a lot more favorably than they rate Wharton, Cornell and CMU et al.
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,997 Senior Member
    @juillet I said exactly the same thing earlier today in a different thread. These days, there's no reason for Wharton students to be incredibly better than students from other nearly as good schools.
  • insanedreamerinsanedreamer Registered User Posts: 1,536 Senior Member
    edited December 2016
    @Penn95 you could be right about their employee survey methodology/data being wrong. I don't know enough to say either way. My point was simply that we'd have to pinpoint a flaw in that rather than just assume it's wrong because Wharton is so low. Remember we're talking about undergrad here, not MBA. Maybe people from Wharton expect higher salaries or come in to the company with an "I went to Wharton" attitude that turns companies off? I honestly might be inclined to choose someone from Villanova over a Wharton graduate for that very reason. If the education is roughly the same, then the only thing I'm getting from a Wharton grad is "attitude" which I'd rather not deal with. This attitude may be more of a problem in business than other majors like CompSci that rely on provable skills (you might have graduated from MIT but if others in the company code better than you, you get cut down to size pretty quick). So from that perspective, it's not surprising so-called "elite" schools would be lower ranked by employers.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,673 Super Moderator
    This attitude may be more of a problem in business than other majors like CompSci that rely on provable skills (you might have graduated from MIT but if others in the company code better than you, you get cut down to size pretty quick).

    Hmm, maybe not. People tend to assume that there are single, concrete "answers" in STEM fields that make it easier to differentiate between people based on some idea of "merit" and not on personal characteristics. But there really aren't. Even in something as basic as coding, there are a lot of different ways to solve computer programming problems. Some solutions may be more elegant than others, but there can be a lot of different ways to be "right" depending on how complex the problem is. And that's only basic skills - that's not accounting for creativity, leadership, fit with the team, prior experience, references, etc. Software developers can be as easily swayed by these things as people who work in business. (There are tons of thinkpieces on the lack of diversity in computer science.)

    There are also provable skills in business, like quantitative facility or logical reasoning. There's usually a mix of hard and soft skills in every field.
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