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Bloomberg’s 2016 Business School Rankings

Bloomberg has just published it’s 2016 MBA rankings. Harvard Business School has held onto the number one spot, but don’t be fooled: there are significant changes from 2015 to 2016.

Bloomberg’s 2016 Business School Rankings






Case in point: Stanford Graduate School of Business has risen from 7 to 2 while Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business has catapulted from 19 to 8. Here are the top ten:

1. Harvard Business School

2. Stanford Graduate School of Business

3. Duke University Fuqua School of Business

4. University of Chicago Booth School of Business

5. Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

6. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

7. MIT Sloan School of Management

8. Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business

9. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

10. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

So why the big changes? How did Rice upset schools like Yale, Michigan and Columbia, which all narrowly missed the top ten? The answer has to do with Bloomberg’s methodology.

The most heavily weighted factor in Bloomberg’s rankings is the employer survey, which accounts for 35 percent of a school’s score. Bloomberg gets this number by surveying recruiters to see how they regard different MBA programs.

This year, HBS dominated the employer survey. They scored number one in terms of regard among recruiters and number one in the ranking overall.

However, the employer survey isn’t the only factor that determines a school’s score. For example, Stanford came in twentieth in the employer survey yet still managed to grab the number two spot overall.

It pulled this off by racking up first-place finishes in salary rank and alumni survey rank – 10 percent and 30 percent of the total score respectively.

Salary rank is straightforward – it’s a measure of how much alums make fresh out of B-school. The main nuance here is that Bloomberg adjusts salary by region.

Alumni survey rank is a combination of three different factors: how much grads’ salaries increase after business school, how satisfied alums are with their jobs, and how alums evaluate their alma maters.

Alumni survey rank is the second most important factor, so unsurprisingly, schools that do well in this area tend to do well overall in Bloomberg’s rankings. After Stanford, Haas and Harvard were numbers 2 and 3 respectively, and numbers 10 and 1 overall.

Number 4 was Rice, making a surprise appearance in the top ten this year. Of course, Rice was only able to secure its eighth-place spot because it was competitive in other categories to. Specifically, it was 14 in the employer survey, 14 in the student survey and 16 in salary rank.

Because schools can achieve radically different scores on different factors, Bloomberg’s ranking helpfully breaks down schools’ scores into the five main components and provides graphs for each school. To learn more about Bloomberg’s methodology and to see their full ranking, visit their website.