The annual business school ratings season is here, and two major business publications, the Financial Times (FT) and Forbes Magazine, announced their ratings this week. The Sloan School of Management was ranked number four worldwide in the FT survey, a move up from number five last year. Forbes surveyed business schools for the first time this year according to the return on investment and rated Sloan sixth of the top 25 US schools.
FT evaluated the international factors of the top 75 MBA programs in the world. Said FT, "While a handful of schools, particularly in Europe, were set up as international business schools, even the most traditional US schools have begun to realize that international mobility is now demanded by recruiters and course participants alike."
Among the top four schools, Sloan rated first in the percentage of international students and in research, and tied for number one in faculty with PhDs. Sloan also tied for number two in the percentage of female students and in the category of value for the money: rate of return between the start of the MBA to 1999 for each dollar spent on the course.
The Forbes survey calculated the worth of an MBA by comparing the salary gains it generated to the cost of the degree. Forbes said the "ranking is a far cry from the usual business-school ratings you have seen up until now, which compare schools based on salary offers of recent graduates but take no account of the fact that schools vary widely in how much their students were making before they enrolled."
Among the top six schools in the Forbes survey, Sloan tied for third in the category of highest salaries of 1994 graduates before they received an MBA and fourth in the category of highest salaries of the same graduates in 1998. Sloan also tied for second place in highest GMAT scores and came in fourth in how many years it took to break even on the cost of an MBA (3.7 years).
More business school ratings are expected. US News and World Report publishes its annual survey at the end of March and the biennial Business Week survey gets under way for the Class of 2000 this spring.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 26, 2000.