The best business school – a rankings mashup

I’ve always been part skeptical, part mystified, and part influenced by MBA rankings.  They played a part in my decision-making process, but the difference in standings still seems strange to me, given that major publications are pulling from similar data sources.

The FT recently released updated their figures and after my ranking of Super Bowl ads plus time to kill in Vegas, I got around to mashing up the numbers on business school rankings:

  1. Chicago GSB
  2. Wharton
  3. Tuck
  4. Harvard
  5. Stanford
  6. Columbia
  7. Kellogg
  8. Michigan
  9. Haas – Berkeley
  10. Yale
  11. MIT Sloan
  12. Stern – NYU
  13. Darden – Virginia
  14. Carnegie Mellon
  15. Fuqua – Duke

Raw data published here.  Sources were Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, BusinessWeek, US News, Forbes, and The Economist.

This seems right to me – the top 5 are always in demand, despite oddball low rankings by some publications.  What do you think?

UPDATE (12 Feb 07): A couple of things I should’ve mentioned.  I earned my MBA from #13 Darden; I went to undergrad at Penn.  I believe that the most important thing about choosing a business school is personal fit and what you want to get out of it.  I have a lot of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who attended these schools and here’s my take:

  1. Chicago GSB: for the quantitatively-minded.  Things have improved greatly after students routinely panned their alma mater in polls during the late ’90s.
  2. Wharton:  for future Gordon Gekkos of the world that have great global focus.  The campus has gotten a lot safer and a lot nicer – but it’s still West Philly.
  3. Tuck: smart people, great place if you love skiing.  Lots of bonding from the ridiculously cold weather.
  4. Harvard: best place to build your network of classmates to rule the world.
  5. Stanford: only know a few grads; if HBS is a fraternity, Stanford’s a [west coast] eating club
  6. Columbia: Great place if you want to stay or relo to Manhattan
  7. Kellogg: If you want to be known as a marketer
  8. Michigan: Only know a couple of grads, undifferentiated to me
  9. Haas – Berkeley: [can’t remember anyone]
  10. Yale: lost touch with people who went here, they decided on Yale because of the non-profit focus
  11. MIT Sloan: all-around smart people
  12. Stern – NYU: If you want to stay or relo to Manhattan but prefer downtown to uptown
  13. Darden – Virginia: Best academic program out there; best buy if you can finagle in-state tuition
  14. Carnegie Mellon: [can’t remember anyone]
  15. Fuqua – Duke: Not much differentiation to me.

One more thing – if you’re trying to decide whether an MBA is worth the investment or not, again it’s a matter of personal fit.  I blogged about this back in March 2006.