India’s MBA Ranking Shakeup

IIM Bangalore was named the number one school in the country, making it to the top slot for the first time since 2002 It comes as no surprise that the majority of India’s top management schools are the government-run Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). But which of the elite IIMs is the best? For most of the last decade, it has been IIM Ahmedabad, one of the oldest and best-known management schools in the country, but this year there has been a shakeup, according to the Business Today-Nielsen ranking of India’s Best B-schools In the latest ranking, IIM Bangalore was named the number one school in the country, making it to the top slot for the first time since 2002. In second place is IIM Calcutta, followed by IIM Ahmedabad. It is the first time in eight years that IIM-Ahmedabad has not held the top slot, the editors said. The IIMs make up seven of the top ten business schools in the rankings, including IIM Indore, IIM Lucknow, and IIM Shillong. “In the context of business education in India, an MBA degree from an IIM has always been the key to riches, glory and recognition,” according to the Business Times’ article revealing the rankings. The privately funded Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad holds the eighth spot in the ranking, dropping one spot from last year. FMS Delhi and XLRI Jamshedpur both share the tenth spot. IIM Bangalore has made its way to the number one position because of “its unmasked ambition for growth and an increased thrust on research,” according to the ranking editors’ note.Read full...

Your Top 5 Business Schools

Rankings published by various publications should not dictate where an MBA hopeful applies Many participants on the Bloomberg Businessweek Business School Forum spend lots of time debating the merits and pitfalls of business school rankings. While most admissions experts will tell them that rankings published by various publications, including Bloomberg Businessweek, are excellent starting points for research about MBA programs, they should not dictate where an MBA hopeful applies. Indeed, the advice has always been for applicants to come up with their own list of preferred business schools based on their wants, needs, and career goals. Recently, a forum participant, HaveAQuestion, began a discussion thread that asks others to come up with their own personalized business school ranking. The question is a good one, and it’s worth considering for those thinking of applying to MBA programs. To chime in with your own top five faves or to see what others think, you can visit the “What is Your Top 5?” discussion thread.Read full...

MBAs Don’t Merit the Cost

Amid the financial crisis and recession, placement rates and salaries for MBAs have taken hits, making the degree less valuable. Pro or con? PRO: EXPOSURE AND EXPERIENCE MATTER MORE by Christopher Frank and Paul Magnone, Drinking from the Fire Hose What situation screams for an MBA? Many scenarios cry out explicitly for a doctor, engineer, firefighter, or lawyer. When exactly do you need an MBA? In our current economic climate, the MBA degree in and of itself is not valuable. Why? It often constricts imagination, producing clinical but narrow thinking and falling short of teaching intellectual flexibility. B-schools position innovation as formulaic, resulting in rigid but acceptable ideas. Experience teaches that to drive value for yourself and your company, you need to be a rebel and constantly question what’s right in front of you. We both have advanced degrees, but formal education did not fully prepare us for careers in line management and consulting, working with venture capitalists and on the front lines of startups as well as Microsoft (MSFT), IBM (IBM), and American Express (AXP). Over the years, one truth became evident: Questions (not education) are the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Not theories or frameworks, not business plans or spreadsheets but rather, insightful questions. According to Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s DNA, a passion for inquiry counts as one of the five main drivers of success. The person who asks the best questions is often the smartest person in the room. The challenge today is not the mastery of information available but the judgment to use it. And while education trains you to dive into relevant topics, there’s no guarantee it will help you read situations, think under pressure, and ask the right questions. In...

The Online MBA Salary Blues

If the Kelley Direct online MBA program is any guide, graduates of Kenan-Flagler’s new MBA@UNC program shouldn’t expect a salary windfall The rap against online MBA programs has always been that the benefits, in terms of career advancement, can’t compare to those enjoyed by students in full-time MBA programs. Critics of online programs say that recruiters consider the programs educationally inferior and that as a result, the job offers, salaries, and other benefits that derive from the programs are smaller. Most online MBA programs offered by top business schools cost less than the institutions’ full-time programs, so a salary at graduation that’s a few thousand dollars less is not the end of the world. But all this changed in November, when the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School announced MBA@UNC, an online program with an unquestionably full-time MBA price of $89,000, Can an online program, even one offered by a top-ranked business school such as Kenan-Flagler, ever prove a bargain at that price? What can the inaugural class of 19 students in the MBA@UNC program expect when they graduate in two years and begin looking for jobs? Predicting is always dicey, especially when it comes to MBA salaries, which are influenced by the fates of national and regional economies, industries, and even the fortunes of specific companies. But information can be gleaned from online MBA programs with a bit more track record. WEB PIONEER: INDIANA’S KELLEY DIRECT Consider the Kelley Direct online MBA program at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Launched in 1999, it has graduated nearly 1,300 MBAs, making it one of the longest-running online MBA programs offered by a top-ranked business school. The schools’ full-time MBA programs are comparably ranked: Sixteen for UNC and 19...

Want to get an MBA? Buyers, beware.

While an MBA can open significant professional doors, B-school hopefuls ought to look long and hard before they leap, says Graduate Management Admission Council’s David Wilson In 2010, prospective business school students sat for the three and a half hour GMAT exam 263,979 times, suggesting that there is a healthy appetite for management education despite the rising costs of attending a traditional MBA program. David Wilson, president and CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council (the organization that manages the GMAT test) is one of management education’s staunchest allies, but he cautions MBA hopefuls that the degree is a sobering investment that needs to be analyzed as rigorously as a business investment or surveyed as closely as a home you’re about to purchase. Buyers beware, he warns. Here is an edited transcript of our recent interview with Wilson. When is it too expensive to pursue an MBA? The MBA is, if not the only degree, then one of the very few degrees, undertaken after an economic analysis. If you get a PhD in art history, it’s because you have a passion for art history, not because you want a dramatic financial return. I’d argue that the vast majority of MBAs want the degree so they get the economic return…Read full...

