How to Choose the Right MBA Program: The Truth about MBA Rankings
Now that you’re equipped with the basic steps on how to apply it’s time to think about the program itself as in which program should you apply for.
Here’s the honest truth about University in the States - it’s expensive. Remembering that it’s an investment in your future is the only way to justify it. With that being said, as in life, you want to make good investments and so while applying for an MBA, if it’s within your scope, you really want to aim for the top 25 programs; if you feel like you have a particularly strong application you might even want to aim for the M7: Harvard, Columbia, Wharton, Booth, MIT Sloan, Stanford, and/or Kellogg. Just keep in mind it becomes extremely competitive at this level with an acceptance rate under 15%. Generally speaking though, the top 25 are all stellar programs with great networks and job opportunities and as with anything in life, it’s about fit and what you make of each opportunity. And so, it’s important to to do the proper research on each program. While M7/the top 10 are extremely competitive, 10-25 tend to be more or less approachable (although still competitive). At the end of the day, to choose the right program: do your research. Take time to see if your scores/application matches the criteria, understand what the program values – what their strengths and weaknesses are, try to attend networking and prospective student events, and talk to Alumni. I can’t stress enough how important fit is when it comes to applying for a MBA program. Guaranteed that with any of these programs there will be many opportunities!
Don’t feel like you can meet up to M7 or even the top 25? Never fear! Although it may feel like a more risky investment, those ranked 25-50 are still great programs! While they may not have the prestige they usually still have great networks, good job opportunities, and an added bonus – they are significantly easier to apply for! As mentioned above, it’s all about what you make of each opportunity. In fact, if you know what industry you want to get into and properly do your research, you’ll realize that some of the best MBA programs for certain industries aren’t even one of the top 25. For example, one of the top 5 MBA programs for Accounting is actually BYU Marriot, which is currently ranked #36! So depending what you’re looking for, BYU may actually be a better fit! Ultimately that’s what matters: fit! So do some research (I recommend US News) and see which program fits you best.
For more info and guidance on choosing the right MBA program and “fit”, please reach out to me for a free 30 min. chat where we can further discuss your MBA application journey.