Have B-Schools become debtors’ prisons?

MBA grads are shouldering record levels of debt as tuition rates head skyward, making the degree a risky investment In 2008, Brian Jenkins moved to Malibu, Calif., to start his MBA at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. He had big ambitions for B-school, expecting the degree to help him land a six-figure-salary job in human resources at a top company. Pepperdine seemed poised to deliver. When he was a mere applicant, the admissions director gave him a personal tour of the business school, which commands a stunning perch overlooking the Pacific. His student experience was “amazing,” he says, handing top marks to his professors and classmates. The weather – “perfect every day” – was an added perk. To pay for it all, Jenkins took out $120,000 in loans. But his six-figure-salary job never materialized. “The career services staff basically said, ‘We’ll help you edit your resume, good luck out there,'” he recalls. “A lot of [my classmates] found jobs paying $55,000 to $65,000 per year, and they were very excited that they had a job.” In fact, Jenkins’ class earned a mean base salary of $69,167, according to Pepperdine’s official stats. They also owed an average $66,242. When the economy was doing well, and there was upward mobility, MBAs made sense, Jenkins says. “People were able to manage their debt load.” Wallowing in a sea of B-school debt MBAs like Jenkins are shouldering record levels of debt, approaching a tipping point that makes the degree – no matter how good the experience – a risky investment that isn’t always being approached with financial caution and restraint. It’s now common for many graduates to leave a top business school with six-figure debt, and in some cases, MBAs...

B-School Prof: MBA Programs Helped Trash the Economy...

Business schools educate armies of bankers, investors and corporate finance executives. How come they don’t feel responsible for the financial havoc that has ensued? After the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, and then again, following 2008’s financial crisis, there was a brief flurry of soul-searching among business schools. Then poof, gone. Business schools still don’t seem to be grappling with what it is they’re teaching that could have contributed to the biggest economic failure since the Great Depression. As someone who teaches at business schools in the U.S. and the U.K., I find this deeply troubling. How can B-schools teach about organizational change and then fail to be examples of it? How can professors advocate for rigor and then not demonstrate it themselves? I fully appreciate that some schools are more advanced, creative and thoughtful than others but I remain puzzled by how little core curriculum and ethos have changed across the board. So here are the top questions I think every business school needs to address in order to help create top flight business leaders: 1.- Does business education need to be so expensive? Harvard estimates that its 2013 MBA students will need to find $84,000 for 9 months of education. Others argue you can get by on $60,000 per year. But if you take into account two years of lost earnings, you’re looking at a cost of anywhere between $240,000 and $400,000 for your MBA. If you are carrying this as debt, you’ll find that your MBA, far from enhancing your career prospects, has shrunk them – because there will be plenty of jobs you cannot afford to accept. Wall Street or large corporations are the only places you’ll find the salaries you need to eliminate your...

MBA Advice: What I Wish I’d Know

Bloomberg Businessweek asked its social media fans and followers to reflect on their own MBA experiences and to share snippets of advice with new the students and applicants Thousands of new MBA students are about to start class, and thousands more are beginning the B-school application process. With that in mind, Bloomberg Businessweek asked its social media fans and followers to reflect on their own MBA experiences and to share snippets of advice with new the students and applicants. We asked “What advice do you wish you’d been given when you were first starting your #MBA program?” on both @BWBschools and @BW Twitter feeds and on our Facebook page. Here are some of the best answers: @zarrasstelios: 1)start networking immediately, 2) tailor your story @zarrasstelios: have good answers when the ask you why you came back to bschool, what have you done professionally so far, etc @cutyourlosses: Before starting Wharton, I wish I focused more on my passion. Following your passion and applying it to your community = happiness @MBAmoms: Don’t choose an elective based on professor’s rep alone. If you’re not truly interested in the subject you WILL regret it! @Cooleysean: network with group of different people with different skills and start something @Bryanytl: Advice for starting out: Smile, be nice, be open – you never know who will be your next business partner, mentor, or best friend! @Bmrothenberg: Don’t do what others think you should do, or what everyone else is doing. Decide what you want and hustle to get it…Read full...

For Female Faculty, a B-School Glass Ceiling

It’s lonely at the top. That adage could be the mantra of female faculty at business schools across the country who have reached the coveted and most prestigious step of their career ladder, full professor. The number of women who’ve obtained the full professor rank in B-schools remains dispiritingly low, with fewer than one of five women business school professors employed today as full professors, according to a 2010-11 salary survey of female faculty by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), one of the leading accreditation agencies for business schools. Women may still be far from a majority at most business schools, but the overall number entering the field has been steadily creeping upwards. Over the past 10 years, the number of female business school faculty climbed from 23.6 percent of total faculty in the 2001-02 academic year to 29 percent this year, according to the survey. The uptick comes as more women are considering careers as business professors; in the 2009-10 academic year, women made up 35.4 percent of doctoral students at AACSB-member schools, up from 31.7 percent five years ago. Despite the growing number of women entering the business school world, many appear to hit a stumbling block on the path to promotion, says John Fernandes, AACSB’s president. Women make up 40.6 percent of instructors and 37.3 percent of assistant professors. As women move up the career ladder and obtain tenure, the gender gap becomes more pronounced. Women make up just 29.1 percent of associate professors and a paltry 17.9 percent of full professors. “That is a huge drop-off rate,” Fernandes says. “I see the number of women faculty members in the classroom continue to change and increase, but I’m not so sure it...